What is HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) used for?
HCG is commonly 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, which may result from a pituitary gland disorder.
How should I take HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?
Use HCG exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
HCG is given as an injection under the skin or into a muscle. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may be shown how to inject your medicine at home. 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.
Use each disposable needle only one time. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it).
Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or the liquid has any particles in it.
How do I store HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?
HCG is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store HCG in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of HCG that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush HCG down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of HCG or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
Using HCG 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.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category X, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?
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
- Nausea or vomiting
- 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.
Less serious side effects may include:
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Mild swelling or water weight gain
- Breast tenderness or swelling
- Pain, swelling, or irritation where the injection is given
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?
HCG may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Medications that may interact with this drug are:
- Antagon (ganirelix)
- Follicle stimulating hormone / ganirelix
- Follistim / Antagon (follicle stimulating hormone / ganirelix)
Does food or alcohol interact with HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?
HCG may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?
HCG may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.
What is the dose of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) for an adult?
For Ovulation Induction:
Ovulation Induction (if the cause of anovulation is secondary and not due to primary ovarian failure):
- Chorionic gonadotropin: 5000 to 10,000 units IM one day following last day of menotropins.
- Recombinant chorionic gonadotropin: 250 mcg subcutaneously one day following last dose of follicle-stimulating agent.
For Hypogonadism – Male:
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (secondary to a pituitary deficiency):
- 500 to 1000 units IM three times a week for 3 weeks followed by the same dose twice a week for 3 weeks or,
4000 units IM three times a week for 6 to 9 months followed by 2000 units three times a week for an additional 3 months.
What is the dose of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) for a child?
For Prepubertal Cryptorchidism:
Prepubertal cryptorchidism (usually between ages of 4 and 9 years and not due to anatomical obstruction):
- 4000 units IM three times a week for 3 weeks
- 5000 units IM on every other day for four injections
- 500 to 1000 units IM for 15 injections over a period of 6 weeks
- 500 units three times a week for 4 to 6 weeks; if not successful, may repeat series at 1000 unit dosage one month later
How is HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) available?
HCG is available in the following strengths:
- Injection 5000 units; 10000 units; 20000 units; recombinant 250 mcg; recombinant 250 mcg/0.5 Ml
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of HCG, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 4, 2017 | Last Modified: September 2, 2017