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Clomiphene (Oral)

KLOE-mi-feen

Medically reviewed on Oct 4, 2018

Commonly used brand name(s)

In the U.S.

  • Clomid
  • Serophene

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet

Therapeutic Class: Female Reproductive Agent

Pharmacologic Class: Gonadotropin

Uses For clomiphene

Clomiphene is used as a fertility medicine in some women who are unable to become pregnant.

Clomiphene probably works by changing the hormone balance of the body. In women, this causes ovulation to occur and prepares the body for pregnancy.

Clomiphene may also be used for other conditions in both females and males as determined by your doctor.

The following information applies only to female patients taking clomiphene. Check with your doctor if you are a male and have any questions about the use of clomiphene.

Clomiphene is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Before Using clomiphene

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For clomiphene, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to clomiphene or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Breast Feeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of clomiphene. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Unusually large ovary or
  • Cyst on ovary—Clomiphene may cause the cyst to increase in size
  • Endometriosis—Inducing ovulation (including using clomiphene) may worsen endometriosis because the body estrogen level is increased; estrogen can cause growth of endometriosis implants
  • Fibroid tumors of the uterus—Clomiphene may cause fibroid tumors to increase in size
  • Inflamed veins due to blood clots—Clomiphene may make condition worse
  • Liver disease (or history of)—Clomiphene may make any liver disease worse
  • Mental depression—Existing depression may become worse because of hormone changes caused by clomiphene
  • Unusual vaginal bleeding—Some irregular vaginal bleeding is a sign that the lining of the uterus is growing too much or is a sign of cancer of the uterus lining; these problems must be ruled out before clomiphene is used because clomiphene can make these conditions worse

Proper Use of clomiphene

Take clomiphene only as directed by your doctor. If you are to begin on Day 5, count the first day of your menstrual period as Day 1. Beginning on Day 5, take the correct dose every day for as many days as your doctor ordered. To help you to remember to take your dose of medicine, take it at the same time every day.

Dosing

The dose of clomiphene will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of clomiphene. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For treating infertility:
      • Adults—50 milligrams (mg) a day for five days of a menstrual cycle. The treatment is usually started on the fifth day of your menstrual period. If you do not have menstrual cycles, you can begin taking your medicine at any time. If you do not become pregnant after the first course, your doctor may increase your dose a little at a time up to 250 mg a day. Your treatment may be repeated until you do become pregnant or for up to four treatment cycles.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of clomiphene, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

If you do not remember until it is time for the next dose, take both doses together; then go back to your regular dosing schedule. If you miss more than one dose, check with your doctor.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using clomiphene

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure clomiphene is working and to check for unwanted effects.

At certain times in your menstrual cycle, your doctor may want you to use an ovulation prediction test kit. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Ovulation is controlled by luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is present in the blood and urine in very small amounts during most of the menstrual cycle but rises suddenly for a short time in the middle of the menstrual cycle. This sharp rise, the LH surge, usually causes ovulation within about 30 hours. A woman is most likely to become pregnant if she has intercourse within the 24 hours after detecting the LH surge. Ovulation prediction test kits are used to test for this large amount of LH in the urine. This method is better for predicting ovulation than measuring daily basal body temperature. It is important that intercourse take place at the correct time to give you the best chance of becoming pregnant.

There is a chance that clomiphene may cause birth defects if it is taken after you become pregnant. Stop taking clomiphene and tell your doctor immediately if you think you have become pregnant while still taking clomiphene.

Clomiphene may cause blurred vision, difficulty in reading, or other changes in vision. It may also cause some people to become dizzy or lightheaded. Make sure you know how you react to clomiphene before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are not clear-headed or able to see well. If these reactions are especially bothersome, check with your doctor.

Clomiphene Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  • Bloating
  • stomach or pelvic pain

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common or rare

  • Blurred vision
  • decreased or double vision or other vision problems
  • seeing flashes of light
  • sensitivity of eyes to light
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Hot flashes

Less common or rare

  • Breast discomfort
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • headache
  • heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods
  • mental depression
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • restlessness
  • tiredness
  • trouble in sleeping

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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