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Generic Name: follicle stimulating hormone (FOL ik al STIM ue lay ting HOR mone)
Brand Name: Follistim AQ Cartridge, Gonal-F, Gonal-f RFF
Physician reviewed Gonal-F patient information - includes Gonal-F description, dosage and directions.
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Drug Information:
Gonal-F is used to treat infertility in women who cannot ovulate. Gonal-F is not effective in women with primary ovarian failure (when the ovaries are unable to produce an egg). Gonal-F is also used in men to stimulate sperm production. This medicine is not effective in men with primary testicular failure (when the testicles are unable to produce sperm). Gonal-F is often used together with another medication called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Gonal-F may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Learn more

Gonal-f Side Effects

Gonal-f Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about follicle stimulating hormone. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Gonal-f.

For the Consumer

Applies to follicle stimulating hormone: subcutaneous powder for solution, subcutaneous solution

Other dosage forms:

  • subcutaneous solution

Along with its needed effects, follicle stimulating hormone (the active ingredient contained in Gonal-f) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Stop taking follicle stimulating hormone and get emergency help immediately if any of the following effects occur:

  • Abdominal pain (severe), nausea, vomiting, and weight gain (rapid)

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking follicle stimulating hormone:

More common

For patients treated for female infertility or patients pretreated with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) undergoing assisted reproduction technologies (ART)

  • Abdominal bloating
  • diarrhea
  • flu or cold-like symptoms, such as body aches or pain, coughing, fever, headache, loss of voice, runny nose, and unusual tiredness or weakness
  • nausea
  • passing of gas
  • vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods

For patients treated for female infertility

  • Acne
  • breast pain or tenderness
  • mood swings

Less common

For patients treated for female infertility or patients pretreated with GnRHa undergoing ART

  • Dizziness
  • painful menstrual periods
  • redness, pain, or swelling at injection site
  • sleepiness
  • vaginal bleeding unrelated to menstrual periods (heavy)
  • white vaginal discharge

For patients treated for female infertility

  • Fainting
  • light-headedness
  • migraine headache
  • nervousness
  • stomach discomfort

For patients treated pretreated with a GnRHa undergoing ART

  • Fast, racing heartbeat
  • itching of skin
  • loss of appetite
  • thirst (unusual)

After you stop using this medicine, it may still produce some side effects that need attention. During this period of time, check with your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:

  • Abdominal pain (severe), nausea, vomiting, and weight gain (rapid)

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to follicle stimulating hormone: injectable powder for injection, injectable solution, subcutaneous powder for injection, subcutaneous solution


The most common adverse events were headache, ovarian cysts and local injection site reactions (e.g. pain, erythema, hematoma, swelling and/or irritation at the site of injection).


Very common (10% or more): Multiple births (up to 35.1%), ovarian cysts, mild to moderate ovarian enlargement

Common (1% to 10%): Mild or moderate OHSS (including symptomatology), intermenstrual bleeding, pelvic discomfort, ovarian hyperstimulation, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, gynecomastia (males), varicocele, epididymal cyst, vaginal hemorrhage, pelvic pain

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Severe OHSS (including symptomatology), breast complaints, metrorrhagia, ovarian cyst, ovarian enlargement, ovarian torsion, uterine enlargement, vaginal hemorrhage

Rare (less than 0.1%): Complications of severe OHSS, adnexal torsion associated with ovarian enlargement

Frequency not reported: Ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, multiple gestations

Postmarketing reports: Breast tenderness


Very common (10% or more): Abdominal pain (up to 23.2%), abdomen enlarged (13.9%)

Common (1% to 10%): Abdominal distension, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain lower, flatulence

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Swollen abdomen

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (up to 26.5%), dizziness

Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue


Very common (10% or more): Injection site reactions (e.g. pain, erythema, hematoma, swelling and/or irritation at the site of injection)


Common (1% to 10%): Acne, rash, dermoid cyst

Frequency not reported: Bruising, swelling, erythema, urticaria, pruritus


Common (1% to 10%): Weight gain


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Generalized hypersensitivity reaction

Very rare (less than 0.01%): Mild to severe hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylactic reactions and shock


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Thromboembolism, usually associated with severe OHSS


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pain, influenza-like symptoms


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Exacerbation or aggravation of asthma

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Gonal-f