- follitropin beta
POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Puregon 150 IU/0.18 mL solution for injectionOne cartridge contains a net total dose of 150 IU recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in 0.18 mL aqueous solution. The solution for injection contains the active substance follitropin beta, produced by genetic engineering of a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, in a concentration of 833 IU/mL aqueous solution. This strength corresponds to 83.3 microgram of protein / mL (specific in vivo bioactivity equal to approximately 10,000 IU FSH / mg protein).
Puregon 300 IU/0.36 mL solution for injectionOne cartridge contains a net total dose of 300 IU recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in 0.36 mL aqueous solution. The solution for injection contains the active substance follitropin beta, produced by genetic engineering of a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, in a concentration of 833 IU/mL aqueous solution. This strength corresponds to 83.3 microgram of protein / mL (specific in vivo bioactivity equal to approximately 10,000 IU FSH / mg protein).
Puregon 600 IU/0.72 mL solution for injectionOne cartridge contains a net total dose of 600 IU recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in 0.72 mL aqueous solution. The solution for injection contains the active substance follitropin beta, produced by genetic engineering of a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, in a concentration of 833 IU/mL aqueous solution. This strength corresponds to 83.3 microgram of protein / mL (specific in vivo bioactivity equal to approximately 10,000 IU FSH / mg protein).
Puregon 900 IU/1.08 mL solution for injectionOne cartridge contains a net total dose of 900 IU recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in 1.08 mL aqueous solution. The solution for injection contains the active substance follitropin beta, produced by genetic engineering of a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, in a concentration of 833 IU/mL aqueous solution. This strength corresponds to 83.3 microgram of protein / mL (specific in vivo bioactivity equal to approximately 10,000 IU FSH / mg protein).
Excipient(s) with known effect:This medicinal product contains less than 1 mmol sodium (23 mg) per injection, i.e. essentially 'sodium-free'.For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
In adult females:Puregon is indicated for the treatment of female infertility in the following clinical situations:• Anovulation (including polycystic ovarian syndrome, PCOS) in women who have been unresponsive to treatment with clomifene citrate.• Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation to induce the development of multiple follicles in medically assisted reproduction programs [e.g. in vitro fertilisation/embryo transfer (IVF/ET), gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)].
In adult males:• Deficient spermatogenesis due to hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism.
Dosage in the femaleThere are great inter- and intra-individual variations in the response of the ovaries to exogenous gonadotrophins. This makes it impossible to set a uniform dosage scheme. The dosage should, therefore, be adjusted individually depending on the ovarian response. This requires ultrasound assessment of follicular development. The concurrent determination of serum oestradiol levels may also be useful.When using the pen-injector, it should be realised that the pen is a precision device which accurately delivers the dose to which it is set. It was shown that on average an 18% higher amount of FSH is given with the pen compared with a conventional syringe. This may be of particular relevance when switching between the pen-injector and a conventional syringe within one treatment cycle. Especially when switching from a syringe to the pen, small dose adjustments may be needed to prevent too high a dose being given.Based on the results of comparative clinical studies, it is considered appropriate to give a lower total dosage of Puregon over a shorter treatment period than generally used for urinary FSH, not only in order to optimise follicular development but also to reduce the risk of unwanted ovarian hyperstimulation (see section 5.1).Clinical experience with Puregon is based on up to three treatment cycles in both indications. Overall experience with IVF indicates that in general the treatment success rate remains stable during the first four attempts and gradually declines thereafter.