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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl

Generic Name: human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (injectable) (Pronunciation: HUE man KORE ee ON ik goe NAD oh TRO pin)

What is HCG (Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl)?

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.

What are the possible side effects of HCG (Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl)?

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:

  • severe pelvic pain;
  • swelling of the hands or legs;
  • stomach pain and swelling;
  • shortness of breath;
  • weight gain;
  • diarrhea;
  • nausea or vomiting; or
  • urinating less than normal.

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:

  • headache;
  • feeling restless or irritable;
  • mild swelling or water weight gain;
  • depression;
  • breast tenderness or swelling; or
  • pain, swelling, or irritation where the injection is 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 is the most important information I should know about HCG (Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl)?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is given as an injection under the skin or into a muscle. If you use this medicine at home, your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will give you specific instructions on how and where to inject this medicine. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

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 symptoms of OHSS: severe pelvic pain, swelling of the hands or legs, stomach pain and swelling, shortness of breath, weight gain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and urinating less than normal.

HCG 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.

Using this medicine can increase your chances of having a multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc). A multiple pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy for the mother and for the babies. Follow your doctor's instructions about any special care you may need during your pregnancy.

Although HCG can help you become pregnant, this medication is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that using the medication once you are pregnant can cause birth defects in the baby. Do not use this medication if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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