General Practice 2022

Clomiphene (Clomid): what it is for, how to take it and side effects

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Clomiphene (Clomid): what it is for, how to take it and side effects
Clomiphene (Clomid): what it is for, how to take it and side effects

Clomiphene is a drug indicated for the treatment of female infertility in women who are unable to ovulate, as it stimulates the growth of eggs, allowing them to be released from the ovary to be fertilized.

This remedy may be indicated by the gynecologist after performing tests, in order to exclude other possible causes of infertility or, if they exist, they must be treated properly. See the main causes of female infertility.

Clomiphene can be found in pharmacies or drugstores, in the form of tablets containing 50 mg of clomiphene citrate, under the reference name Clomid, or as a similar Indux, purchased with a doctor's prescription.

What is it for

Clomiphene is indicated for the treatment of female infertility caused by the absence of ovulation, as it causes the pituitary gland in the brain to stimulate the release of hormones necessary for the growth of eggs, allowing them to be released from the ovary, to be fertilized. Ovulation usually occurs 6 to 12 days after drug administration.

In addition, clomiphene may also be indicated to stimulate egg production before performing artificial insemination or any other assisted reproduction technique. Check out the main assisted reproduction techniques.

How to take it

Treatment consists of 3 cycles, which can be done alternately or continuously, as directed by the gynecologist.

The recommended dose for the first treatment cycle is 1 tablet of 50 mg daily for 5 days.In women who do not menstruate, treatment can be started at any time in the menstrual cycle. If progesterone induction of menstruation is scheduled or if spontaneous menstruation occurs, clomiphene should be administered from the 5th day of the cycle onwards.

If ovulation occurs with these doses, it is not necessary to increase the dose for the next 2 cycles. If ovulation does not occur after the first treatment cycle, a second cycle with 100 mg daily for 5 days should be performed after 30 days of the previous treatment.

The maximum dose of clomiphene should not exceed 100 mg per day for a period of 5 days. Furthermore, it is not recommended to continue treatment after 3 cycles in women who did not ovulate while using clomiphene.

In case the woman becomes pregnant during treatment, the medication must be discontinued.

Possible side effects

The most common side effects that can occur during treatment with clomiphene are:

  • Heat waves;
  • Red face;
  • Visual changes, such as increased sensitivity to brightness, or seeing flashes of light;
  • Abdominal discomfort;
  • Pain in the breasts;
  • Insomnia;
  • Headache;
  • Dizziness;
  • Vertigo;
  • Increased urge to urinate and pain when urinating;
  • Endometriosis or exacerbation of pre-existing endometriosis;
  • Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Also, clomiphene can cause a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can be noticed through symptoms such as abdominal pain or bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid weight gain, especially in the face and belly, decreased or absent production of urine, pain when breathing, feeling short of breath, especially when lying down, or fast heartbeat.In the presence of these symptoms, treatment should be discontinued and medical help should be sought immediately or the nearest emergency room.

Who should not use

Clomiphene should not be used by people allergic to the components of the formula.

In addition, it should not be used during pregnancy, in people with a history of liver disease, hormone-dependent tumors, with abnormal uterine bleeding or of undetermined origin, ovarian cyst, except polycystic ovary, since that further dilatation of the cyst may occur, people with thyroid or adrenal dysfunction, and patients with intracranial organic damage such as a pituitary tumor.

In addition, clomiphene should not be used during pregnancy and lactation, in people with liver disease, hormone-dependent tumors, uterine bleeding of undetermined origin, thyroid or adrenal dysfunction, or intracranial organ damage, such as a pituitary tumor.

This remedy should also not be used by women with an ovarian cyst, other than a polycystic ovary, as further dilatation of the cyst may occur.

Can clomiphene be used by men?

Clomiphene has no indication approved by ANVISA for the treatment of infertility in men.

However, some studies [1, 2, 3] suggest that clomiphene citrate may lead to an increase in testosterone in men with low levels of this hormone, which which may benefit men with low sperm counts or who have infertility with an undefined cause.

However, more studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of clomiphene citrate for men, as well as safe doses. Therefore, the use of this drug by men should only be done if indicated by the doctor, after evaluating the causes of male infertility, testosterone hormone levels and the risks and benefits of treatment.See the main causes of male infertility and how to treat it.

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