Common IVF medication types in India


The most common treatment for ovulation disorders is medication, which is also an important part of in vitro fertilization (IVF). 

A patient’s IVF cycle usually begins with birth control for a few days, then injectable medication to stimulate ovaries and grow eggs, followed by a trigger shot and egg removal; this procedure helps the doctor to control the menstrual cycle throughout treatment. 

Unless there is a family history of ovarian cancer, IVF drugs used to prepare the uterus and stimulate the ovaries are not considered to carry any long-term risks of ovarian cancer. 

In this article, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai who is working with one of the best IVF centre in Mumbai will discuss everything you should know about IVF medications along with the possible side effects.

What is the mechanism of action of IVF medications? 

Women with ovulation disorders are usually treated with medications that induce ovulation. In addition to ovulation stimulants, a variety of other medications are used in in vitro fertilization (IVF). Fertility drugs function by triggering or regulating the release of hormones that cause or regulate ovulation. 

A patient will typically begin an IVF cycle by taking birth control for a few days to avoid ovulation too early in the treatment cycle. Following that, the patient would receive injectable medication to stimulate the ovaries and grow eggs, as well as a trigger shot. The physician will conduct an egg extraction when the eggs are ready to be obtained. 

What are the most popular IVF drugs in India? 

In the IVF method, a variety of fertility drugs are used, some of which are taken orally and others which are injected. The type and amount of medication used during IVF will be determined by the woman’s age, test results, and the relaxation protocol suggested by her doctor. 

A standard IVF treatment will include a combination of the drugs listed below. 

  • Pills for birth control: The pill aids in the regulation of menstrual cycles as well as the preparation of the reproductive system for IVF. 
  • Vitamins for expectant mothers: When a woman starts the process of successfully conceiving, we suggest taking a vitamin containing at least 400mg of folic acid. Please stay away from herbal supplements. 
  • Lupron (#1): This drug encourages the body to create more high-quality eggs. 
  • Ganirelx (Antagon): Ganirelx prevents premature ovulation. 
  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) injections stimulate follicle development in the ovaries. The following forms of FSH are often prescribed : Menopur, Gonal-F, Follistim, or Gonal-F. 
  • Doxycline is an antibiotic that is taken orally to treat infections, such as bacteria in sperm. It also lowers the risk of infection after the follicles are aspirated during egg retrieval. 
  • Novarel is an hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injection that is used to cause ovulation. When other drugs have failed to cause ovulation, Novarel is often used. 
  • Prednisone is a drug that is used to treat patients who have antisperm antibodies who have had several miscarriages. 
  • Progesterone is a steroid that helps the uterus prepare for embryo implantation by synchronizing the preparation of the uterine lining with the treatment period. 
  • Estrace (estrogen): Estrace is an estrogen supplement that can be administered orally or vaginally. 
  • Valium is a muscle relaxant and anti-anxiety drug that is given to patients before embryo transfer. 
  • A very small dosage Lupron is a drug that stimulates the ovaries before suppressing them and thereby preventing ovulation. 

How much do IVF drugs cost? 

Fertility drugs can be very costly. For the same drugs, we discovered a wide variety of prices paid by various pharmacies. As a result, comparison shopping can be advantageous to you. Mail-order specialty pharmacies and online stores, for example, are often less expensive than other alternatives. Check to see if the drug is available in generic form as in India now the Indian Central governments operate a lot of generic medicine shops in all cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore etc. Also check if the insurance will cover any of the costs. 

IVF drug risks and side effects 

The most serious side effect of IVF medications is ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which occurs when a woman’s ovaries are overstimulated by fertility drugs, causing them to produce more eggs than usual ovulation. The majority of OHSS cases are moderate, but some patients can have a serious reaction. 

Unless there is a family history of ovarian cancer, IVF drugs used to prepare the uterus and stimulate the ovaries are not considered to carry any long-term risks of ovarian cancer. 

Fertility medications have mild side effects that differ from patient to patient. These can include:

  • Stomach pains
  • Hot flushes
  • Mood swings
  • Heavy periods
  • Breast tenderness
  • Insomnia
  • Increased urination
  • Spotted vision
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Dizziness
  • Vaginal dryness