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What should I know about Follistim AQ Cartridge before using it?

Rachel Ashby, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Follistim is a hormonal medication used in the treatment of infertility and a few other reproductive problems. The drug is a recombinant form of human follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This is the hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain to signal the ovary to recruit and mature a follicle each month for ovulation. Infertility physicians often use this medication to promote the ovary to make more follicles then would happen in nature.  This mediation can be used in planned treatment cycles with sperm inseminations as well as with in vitro fertilization. The medication is delivered by injection under the skin (subcutaneous) typically daily for 1-2 weeks of the cycle. The most common risk factor is the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can cause enlarged ovaries with fluid retention in the abdomen and extremities. The use of this mediation must be carefully monitored with ultrasound and blood estrogen levels to help prevent this syndrome and for optimal success in fertility treatment.
Before using the Follistim AQ Cartridge (follitropin beta), you should know its use may result in multiple fetuses, which may increase risk for both the mother and fetuses. You need to discuss this possibility with your doctor and partner prior to use. Your fertility and that of your partner will need to be evaluated prior to use of Follistim AQ Cartridge. This drug cannot instigate ovulation in ovaries that are unable to produce an egg. If your partner cannot produce sperm, this drug cannot induce its production. You may not be able to use Follistim AQ Cartridge if you have cancer or tumors of the ovary, breast, hypothalamus, uterus, or pituitary gland; have adrenal dysfunction; have abnormal and undiagnosed vaginal bleeding; have a thyroid problem; have ovarian cysts or ovarian enlargement not related to polycystic ovary disease; or if you are pregnant. The cartridge combined with a pen device will help you self-administer premeasured doses of the drug at home.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.