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Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman's ovary, and stimulates the release of the egg during ovulation.
HCG is used to cause ovulation and to treat infertility in women, and to increase sperm count in men. HCG is also used in young boys when their testicles have not dropped down into the scrotum normally. This can be caused by a pituitary gland disorder.
HCG may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone found in the female body during the early months of pregnancy (it is produced in the placenta). It is in fact the pregnancy indicator looked at by the over the counter pregnancy test kits, as due to its origin it is not found in the body at any other time. Blood levels of this hormone will become noticeable as early as seven days after ovulation. The level will rise evenly, reaching a peak at approximately two to three months into gestation. After this point, the hormone level will drop gradually until the point of birth.
As a prescription drug, HCG offers us some interesting benefits. In the United States, we have the two popular brands, Pregnyl, made by Organon, and Profasi, made by Serono. These are FDA approved for the treatment of undescended testicles in young boys, hypogonadism (underproduction of testosterone) and as a fertility drug used to aid in inducing ovulation in women.
When prepared as a medical item, this hormone comes from a human origin. Although there is often a fear of biological origin products, there is little research to be found regarding pathogen or sterility problems with HCG. The problems seen with human origin growth hormone are certainly not to be repeated with HCG, as this compound is obtained in a much different way.
For intramuscular use only. The dosage regimen employed in any particular case will depend upon the indication for the use, the age and weight of the patient, and the physician’s preference. The following regimens have been advocated by various authorities:
Prepubertal cryptorchidism not due to anatomical obstruction. Therapy is usually instituted in children between the ages of 4 and 9.
Selected cases of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in males.
Induction of ovulation and pregnancy in the anovulatory, infertile woman in whom the cause of anovulation is secondary and not due to primary ovarian failure and who has been appropriately pretreated with human menotropins.
(See prescribing information for menotropins for dosage and administration for that drug product.)
5,000 to 10,000 USP Units one day following the last dose of menotropins. (A dosage of 10,000 USP Units is recommended in the labeling for menotropins.)
Directions for Reconstitution
Two-vial package: Withdraw sterile air from lyophilized vial and inject into diluent vial. Remove 1–10 mL from diluent and add to lyophilized vial; agitate gently until powder is completely dissolved in solution.
Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.
IMPORTANT: USE COMPLETELY AFTER RECONSTITUTION. RECONSTITUTED SOLUTION IS STABLE FOR 60 DAYS WHEN REFRIGERATED.
Stop using HCG and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these signs of a blood clot: pain, warmth, redness, numbness, or tingling in your arm or leg; confusion, extreme dizziness, or severe headache.
Some women using this medicine have developed a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), especially after the first treatment cycle. OHSS can be a life-threatening condition. Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of OHSS:
This medication can cause early puberty in young boys. Call your doctor if a boy using this medicine shows early signs of puberty, such as a deepened voice, pubic hair growth, and increased acne or sweating.
Less serious side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect.