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Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (injectable)

Generic name: human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (injectable) [HUE-man-KORE-ee-ON-ok-goe-AND-doh-TRO-pin]

Brand names: Novarel, Ovidrel, Pregnyl, A.P.L., Profasi
Dosage Forms: intramuscular injection powder (10000 units or 5000 units), subcutaneous solutions (recombinant 25 mcg/0.5 mL).
Drug class: gonadotropins

What is HCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone used to induce ovulation in women and treat infertility. Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone, is ineffective for women with primary ovarian failure.HCG can be used on men for hypogonadism. This is a condition where the body doesn't produce enough testosterone.HCG can also be used to treat young boys who have testicles that are not descending (falling) into the scrotum during normal growth. This condition is treated with HCG in boys aged 4 to 9.HCG has not been approved by the FDA as a weight-loss aid. It is also not proven to be any more effective than cutting calories from your diet.This medication guide does not list all possible uses of HCG.

Side effects of HCG

If you experience any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention: difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the face, lips, or throat.Some women who take this medication develop ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a potentially fatal condition. If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult with a physician immediately:

  • Severe abdominal pain or pelvic discomfort
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in the abdomen, and shortness of breath
  • Vomiting and diarrhea are symptoms of severe nausea.
  • Little or no urination.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) may cause serious side effects. If you experience:

  • Fluid buildup around the lungs and stomach—rapidly gaining weight, stomach pain, bloating or pain when breathing, feeling out of breath lying down, a cough that is foamy, rapid heartbeats
  • Signs of a blood clot: sudden numbness, weakness, or pain on one side; chest pain; difficulty with speech or vision; or pain in the leg.
  • Early puberty among boys: enlarged testicles, penis, and facial hair

Some of the common side effects associated with human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) include:

  • Headache, depression;
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Swelling;
  • Breast tenderness, or swelling, is a sign of breast tissue.
  • Pain where the medication was injected.

There may be other side effects. For medical advice on side effects, call your doctor. Contact the FDA by dialing 1-800-FDA-1088 in order to report side effects.


HCG may cause serious side effects. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience: severe abdominal pain or bloating; swelling; rapid weight gain; chest pain; or difficulty breathing.

Before you take this drug

HCG should not be used if:

  • Early puberty (premature puberty)
  • Hormone-related cancer, such as prostate cancer.

If you are:

  • Uncontrolled thyroid or adrenal gland disorder;
  • Undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding;
  • An ovarian cyst
  • Cancer or tumors of the breast, prostate, hypothalamus, or pituitary

Tell your doctor about any of the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • You may have thyroid or adrenal gland problems.
  • Epilepsy;
  • Migraine is a common condition.

Can harm an unborn child. If you are pregnant, do not use this product. You may have to take a pregnancy test first. If you fall pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.Multiple births (twins or triplets) can be a result of fertility treatment. Both the mother and her babies are at high risk during these pregnancies. Speak to your doctor about the risk if you are concerned.A doctor can tell you if it's safe to breastfeed when using human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).

How to take HCG?

Read all instructions or guides that come with your medication and follow all directions. Follow the directions on the label.HCG should not be used daily. The condition you're treating will determine how often you should use HCG. Medical tests may be required to determine the length of time you should use HCG.HCG can be injected under or into the skin. If you are unsure how to use the injection, ask your pharmacist or doctor.Make sure you know how to mix the medicine properly with a liquid, if necessary.Certain medical tests can be affected by this medicine. You should tell any doctor that treats you about your HCG use.Keep unmixed diluent and HCG at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.Keep it mixed in the fridge. Use mixed NOVAREL within 30 days. Use mixed pregnyl for 60 days. If the color of your medicine has changed or if it has particles, call your pharmacist.

Storing a prefilled Ovidrel syringe:

  • Use within the expiry date.
  • Use within 30 days. Store it at room temperature.

Follow the instructions on mixing, storing, and expiration that are included with the HCG brand you use.After one use, throw away the prefilled syringe, even if it still contains medicine.Never reuse a syringe or needle. Put them in a "sharps container" that is puncture-proof, and dispose of the sharps according to local or state laws. Keep away from children and pets.

What happens if I miss the dose?

If you miss a dosage, call your doctor to get instructions.

What happens if I overdose?

Call 1-800-222-1222 for poison help or seek immediate medical attention.

What should be avoided?

If your doctor prescribes any restrictions regarding food, beverage, or activity, follow their instructions.

Interaction with other drug

HCG can be affected by other drugs, such as vitamins and herbal supplements. Inform your doctor of all the other medications you take.