Generic Name: Follitropin Alfa (foe li TRO pin AL fa)
Brand Name: Gonal-f, Gonal-f RFF, Gonal-f RFF Pen, Gonal-f RFF Rediject
Uses of Follitropin Alfa:
- It is used to help women get pregnant.
- It is used to help make sperm.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Follitropin Alfa?
For all patients taking follitropin alfa:
- If you have an allergy to follitropin alfa or any other part of this medicine.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Adrenal gland disease, brain tumor, pituitary gland disease, or thyroid gland disease.
- If your ovaries no longer make eggs (primary ovarian failure).
- If you have any of these health problems: A tumor in your female organs, enlarged ovaries or ovarian cysts, or vaginal bleeding where the cause is not known.
- If you are pregnant or may be pregnant. Do not take follitropin alfa if you are pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding or plan to breast-feed.
- If you are not able to make sperm or you have a tumor in your male organs.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take follitropin alfa with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Follitropin Alfa?
For all patients taking follitropin alfa:
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take follitropin alfa. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Have blood work checked as you have been told by the doctor. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may raise the chance of very bad side effects like blood clots and lung problems. Rarely, these effects have been deadly. Talk with the doctor.
- You will need to have ultrasounds done while using this medicine. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may raise the chance of getting pregnant with more than one baby.
- This medicine may raise the chance of very bad side effects like enlarged ovaries and ovarian cysts that burst. Rarely, these effects have been deadly. Talk with the doctor.
- If your ovaries get too big, your doctor may tell you that you need to avoid sex. This may cause an ovarian cyst to burst. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may raise the chance of twisting of the ovaries (ovarian torsion) in women with some health problems. This can cause blood flow to the ovary to be cut off. Talk with the doctor.
- The chance of pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy) may be raised in some women. Talk with your doctor.
- Limit working out while undergoing ovarian stimulation. Talk with your doctor.
- The rate of pregnancy loss (miscarriage) is higher in women using drugs like this one than in women who have a natural pregnancy. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have used drugs like this one more than 1 time to get pregnant, the chance of having tumors in your ovaries may be raised. Talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking follitropin alfa, call your doctor right away.
How is this medicine (Follitropin Alfa) best taken?
Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin.
- If you will be giving yourself the shot, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Follow how to use as you have been told by the doctor or read the package insert.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- This medicine needs to be mixed before use. Follow how to mix as you were told by the doctor.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Call your doctor to find out what to do.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
For all patients taking follitropin alfa:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Breast pain.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Change in color of skin to a bluish color like on the lips, nail beds, fingers, or toes.
- Pale skin.
- Swelling of belly.
- Mood changes.
- Blood clots have happened with this medicine. Sometimes, these blood clots have been deadly. Call your doctor right away if you have chest, arm, back, neck, or jaw pain or pressure; coughing up blood; numbness or weakness on 1 side of your body, trouble speaking or thinking, change in balance, or change in eyesight; shortness of breath; or swelling, warmth, or pain in the leg or arm.
- Vaginal bleeding that is not normal.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a very bad side effect that may happen in some women who use follitropin alfa. Call your doctor right away if you have very bad stomach pain or bloating; very upset stomach, throwing up, or loose stools (diarrhea); a big weight gain; shortness of breath; or change in how much urine is passed.
- Enlarged breasts.
What are some other side effects of Follitropin Alfa?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Irritation where the shot is given.
- Upset stomach.
- Pimples (acne).
- Belly pain.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Nose or throat irritation.
- Back pain.
- Signs of a common cold.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Follitropin Alfa?
- Store in a refrigerator or at room temperature.
- Do not freeze.
- Protect from light.
- Be sure you know how long you can store this medicine before you need to throw it away.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about follitropin alfa, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about follitropin alfa. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using follitropin alfa.
Review Date: September 6, 2017
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