Repro cocktails, anyone?

The doctor doesn’t want to do more tests right now. He wants to try a combo of Femara (Letrazole) and Follistim (an injectable). Fertility bloggers, spill what you know. Anyone been on this combo? Know anything about it? I’ve heard a little about Letrazole, and I’m currently freaking out over the fact that this is not an FDA-approved use for it (it’s a breast cancer drug) and that it has been linked with birth defects (although that seems to be only if it’s taken while actually pregnant), but so far it looks a little lessy scary than Clomid. I know nothing about Follistim yet, but I’m sure by the end of the weekend, I’ll have corrected that. This new regimen will come with extra monitoring– 2-3 u/s and one estrogen check. The estrogen level (post meds) is supposed to tell us something about the quality –instead of just the size–of the follicles we’re getting.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Repro cocktails, anyone?

  1. Co

    I’ve been told that Femara carries fewer risks than Clomid. Not sure why you need both Femara and Follistim. But I’ve heard that Follistim has fewer side effects than Clomid, too.

    Good luck. I may be going on Follistim shortly.

  2. Follistim would just be FSH wouldn’t it? I had that on my last (succesful) cycle instead of the clomid and it was so much better for side effects. Interestingly, I had less of a reaction to the injectable than the clomid and only produced one egg that cycle, whereas on the clomid I was producing 3 a month and that’s on a half a dose. I have heard of people being on the oral drugs and the injectables when they have a poor response to only one or the other. They work in different ways so maybe it helps to have the two actions if you’re a poor responder?

  3. Can’t add much, but keep us updated because we are slowly but surely headed down that path!

  4. OK. Now that the comments seem to have straightened themselves out–

    It looks as though it’s becoming common for docs to prescribe a drug like Clomid or Femara in tandem with a gonadotropin (like the Follistim). The Femara works on the brain in the same way that the Clomid does– blocking the estrogen receptors so that you produce more FSH and LH to catch up b/c your body thinks you’re behind on estrogen production. The Follistim does the same thing, but it interacts directly with ovarian tissue. Doctors seem to prescribe less of each drug when they’re used together, and it’s supposedly more cost-effective b/c the Follistim is a pretty expensive drug. I haven’t gotten my script yet (coming snail mail–hopefully today), so I’m not sure how much it’s going to cost us. I know that our insurance covers some preparations of Follistim but not every preparation. For instance, they don’t cover the pen or the cartridges. If the doc prescribed the pen, I might be asking for them to rewrite for the less convenient but covered vials for use with a regular subcutaneous needle.

    I am so not looking forward to belly shots. 😦

  5. Well, this stuff sure can get complicated, can’t it?

    I was told by my nurse that Follistim alone costs $1000 per cycle (in addition to the cost of actual monitoring and treatment). I hope you don’t have to fork out that much!

  6. We’re lucky in that our insurance covers most of the meds we need. It actually did cover the cartridges, and the pen came free (with $600 purchase– ha ha, free). If we’d had to pay for it all on our own, the Follistim at this dosage would have cost us about $600, the Novarel (HCG) about $100, and I can’t remember how much for the Femara. With insurance, I got out of the pharmacy for about $85 for this cycle. Of course, that doesn’t include what we’ll pay for the sperm, IUI, blood testing, and ultrasounds, but we’ll probably spend a total of about $700 out of pocket this cycle.

    I don’t know how people do this on their own with NO help from insurance.

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