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Follistim AQ

Follistim Side Effects Center

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Last reviewed on RxList 12/11/2015

Follistim AQ (follitropin beta injection) contains follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), a naturally occurring hormone and is used to stimulate a follicle (egg) to develop and mature. Follistim AQ is used when a woman desires pregnancy and her ovaries can produce a follicle but hormonal stimulation is not sufficient to make the follicle mature. Follistim AQ is also used to stimulate the development of multiple eggs for in vitro fertilization, and can be used by men to increase the production of sperm. Common side effects of Follistim AQ include headache, stomach pain, bloating, nausea, injection site reactions (redness, pain, bruising, or irritation), breast tenderness or pain or swelling, dizziness, numbness or tingly feeling, pelvic pain/discomfort or tenderness, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, acne, or skin rash.

A starting dose of 150 to 225 IU of Follistim AQ is recommended for at least the first four days of treatment. After this, the dose may be adjusted for the individual patient based upon their ovarian response. It is unknown if other medications will interact with Follistim AQ. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Stop using Follistim AQ when you become pregnant. This medication must not be used during pregnancy. If you think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the possible harm to a nursing infant, consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Follistim AQ (follitropin beta injection) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

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 Patient Information in Detail?

Easy-to-read and understand detailed drug information and pill images for the patient or caregiver from Cerner Multum.

Follistim in Detail - Patient Information: Side Effects

Some women using this medicine have developed a sudden buildup of fluid in the stomach or chest area. This condition is called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), and can be a life-threatening. Avoid having sex and call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms of OHSS:

  • severe pain in your lower stomach;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating;
  • feeling short of breath;
  • swelling in your hands or legs;
  • weight gain;
  • urinating less than usual.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using follicle stimulating hormone and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body);
  • pain, swelling, warmth, or redness in your arms or legs; or
  • severe pelvic pain on one side.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • mild nausea or stomach pain;
  • mild numbness or tingly feeling;
  • mild pelvic pain, tenderness, or discomfort;
  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat;
  • breast swelling or tenderness;
  • acne;
  • mild skin rash; or
  • pain, bruising, redness, or irritation where the injection was 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.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Follistim (Follitropin Beta)

What is Patient Information Overview?

A concise overview of the drug for the patient or caregiver from First DataBank.

Follistim Overview - Patient Information: Side Effects

SIDE EFFECTS: Headache, stomach pain, bloating, redness/pain at the injection site, breast tenderness/pain, and dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these serious side effects occur: flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, muscle aches, tiredness), swelling of ankles/hands/feet, bleeding from the vagina.

Seek immediate medical attention if any of these unlikely but very serious side effects occur: weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, vision changes, sudden severe headache, pain/swelling of the calf muscles, chest pain, rapid breathing.

This medication may cause a condition known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This condition may occur during therapy or after treatment has been discontinued. Rarely, serious OHSS causes fluid to suddenly build up in the stomach, chest, and heart area. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop the following side effects: severe pain or swelling in the lower abdominal (pelvic) area, nausea/vomiting, sudden/rapid weight gain, or a change in the amount of urine.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Read the entire patient information overview for Follistim (Follitropin Beta)

What is Prescribing information?

The FDA package insert formatted in easy-to-find categories for health professionals and clinicians.

Follistim FDA Prescribing Information: Side Effects
(Adverse Reactions)


Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

Rates of adverse events from a randomized, assessor-blind, group comparative, multicenter safety and efficacy study of Follistim®in 989 infertile women treated with in vitro fertilization with Follistim®or urofollitropin after pituitary suppression with a GnRH agonist are summarized in Table 5.

Table 5. Incidence of Adverse Clinical Experiences ( > 1%)

Adverse Event Follistim® (n=591)
Miscarriage 11.0%
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome 5.2%
Ectopic pregnancy 3.0%
Abdominal pain 2.5%
Injection site pain 1.7%
Vaginal hemorrhage 1.5%

Ovulation Induction

Rates of adverse events from a randomized, assessor-blind, group comparative, multi-center safety and efficacy study of Follistim® in 172 chronic anovulatory women who failed to ovulate and/or conceive during clomiphene citrate treatment are summarized in Table 6.

Table 6. Incidence of Adverse Clinical Experiences ( > 1%)

Adverse Event Follistim® (n=105)
Miscarriage 9.5%
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome 7.6%
Abdominal discomfort 2.9%
Abdominal pain, lower 2.9%
Abdominal pain 1.9%
Ovarian cyst 2.9%

The following adverse events have been reported in women treated with gonado tropins: pulmonary and vascular complications (see WARNINGS), hemoperitoneum, adnexal torsion (as a complication of ovarian enlargement), dizziness, tachycardia, dyspnea, tachypnea, febrile reactions, flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, mus culoskeletal aches, joint pains, nausea, headache and malaise, breast tenderness, and dermatological symptoms (dry skin, erythema, body rash, hair loss, and hives)

There have been infrequent reports of ovarian neoplasms, both benign and malig nant, in women who have undergone multiple drug regimens for ovulation induction; however, a causal relationship has not been established.

Congenital Anomalies

The incidence of congenital malformations after Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) may be slightly higher than after spontaneous conception. This slightly higher incidence is thought to be related to differences in parental characteristics (e.g., maternal age, sperm characteristics) and to the higher incidence of multiple gestations after ART. There are no indications that the use of gonadotropins during ART is associated with an increased risk of congenital malformations.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

There have been no reports of abuse or dependence with Follistim® AQ (follitropin beta) (follitropin beta injection).

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Follistim (Follitropin Beta)

Follistim AQ - User Reviews

Follistim AQ User Reviews

Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.

Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Follistim AQ sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

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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