• AnovulationA sequential treatment scheme is recommended starting with daily administration of 50 IU Puregon. The starting dose is maintained for at least seven days. If there is no ovarian response, the daily dose is then gradually increased until follicle growth and/or plasma oestradiol levels indicate an adequate pharmacodynamic response. A daily increase of oestradiol levels of 40-100% is considered to be optimal. The daily dose is then maintained until pre-ovulatory conditions are reached. Pre-ovulatory conditions are reached when there is ultrasonographic evidence of a dominant follicle of at least 18 mm in diameter and/or when plasma oestradiol levels of 300-900 picograms/mL (1,000-3,000 pmol/L) are attained. Usually, 7 to 14 days of treatment is sufficient to reach this state. The administration of Puregon is then discontinued and ovulation can be induced by administering human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). If the number of responding follicles is too high or oestradiol levels increase too rapidly, i.e. more than a daily doubling for oestradiol for two or three consecutive days, the daily dose should be decreased. Since follicles of over 14 mm may lead to pregnancies, multiple pre-ovulatory follicles exceeding 14 mm carry the risk of multiple gestations. In that case hCG should be withheld and pregnancy should be avoided to prevent multiple gestations.• Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in medically assisted reproduction programsVarious stimulation protocols are applied. A starting dose of 100-225 IU is recommended for at least the first four days. Thereafter, the dose may be adjusted individually, based upon ovarian response. In clinical studies it was shown that maintenance dosages ranging from 75-375 IU for six to twelve days are sufficient, although longer treatment may be necessary. Puregon can be given either alone, or, to prevent premature luteinisation, in combination with a GnRH agonist or antagonist. When using a GnRH agonist, a higher total treatment dose of Puregon may be required to achieve an adequate follicular response. Ovarian response is monitored by ultrasound assessment. The concurrent determination of serum oestradiol levels may also be useful. When ultrasound assessment indicates the presence of at least three follicles of 16-20 mm, and there is evidence of a good oestradiol response (plasma levels of about 300-400 picograms/mL (1,000-1,300 pmol/L) for each follicle with a diameter greater than 18 mm), the final phase of maturation of the follicles is induced by administration of hCG. Oocyte retrieval is performed 34-35 hours later.
Dosage in the malePuregon should be given at a dosage of 450 IU/week, preferably divided in 3 dosages of 150 IU, concomitantly with hCG. Treatment with Puregon and hCG should be continued for at least 3 to 4 months before any improvement in spermatogenesis can be expected. To assess the response, semen analysis is recommended 4 to 6 months after the beginning of treatment. If a patient has not responded after this period, the combination therapy may be continued; current clinical experience indicates that treatment for up to 18 months or longer may be necessary to achieve spermatogenesis.
Paediatric populationThere is no relevant use of Puregon in the paediatric population for the approved indication.
Method of administrationPuregon solution for injection in cartridges has been developed for use in the Puregon Pen and should be administered subcutaneously. The injection site should be alternated to prevent lipoatrophy.Using the pen, injection of Puregon can be carried out by the patient, provided that proper instructions are given by the physician.
For males and females• Hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.• Tumours of the ovary, breast, uterus, testis, pituitary or hypothalamus.• Primary gonadal failure
Additionally for females• Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.• Ovarian cysts or enlarged ovaries, not related to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).• Malformations of the reproductive organs incompatible with pregnancy.• Fibroid tumours of the uterus incompatible with pregnancy.
Antibiotic hypersensitivity reactions• Puregon may contain traces of streptomycin and/or neomycin. These antibiotics may cause hypersensitivity reactions in susceptible persons.
Infertility evaluation before starting treatment• Before starting treatment, the couple's infertility should be assessed as appropriate. In particular, patients should be evaluated for hypothyroidism, adrenocortical insufficiency, hyperprolactinemia and pituitary or hypothalamic tumours, and appropriate specific treatment given.
