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Gonal-f RFF

Generic Name: follicle stimulating hormone (FOL ik al STIM ue lay ting HOR mone)
Brand Name: Follistim AQ, Follistim AQ Cartridge, Gonal-F, Gonal-f RFF, Gonal-f RFF Pen

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Dec 15, 2017 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Gonal-f RFF?

Gonal-f RFF 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.

Gonal-f RFF is used to treat infertility in women who cannot ovulate and do not have primary ovarian failure.

Gonal-f RFF is also used to stimulate sperm production in men.

Gonal-f RFF is often used together with another medication called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

Gonal-f RFF may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Do not use this medication if you are already pregnant. Your doctor may give you a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant before you receive Gonal-f RFF.

Gonal-f RFF is not effective in women with primary ovarian failure or in men with primary testicular failure.

You should not use Gonal-f RFF if you are allergic to Gonal-f RFF, neomycin (Mycifradin, Neo-Fradin) or streptomycin, or 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, or testicle.

Before using Gonal-f RFF, 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 Gonal-f RFF.

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

This medication is not effective in women with primary ovarian failure (when the ovaries are unable to produce an egg).

This medication is not effective in men with primary testicular failure (when the testicles are unable to produce sperm).

You should not use Gonal-f RFF if you are allergic to it, if you are already pregnant, 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

  • if you are allergic to neomycin (Mycifradin, Neo-Fradin) or streptomycin.

To make sure you can safely use Gonal-f RFF, tell your doctor if you have:

  • polycystic ovary disease;

  • asthma; or

  • a history of stroke or blood clot.

FDA pregnancy category X. Gonal-f RFF can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use this medication if you are already pregnant. Your doctor may give you a pregnancy test to make sure you are not pregnant before you receive this medicine. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.

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.

It is not known whether follicle stimulating hormone passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using follicle stimulating hormone.

How should I use Gonal-f RFF?

You must remain under the care of a doctor while using Gonal-f RFF.

Gonal-f RFF is injected under the skin or into a muscle. You will be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject Gonal-f RFF if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

The cartridge and injection pen are used only for an injection under the skin. Gonal-f RFF in a vial (bottle) is for injection into a muscle using a syringe.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Prepare your syringe or injection pen only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it looks cloudy or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

If you use Gonal-f RFF to get pregnant, you may need to have sex daily for several days in a row. The timing of sex within your dosing schedule is important for this treatment to work.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your blood may need to be tested often. You may also need ultrasound exams. Visit your doctor regularly.

Storing unopened vials, cartridges, or injection pens: Keep in the carton and store in a refrigerator or at room temperature. Do not freeze. Protect from light and use within 3 months.

Storing after your first use: Keep the vial, cartridge, or injection pen at room temperature or in the refrigerator and use within 28 days. Protect from light.

Take the injection pen out of the refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before giving the injection. Do not heat the medicine before using.

Throw away any unused vial, cartridge, or pen after the expiration date on the label has passed.

Do not share this medication with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss a dose of Gonal-f RFF.

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 Gonal-f RFF?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Gonal-f RFF side effects

Some women using Gonal-f RFF have developed a sudden buildup of fluid in the stomach or chest area. This condition is called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), and can be a life-threatening. Avoid having sex and call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of OHSS:

  • severe pain in your lower stomach;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating;

  • feeling short of breath;

  • swelling in your hands or legs;

  • weight gain;

  • urinating less than usual.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Gonal-f RFF and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);

  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in your arms or legs; or

  • severe pelvic pain on one side.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;

  • mild nausea or stomach pain;

  • mild numbness or tingly feeling;

  • mild pelvic pain, tenderness, or discomfort;

  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat;

  • breast swelling or tenderness;

  • acne;

  • mild skin rash; or

  • pain, bruising, redness, or irritation where the injection was given.

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 Gonal-f RFF?

There may be other drugs that can interact with Gonal-f RFF. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication 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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