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What are the most common side effects of Puregon?

By Ana Mª Villaquirán Villalba.
Last Update: 09/25/2018

Puregon is a fertility drug used for ovarian stimulation in patients who undergo reproductive cycles. Its active ingredient is follitropin beta, a hormone known as Follicle-Stimulating Hormone or FSH. It is obtained using genetic engineering at the lab (FSHr).

The most common side effects in women (1 out of 10 women) are:

  • Reactions around the injection site: redness, bruising, swelling, pain, and itching
  • Headache, pelvic pain and/or stomachache
  • Bloating
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

These reactions are just transitory and not serious. OHSS, however, could lead to more severe complications if the egg retrieval procedure is not cancelled right after its detection. Thus, the most recommendable action in these cases is to cancel the cycle and wait until the next menstrual cycle starts, as by then OHSS will have fully disappeared.

Rare adverse reactions, those that affect 1 out of 100 women, are:

  • Breast discomforts: swelling, pain and/or breast engorgement
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache and nausea
  • Hypersensitivity reaction: skin rashes, redness, urticaria, and itching
  • Increased ovarian size
  • Ovarian cysts and/or ovarian torsion
  • Increased uterine size
  • Vaginal bleeding

One should note that, in case of noticing any of the above mentioned adverse reactions, she should visit her doctor as soon as possible.

Finally, as regards very rare reactions, that is, those that might occur in 1 out of every 1,000 women, we could mention thromboembolism or venous thrombus (PL thrombi) as consequences of severe OHSS. Both translate into the development of blood clots within blood vessels, which can lead to a heart attack in the worst-case scenario.

In males, Puregon can cause some side effects as well, including:

  • Injection site reactions: redness, bruising, swelling, pain, itching.
  • Headache
  • Acne and skin rashes
  • Gynecomastia: breast tissue swells in males
  • Testicular or epididymal cysts

Even though these side effects have been considered common, one should keep in mind that only a few studies have been conduced on males in comparison with females.

Suggested for you: Ovarian Stimulation Protocols for IVF – Process & Medications Used.

 Ana Mª Villaquirán Villalba
Ana Mª Villaquirán Villalba
MD, MSc
Gynecologist
Bachelor's Degree in Medicine from the University of Valle, Colombia. Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Master's Degree in Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia and IVI. Currently, she is the medical director of Tahe Fertilidad.
License: 303007571
Gynecologist. Bachelor's Degree in Medicine from the University of Valle, Colombia. Specialist in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Master's Degree in Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia and IVI. Currently, she is the medical director of Tahe Fertilidad. License: 303007571.
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