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)OHSS is a medical event distinct from uncomplicated ovarian enlargement. Clinical signs and symptoms of mild and moderate OHSS are abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, mild to moderate enlargement of ovaries and ovarian cysts. Severe OHSS may be life-threatening. Clinical signs and symptoms of severe OHSS are large ovarian cysts, acute abdominal pain, ascites, pleural effusion, hydrothorax, dyspnoea, oliguria, haematological abnormalities and weight gain. In rare instances, venous or arterial thromboembolism may occur in association with OHSS. Transient liver function test abnormalities suggestive of hepatic dysfunction with or without morphologic changes on liver biopsy have also been reported in association with OHSS.OHSS may be caused by administration of human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) and by pregnancy (endogenous hCG). Early OHSS usually occurs within 10 days after hCG administration and may be associated with an excessive ovarian response to gonadotropin stimulation. Late OHSS occurs more than 10 days after hCG administration, as a consequence of the hormonal changes with pregnancy. Because of the risk of developing OHSS, patients should be monitored for at least two weeks after hCG administration.Women with known risk factors for a high ovarian response may be especially prone to the development of OHSS during or following treatment with Puregeon. For women having their first cycle of ovarian stimulation, for whom risk factors are only partially known, close observation for early signs and symptoms of OHSS is recommended.To reduce the risk of OHSS, ultrasonographic assessments of follicular development should be performed prior to treatment and at regular intervals during treatment. The concurrent determination of serum oestradiol levels may also be useful. In ART there is an increased risk of OHSS with 18 or more follicles of 11 mm or more in diameter. When there are 30 or more follicles in total it is advised to withhold hCG administration.Depending on the ovarian response, the following measurements can be considered to reduce OHSS: - withhold further stimulation with a gonadotropin for a maximum of 3 days (coasting); - withhold hCG and cancel the treatment cycle;- administer a dose lower than 10,000 IU of urinary hCG for triggering final oocyte maturation, e.g. 5,000 IU urinary hCG or 250 micrograms rec-hCG (which is equivalent to approximately 6,500 IU of urinary hCG);- cancel the fresh embryo transfer and cryopreserve embryos;- avoid administration of hCG for luteal phase support.If OHSS develops, standard and appropriate management of OHSS should be implemented and followed.
Multiple PregnancyMultiple pregnancies and births have been reported for all gonadotropin treatments, including Puregon. Multiple gestation, especially high order, carries an increased risk of adverse maternal (pregnancy and delivery complications) and perinatal (low birth weight) outcomes. For anovulatory women undergoing ovulation induction, monitoring follicular development with transvaginal ultrasonography may aid in determining whether or not to continue the cycle in order to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies. The concurrent determination of serum oestradiol levels may also be useful.The patients should be advised of the potential risks of multiple births before starting treatment.In women undergoing Assisted Reproduction Technologies (ART) procedures, the risk of a multiple pregnancy is mainly related to the number of embryos transferred. When used for an ovulation induction cycle, appropriate FSH dose adjustment(s) should prevent multiple follicle development.
Ectopic PregnancyInfertile women undergoing ART have an increased incidence of ectopic pregnancies. Early ultrasound confirmation that a pregnancy is intrauterine is therefore important.
Spontaneous AbortionRates of pregnancy loss in women undergoing assisted reproduction techniques are higher than in the normal population.
Vascular ComplicationsThromboembolic events, both in association with and separate from OHSS, have been reported following treatment with gonadotropins, including Puregon. Intravascular thrombosis, which may originate in venous or arterial vessels, can result in reduced blood flow to vital organs or the extremities. In women with generally recognised risk factors for thromboembolic events, such as a personal or family history, severe obesity or thrombophilia, treatment with gonadotropins, including Puregon, may further increase this risk. In these women the benefits of gonadotropin administration, including Puregon, need to be weighed against the risks. It should be noted, however, that pregnancy itself also carries an increased risk of thrombosis.
Congenital MalformationsThe incidence of congenital malformations after ART may be slightly higher than after spontaneous conceptions. This is thought to be due to differences in parental characteristics (e.g., maternal age, sperm characteristics) and multiple gestations.
