Cetrorelix (Subcutaneous)

Cetrorelix is a subcutaneous hormone used to help women achieve conception and pregnancy.

Overview

Commonly sold as Cetrotide, Cetrorelix is a synthetic hormone-blocker. It is a man-made hormone that blocks GnRH, or the Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone. It works by allowing the eggs more time to grow and mature before being released into the uterus for fertilization. This allows for a more successful rate of conception.

This drug is often used to treat women who are having difficulties conceiving but still want to create and deliver a child of their own. This drug should only be used as directed, and it is not a cure-all solution for infertility. It comes in a powder form, which is then dissolved into a solution and given via local injection. It should not be given into a vein, but injected safely under the skin.

A nurse may give you this injection, or she may show you how to do it yourself. If you are giving this injection at home, use proper procedure and dispose of any used needles safely. If you begin experiencing allergic reactions or severe side effects, stop using Cetrorelix immediately and call your doctor. If you believe your life is in danger, do not wait. Contact emergency services or seek medical attention.

If used as directed, Cetrorelix can be an invaluable medication. Speak to your doctor or infertility specialist if you are having trouble conceiving, and see if Cetrorelix is right for you.

Conditions Treated

  • Difficulties conceiving

Type of Medicine

  • Hormonal

Side Effects

Side effects may occur, especially if you are using Cetrorelix for the first time. Your body may need some time to adjust to the medication, but if your side effects become painful or allergic in nature, stop administering the drug and call your doctor.

While some people can use this drug with little to no side effects, some patients may react adversely. If you have had bad experiences with Cetrorelix in the past, do not try to re-start your prescription. Tell your doctor about your medication history, and try looking for other avenues of treatment.

Here is a list of common side effects, all of which are mild and often harmless:

  • Bruising or irritation at the injection site. Try changing the injection site every time to avoid aggravating any problem areas.
  • Headache
  • Nausea

Your doctor may give you tips on how to reduce these side effects or prescribe you a non-interactive drug as treatment. If your side effects persist and begin affecting your daily life, talk to your doctor to see if there's anything they can do.

If you experience allergy symptoms like persistent itching, burning, or pain, along with hives or trouble breathing, it may be a sign that you are allergic to Cetrorelix. Contact your doctor or medical help immediately.

Sometimes, side effects may be a symptom of a larger issue. If any of these listed side effects occur, contact your doctor and stop using Cetrorelix immediately:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decrease in urine
  • Swelling of the legs
  • Rapid weight gain and/or bloating
  • Frequent feelings of indigestion

These symptoms should be taken seriously and reported to your doctor. You are responsible for keeping track of how you react to medications outside of the doctor's office, so be aware of your own body. Keep a list of concerning side effects, and report them to your doctor on your next visit if you have questions. While many people do not experience issues while using Cetrorelix, every person is different. Be cautious, and remember that there are other avenues of treatment if Cetrorelix fails.

Dosage

Your treatment and dosage may change depending on your medical history and your doctor's recommendation. Always follow your doctor's orders when it comes to hormonal treatments, especially ones of this nature. If you have questions or concerns about its effectiveness, speak to your doctor personally. Do not try to change your dose without their approval. Doing so may reduce your likelihood of conception or seriously harm you.

The regular, base dose for Cetrorelix is 3mg injected under the skin on Day 7 of your menstrual cycle. To determine the days of your cycle, count the first day you see blood or experience cramping as Day 1. From there, count each day. Another dosage includes .25mg injected subcutaneously every day, starting on Day 5 or 6. This treatment can continue until HCG administration occurs.

If you are using Cetrorelix at home, make sure to throw out any used needles within the standard box. Do not just throw them in the trash. Contact medical centers to find out how to dispose of them, and look for turn-over programs. Only use Cetrorelix as directed, and never give it to anyone else.

Talk to your doctor about the details of your treatment, and always trust their advice over what you find on the internet. The above dosage is just there to give you insight into your treatment, and it should not be the basis for any of your medical decisions.

Major Drug Interactions

Some medications may affect how well Cetrorelix works for you. Keep track of all your medications, whether they are herbal, over the counter, or prescription. Do not leave anything out when talking to your doctor. They are the only one with the authority to tell you what is safe to take. Likewise, do not start any new medications while using Cetrorelix unless you have their approval. Taking extra medications recklessly may jeopardize your health or the effectiveness of your treatment.

Warnings

Do not use this drug for longer than you are told to do so. This drug is only meant to be used to conceive a child, and your treatment should not continue after you have become pregnant. If you use this drug during pregnancy, it may harm the child or cause birth defects. Be cautious of your menstrual cycles, and keep pregnancy tests on hand to judge your condition. If you believe you may be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately to confirm.

If you have kidney disease, tell your doctor before beginning this medication. If your kidneys fail to filter out this drug properly, it could increase or aggravate the side effects. Make sure to keep your doctor updated on how you feel while using this medication, and inform them of any changes in your condition. If your treatment begins to feel painful, or you experience severe or allergic side effects, stop taking this medication immediately. Continuing your treatment may harm your health or become fatal if you ignore your symptoms.

Storage

Cetrorelix may be given to your by a nurse or doctor during check-ups or visits. However, you may also choose to administer this drug yourself at home. A nurse will show you how to do it properly, and give you instructions on how and where to store this drug.

Cetrorelix should be stored in a refrigerator, and it should never be heated or exposed to heat. It will likely come in a carton to protect it from light. Do not freeze Cetrorelix. Exposing this drug to extreme temperatures may change how it works, its effects, or its effectiveness. Follow the instructions on how to throw away excess/expired Cetrorelix. Never give this drug to someone else for disposal, and look into hospital-authorized take-back programs.

This drug is given subcutaneously, which requires a needle. Needles should be handled carefully, and never thrown into the garbage. You may be given a box for needle disposal. if this box becomes full, call the given number for pick-up, or take it to the hospital for disposal. Keep the needle boxes out of reach, and do not let children or pets get a hold of them.

Never give your Cetrorelix prescription to anyone else, even if they have a condition similar to yours. Every instance of infertility is different, and they should speak to their doctor personally about their treatment if they are having problems conceiving. They may require a different treatment entirely, and giving them your medication may endanger both your conditions.

Summary

Cetrorelix can be a valuable tool in achieving pregnancy, especially if you or a loved one is having trouble conceiving. Your doctor may recommend this drug as a treatment in tandem with other hormonal drugs, and you will likely receive frequent check-ups and ultrasounds throughout the process. If the instructions are followed carefully, your chances of conceiving can be improved with the routine administration of this drug.

Use this medication responsibly, and report back to your doctor often. If you experience issues while using this drug, consider other avenues of treatment. Do not jeopardize your health for the sake of one treatment, as there are many other ways to treat this issue.

Talk to your doctor before using Cetrorelix, and make sure to ask them questions about how it works, what will happen, and what your treatment will be. Your doctor has your best interests in mind, and they will be sure to keep you updated on your condition.

Resources
Last Reviewed:
December 24, 2017
Last Updated:
April 04, 2018