Difference Between Gonal-F and Follistim

Many women face issues regarding infertility which can be caused by several issues like aging issues, hormonal issues. For treating women’s infertility there are several treatment options. One of the most common treatments for this health condition is taking medications for correcting hormonal issues. 

In this case, FSH or follicle-stimulating hormones are used for treating this medical condition. Gonal-F and Follistim are two FSHs that are commonly used all over the world. But these two medicines have some different characteristics that distinguish each other.

Gonal-F vs Follistim 

The main difference between Gonal-F and Follistim is that Gonal-F consists of a synthetic version of FSH, known as follitropin alfa. On the other hand, Follistim consists of molecules of both follitropin beta. Gonal F is the brand name of the Follitropin alfa and Follistim is the brand name of the Follitropin beta. Both these drugs come under the Gonadotropins drug class.

Gonal F and Follistim

Gonal-F refers to an FSH preparation of artificial DNA origin, made of two non-identical and non-covalently linked glycoproteins. It contains follitropin alfa and is used to create the development of follicles in women who are unable to respond to treatment with clomiphene citrate (used for developing ovulation) and in men’s bodies it stimulates sperm production.

Follistim refers to another FSH preparation made of follitropin beta and used to treat infertility in women’s bodies and stimulate sperm production in men’s bodies. It can’t be used during pregnancy. It is also ineffective in men with primary testicular failure and women with primary ovarian failure. It is often used with another medication named hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin.

Comparison Table Between Gonal-F and Follistim 

Parameters of Comparison Gonal-FFollistim
Main Component Follitropin alfa     Follitropin beta
PackageIn pen and vail form. Also, in a solvent and powder form.     Follistim cartridge or Follistim vail.
DosageInitially, 30 or 60 mg once daily and then 120mg once daily. Though the dosage varies based on the condition of the patients. Initially 150 to 225 IU. After that, the dosage needs to be increased gradually according to the need.
Indian market Available     Not available
Twin rate Higher than Follistim.Lower twin rate than Gonal-F.

What is Gonal-F?

Gonal-F refers to a gonadotropin medication that contains FSH and helps in ovulation in the women’s body and develops sperm production in men’s bodies. Women who are unable to ovulate can be treated with Gonal-F for treating infertility. Gonal-F can be taken only with a prescription. The groups can use Gonal-F-

  • Adult women who don’t produce eggs and are unable to respond to treatment with clomiphene citrate.
  • Adult women who are getting fertility treatment like in-vitro fertilization. This medicine helps to produce more than one egg in the ovaries.
  • Adult women who have severe deficiency of FSH and LH or luteinizing hormone. In this case, the medicine is given with another medicine that contains FH for stimulating eggs to mature in the ovaries.
  • Adult men with a rare hormone deficiency disease called hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.

The active or main component in Gonal-F is follitropin alfa which is a copy version of the FSH. 

The follitropin alfa controls reductive function in the human body. It stimulates egg production in women’s bodies and stimulates sperm production in men’s bodies. This medicine is prepared through recombinant DNA technology.

Gonal-F is more efficient compared to urinary gonadotropins. By using Gonal-F over 2.5 million babies are born all over the world. This medicine is available as a Gonal-F pen, which is a pre-filled pen, and in vail form. It is also available in a solvent and powder form, which need to be mixed before using.

What is Follistim?

Follistim or Follistim AQ refers to another fertility drug that also contains FSH and has Follitropin beta as the main component. Follitropin beta, the active drug substance adheres to a dimeric structure that contains 2 glycoprotein subunits. This drug also has the same functionalities as Gonal-F. This drug also is not recommended to women with primary ovarian failure and men with primary testicular failure.

This drug needs to be prescribed only by an experienced doctor who has treated infertility earlier. This medicine contains a powerful gonadotropic substance that is capable of resulting in OHSS or ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome with or without vascular or pulmonary complications. It also can cause multiple births. This medicine can cause abnormal ovarian enlargement. So, the Follistim AQ treatment needs to be individualized and the patients need to be given the lowest dose initially. 

Before beginning with taking this medicine, women need to be informed about the time commitment and monitoring procedures required for undergoing this treatment. This medicine is indicated for the multiple follicles development in ovulatory patients who are participating in the ART program. For the anovulatory infertile patients who are infertile (not due to primary ovarian failure), this medicine is indicated for pregnancy and ovulation induction.

If the patient skips one dose there is no need to double the dosage in the next dose. It is better to take advice from your doctor regarding this. Do not mix this medicine with any other medicine or do not mix it on any other medicine’s vail.

Main Differences Between Gonal-F and Follistim

  1. Gonal-F contains follitropin alfa, whereas Follistim contains follitropin beta.
  2. Gonal-F comes in pen and vail form. This medicine is also, in a solvent and powder form, whereas, Follistim comes in cartridge or vail form. Although the pen needs to be purchased separately.
  3. The dosage of Gonal-F varies based on the condition of the patients. Initially, 30 or 60 mg once daily and then 120mg once daily, whereas the dosage Follistim is initially 150 to 225 IU. After that, the dosage needs to be increased gradually according to the need.
  4. Gonal-F is available in the Indian market, many pharmaceutical companies like Apollo Pharmacy, Netmeds, etc. sell this medicine. Follistim is yet to come into the Indian market.
  5. According to a report, Gonal-F resulted in more twins compared to Follistim.

Conclusion

The leading science and technology company named Merck manufactures both Gonal-F and Follistim (approved in 2004). Both Gonal-F and Follistim are used for infertility treatment both on men and women. These two medicines have almost similar functionalities as both are made of follitropin, but the difference is the prior one is made of follitropin alfa and the latter one is made of follitropin beta. 

Both these drugs have almost similar side effects like nausea, headache, bloating, mild abdominal pain, sore throat, pelvic pain, stuffy or runny nose, acne, breast pain, or swelling. Both these drugs are successful in treating infertility.

References

  1. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=gonal+f&oq=gonal-f#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DNaNC65TPbrIJ
  2. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=follistim&oq=follis#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DlSit9ZL4NuYJ
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