Suprefact is a drug which has been designed to imitate the actions of natural GnRH or LGRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone). The medication is available in the following forms:
Suprefact contains Buserelin as the active ingredient which acts on your pituitary gland located in the brain; Buserelin is the man-made form of gonadorelin. The pituitary gland is responsible for the production and storage of hormones including reproductive hormones, for example, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The drug is used to:
- Treat endometriosis
- Manage prostate cancer in men
- Treat infertility especially during Suprefact IVF protocol
How the Medication Works to Treat Endometriosis and Prostate Cancer
Endometriosis is a condition in which a similar tissue to the endometrium (uterus lining) grows outside the womb such as, on the ovaries and fallopian tubes. The tissue is stimulated by estrogen. Suprefact Buserelin acts on the pituitary gland to stop the production of FSH and LH. In a woman, follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone triggers estrogen production by the ovaries as well as the menstrual cycle. Therefore, estrogen production is reduced and this improves signs and symptoms of endometriosis, which is a painful condition. Please take note, initially, Suprefact results to an increase of FSH and LH, consequently increasing estrogen production. The patient experiences extreme pain at first due to the rise of estrogen. Nonetheless, the continuous administration of this medication makes the pituitary gland lose sensitivity. Thus, minimal FSH and LH are released and estrogen production is stopped. Endometriosis treatment shouldn’t go beyond six months, although your doctor will advise on the period.
Men benefit from the drug as well. The growth of some prostate cancer is fueled by testosterone. The drug has effects on the pituitary gland in males as well. The reduction of FSH and LH lowers testosterone production; the tumors are deprived of testosterone, so the growth shrinks. At first, the testosterone levels may shoot up, worsening the symptoms and signs of cancer, for example, bone pain and urinary obstruction. If you are at risk of these symptoms, the medical care provider may put you on anti-cancer medicine referred to as anti-androgen to prevent this from happening; the anti-androgen is taken for five days before Suprefact is given and continued for three to four weeks of the therapy. If a man needs long-term control of prostate cancer, the physician may prescribe Suprefact depot implant. The doctor implants the depot under your skin into the abdominal wall; this is done every two to three months.
Use in IVF
The medication is used in fertility treatment. Women, who have been diagnosed with infertility due to ovulation disorders, may be given Suprefact. It may be used during in vitro fertilization, there are many different protocols used in IVF, the following is an example of long protocol:
- 1st step – The doctor will perform a physical examination on the couple, to come up with an individualized treatment plan. The fertility team will explain the fertility drugs which will be used for example Suprefact for IVF. You may be trained to self-administer the injections at home.
- 2nd step-You may be given birth control pills for some time to suppress the uterus lining and the ovaries in preparation for Suprefact IVF. One may undergo a sonohysterogram (SHG); the procedure is crucial to ensure the uterine cavity is healthy and free from fibroids, adhesion or other irregularities as they may prevent implantation or cause a miscarriage.
- 3rd step – The doctor starts you on Suprefact injections IVF, each shot is given daily to suppress the pituitary gland; this prevents the production of FSH and LH and the fertility expert has control of the ovaries and the uterus without interference from the pituitary gland. After receiving the injections for 7 to 10 days, the doctor will advise you stop taking the birth control pill. However, you will continue with Suprefact fertility therapy. After the pill, you will experience monthly periods. Ultrasound will be carried out to confirm no follicular cysts on the ovaries. Furthermore, estrogen levels will be checked through a blood test. All this is to ensure the ovaries are suppressed; if everything is as expected, you are ready for the stimulation phase.
- 4th stage-This stage is for ovulation induction. The patient will still be on Suprefact. Gonadotropin like Puregon, Bravelle or Menopur is given for follicle growth and development. Ultrasounds and blood test may be carried out at this stage to check the progress.
- 5th stage– once the follicles are ready, Suprefact and Menopur (or the medication prescribed) is stopped and HCG is given to trigger ovulation.
- 6th stage– after HCG injection, eggs are harvested for fertilization to take place in a laboratory dish.
- 7th stage – embryo transfer
For more information on IVF, refer to the fertility expert, the above steps are an overview of the process.
What Does This Medication Do in IVF?
From above, it’s evident that the medicine is important since it stops the natural production of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone; this allows the doctor to administer synthetic LH, FSH, and HCG in effective doses to stimulate ovulation artificially. However, be watchful for the Suprefact side effects IVF discussed in the next topic.
All medicines have possible side effects. Side effects of Suprefact are unwanted responses from the drug when taken in the prescribed dose. The negative effect may be severe or mild, permanent or temporal. The good thing is that the undesired effects are not experienced by everyone and some clear on their own if they occur. However, for the severe and persistent negative effect, it’s advisable to seek medical intervention. The following are Suprefact injections side effects to expect while on the drug:
- Back pain
- Redness, swelling, itching on the injection area
- Decreased libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness and swelling
- Bone pain
- Skin rash
- Trouble urinating
- Mood changes
The following are the side effects of Suprefact Nasal:
- Dry mouth
- Nose irritation
- Nose bleeding
- Runny nose
Contact the doctor for more information and remedies to manage the side effects.
Before you use the Suprefact, inform the physician about medical conditions (if any), existing allergies, medications you may be taking, if pregnant or breastfeeding and any important facts concerning your health; all these will be determinants if you can use the drug or not.