Ovarian TorsionOvarian torsion has been reported after treatment with gonadotropins, including Puregon. Ovarian torsion may be associated with other risk factors such as OHSS, pregnancy, previous abdominal surgery, past history of ovarian torsion, previous or current ovarian cyst and polycystic ovaries. Damage to the ovary due to reduced blood supply can be limited by early diagnosis and immediate detorsion.
Ovarian and Other Reproductive System NeoplasmsThere have been reports of ovarian and other reproductive system neoplasms, both benign and malignant, in women who have undergone multiple treatment regimens for infertility treatment. It is not established whether or not treatment with gonadotrophins increases the risk of these tumours in infertile women.
Other Medical ConditionsMedical conditions that contraindicate pregnancy should also be evaluated before starting treatment with Puregon.
Primary Testicular FailureElevated endogeneous FSH levels in men are indicative of primary testicular failure. Such patients are unresponsive to Puregon/hCG therapy.
FertilityPuregon is used in the treatment of women undergoing ovarian induction or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in assisted reproduction programmes. In males Puregon is used in the treatment of deficient spermatogenesis due to hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism. For posology and method of administration, see section 4.2.
PregnancyThe use of Puregon during pregnancy is not indicated. In case of inadvertent exposure during pregnancy, clinical data are not sufficient to exclude a teratogenic effect of recombinant FSH. However, to date, no particular malformative effect has been reported. No teratogenic effect has been observed in animal studies.
Breast-feedingThere is no information available from clinical or animal studies on the excretion of follitropin beta in milk. It is unlikely that follitropin beta is excreted in human milk due to its high molecular weight. If follitropin beta would be excreted in human milk, it would be degraded in the gastrointestinal tract of the child. Follitropin beta may affect milk production.
Treatment of females:In approximately 4% of the women treated with follitropin beta in clinical trials, signs and symptoms related to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) have been reported (see section 4.4). Adverse reactions related to this syndrome include pelvic pain and/or congestion, abdominal pain and/or distension, breast complaints and ovarian enlargement.The table below lists the adverse reactions with follitropin beta reported in clinical trials in females, according to system organ class and frequency; common (≥ 1/100 to < 1/10), uncommon (≥ 1/1,000 to < 1/100).
|Nervous system disorders||Common||Headache|
|Gastrointestinal disorders||Common||Abdominal distension Abdominal pain|
|Uncommon||Abdominal discomfort Constipation Diarrhoea Nausea|
|Reproductive system and breast disorders||Common||OHSS Pelvic pain|
|Uncommon||Breast complaints1 Metrorrhagia Ovarian cyst Ovarian enlargement Ovarian torsion Uterine enlargement Vaginal haemorrhage|
|General disorders and administration site conditions||Common||Injection site reaction2|
|Uncommon||Generalised hypersensitivity reaction3|
Treatment of males:The table below lists the adverse reactions with follitropin beta reported in a clinical trial in males (30 patients dosed), according to system organ class and frequency; common (≥ 1/100 to < 1/10).
|Nervous system disorders||Common||Headache|
|Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders||Common||Acne Rash|
|Reproductive system and breast disorders||Common||Epididymal cyst Gynaecomastia|
|General disorders and administration site conditions||Common||Injection site reaction2|
Reporting of suspected adverse reactionsReporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
Mechanism of ActionFSH is indispensable in normal follicular growth and maturation, and gonadal steroid production. In the female the level of FSH is critical for the onset and duration of follicular development, and consequently for the timing and number of follicles reaching maturity. Puregon can thus be used to stimulate follicular development and steroid production in selected cases of disturbed gonadal function. Furthermore Puregon can be used to promote multiple follicular development in medically assisted reproduction programs [e.g. in vitro fertilisation/embryo transfer (IVF/ET), gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)]. Treatment with Puregon is generally followed by administration of hCG to induce the final phase of follicle maturation, resumption of meiosis and rupture of the follicle.
