Generic Name: follicle stimulating hormone (FOL ik al STIM ue lay ting HOR mone)
Brand Names: Follistim AQ
Medically reviewed by P. Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Mar 11, 2019.
What is Follistim AQ?
Follistim AQ (follicle stimulating hormone) is a man-made form of a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. This hormone regulates ovulation, the growth and development of eggs in a woman's ovaries.
Follistim AQ is also used in men to stimulate sperm production. This medicine is not effective in men with primary testicular failure (when the testicles are unable to produce sperm).
Follistim AQ is often used together with another medication called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Do not use Follistim AQ if you are already pregnant. Your doctor may give you a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant before you receive Follistim AQ.
Follistim AQ is not effective in women with primary ovarian failure or in men with primary testicular failure.
You should not use this medicine if you have an untreated or uncontrolled endocrine disorder (thyroid, pituitary gland, or adrenal gland), heavy or abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor, an ovarian cyst, or cancer of the breast, ovary, uterus, testicle, hypothalamus, or pituitary gland.
Before using Follistim AQ, tell your doctor if you have polycystic ovary disease, asthma, or a history of stroke or blood clot.
You should not breast-feed while you are using Follistim AQ.
Avoid having sex and call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of a fluid buildup in your stomach or chest area: severe pain in your lower stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, feeling short of breath, swelling or weight gain, or urinating less than usual.
Fertility treatment may increase your chance of having twins, triplets, etc (multiple births). These are high-risk pregnancies both for the mother and the babies. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
Before taking this medicine
Your doctor will perform blood tests to make sure you do not have conditions that would prevent you from safely using Follistim AQ.
You should not use Follistim AQ if you are allergic to follicle stimulating hormone, or if you have:
an untreated or uncontrolled disorder of the thyroid, pituitary gland, or adrenal glands;
heavy or abnormal vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor;
an ovarian cyst;
cancer of the breast, ovary, uterus, testicle, hypothalamus, or pituitary gland; or
Do not use this medicine if you are already pregnant. You may need to have a negative pregnancy test before starting this treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
To make sure you can safely use Follistim AQ, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
unusual vaginal bleeding;
polycystic ovary disease;
twisting (torsion) of your ovary;
a stroke or blood clot;
Fertility treatment may increase your chance of having multiple births (twins, triplets, etc). These are high-risk pregnancies both for the mother and the babies. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
You should not breastfeed while using Follistim AQ.
How should I use Follistim AQ?
Follistim AQ is injected under the skin. A healthcare provider may teach you how to properly use the medication by yourself.
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
You must remain under the care of a doctor while using Follistim AQ.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand all instructions.
You may need to mix this medicine with a liquid (diluent) before using it. When using injections by yourself, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.
Prepare an injection only when you are ready to give it. Do not use if the medicine looks cloudy or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
To get pregnant, you may need to have sex daily for several days in a row. The timing of sex and medication dosing is important for Follistim AQ to work.
You will need frequent medical tests.
If you use this medicine to get pregnant, you may also need occasional ultrasound exams. Based on your blood work, you may need to stop having sex for a short time. Follow your doctor's instructions very carefully.
Storing this medicine unopened (not in use):
Refrigerate (do not freeze) and use until expiration date; or
Store at room temperature protected from light, and use within 3 months or until expiration date.
Storing this medicine opened (in use):
Store in a refrigerator (do not freeze), or at room temperature protected from light.
Use within 28 days.
Take the medicine out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before injecting your dose. Do not heat the medicine.
Use a needle and syringe only once and then place them in a puncture-proof "sharps" container. Follow state or local laws about how to dispose of this container. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while using Follistim AQ?
Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.
Follistim AQ side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Follistim AQ: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Some women using this medicine develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a potentially life-threatening condition. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms of OHSS during or shortly after using Follistim AQ:
bloating, rapid weight gain;
little or no urination; or
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
severe pelvic pain on one side;
a cough with bloody mucus;
fever, sore throat, swollen glands;
a lump or swelling in your testicles;
signs of acute respiratory distress syndrome - fever with shortness of breath or rapid breathing; or
signs of a blood clot - sudden numbness or weakness, problems with vision or speech, swelling or redness in an arm or leg.
Common Follistim AQ side effects may include:
redness, swelling, or bruising where an injection was given;
an ovarian cyst;
breast pain or swelling;
stuffy nose, sneezing, sinus pain;
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Follistim AQ?
Other drugs may interact with follicle stimulating hormone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Follistim AQ only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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