Clinical Efficacy and SafetyIn clinical studies comparing recFSH (follitropin beta) and urinary FSH for controlled ovarian stimulation in women participating in an assisted reproduction technology (ART) program and for ovulation induction (see tables 1 and 2 below), Puregon was more potent than urinary FSH in terms of a lower total dose and a shorter treatment period needed to trigger follicular maturation.For controlled ovarian stimulation, Puregon resulted in a higher number of oocytes retrieved at a lower total dose and with a shorter treatment period, when compared to urinary FSH.Table 1: Results of study 37,608 (randomized, group comparative clinical study comparing safety and efficacy of Puregon with urinary FSH in controlled ovarian stimulation).
|Puregon(n = 546)||u-FSH(n = 361)|
|Mean no. of oocytes retrieved||10.84*||8.95|
|Mean total dose (no. of 75 IU ampoules)||28.5*||31.8|
|Mean duration of FSH stimulation (days)||10.7*||11.3|
|Puregon(n = 105)||u-FSH(n = 66)|
|Mean no. of follicles||≥ 12 mm||3.6*||2.6|
|≥ 15 mm||2.0||1.7|
|≥ 18 mm||1.1||0.9|
|Median total dose (IU)a||750*||1,035|
|Median duration of treatment (days)a||10.0*||13.0|
AbsorptionAfter subcutaneous administration of Puregon, maximum concentration of FSH is reached within about 12 hours. Due to the sustained release from the injection site and the elimination half-life of about 40 hours (ranging from 12 to 70 hours), FSH levels remain increased for 24-48 hours. Due to the relatively long elimination half-life, repeated administration of the same dose will lead to plasma concentrations of FSH that are approximately 1.5-2.5 times higher than after single dose administration. This increase enables therapeutic FSH concentrations to be reached.The absolute bioavailability of subcutaneously administered Puregon is approximately 77%.
Distribution, biotransformation and eliminationRecombinant FSH is biochemically very similar to urinary human FSH and is distributed, metabolised, and excreted in the same way.
Puregon 150 IU/0.18 mL solution for injection0.18 mL of solution in 1.5 mL cartridge (type I glass) with a grey rubber piston and an aluminium crimp-cap with a rubber inlay.Pack of 1 cartridge and 3 needles to be used with the Puregon Pen. Cartridges contain a minimum of 225 IU FSH activity in 0.270 mL aqueous solution, which is sufficient for a net total dose of 150 IU.
Puregon 300 IU/0.36 mL solution for injection0.36 mL of solution in 1.5 mL cartridge (type I glass) with a grey rubber piston and an aluminium crimp-cap with a rubber inlay.Pack of 1 cartridge and 6 needles to be used with the Puregon Pen. Cartridges contain a minimum of 400 IU FSH activity in 0.480 mL aqueous solution, which is sufficient for a net total dose of 300 IU.
Puregon 600 IU/0.72 mL solution for injection0.72 mL of solution in 1.5 mL cartridge (type I glass) with a grey rubber piston and an aluminium crimp-cap with a rubber inlay. Pack of 1 cartridge and 6 needles to be used with the Puregon Pen.Cartridges contain a minimum of 700 IU FSH activity in 0.840 mL aqueous solution, which is sufficient for a net total dose of 600 IU.
Puregon 900 IU/1.08 mL solution for injection1.08 mL of solution in 1.5 mL cartridge (type I glass) with a grey rubber piston and an aluminium crimp-cap with a rubber inlay. Pack of 1 cartridge and 9 needles to be used with the Puregon Pen. Cartridges contain a minimum of 1,025 IU FSH activity in 1.230 mL aqueous solution, which is sufficient for a net total dose of 900 IU.
Puregon 150 IU/0.18 mL solution for injectionEU/1/96/008/040
Puregon 300 IU/0.36 mL solution for injectionEU/1/96/008/038
Puregon 600 IU/0.72 mL solution for injectionEU/1/96/008/039
Puregon 900 IU/1.08 mL solution for injectionEU/1/96/008/041