Clomifene

Sounds like 'KLOE-mi-feen'

Easy-to-read medicine information about clomifene – what is it, how to take clomifene safely and possible side effects.

Type of medicine Also called
  • Treatment for infertility in women
  • Ovulation stimulant
  • Belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-oestrogens
  • Clomiphene citrate
  • Serophene®
  • Clomid®


What is clomifene?

  • Clomifene is used to treat some types of infertility, in women who are not ovulating properly.
  • It works by stimulating the release of eggs from the ovary (process called ovulation).
  • Clomifene belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-oestrogens. It suppresses the amount of oestrogen in the body, and in this way ‘tricks’ the pituitary gland (in the brain) into producing more hormones that stimulate the ovary to ripen and release an egg.
  • Twins and multiple pregnancy are more common with clomifene than with some other forms of infertility treatment. About 6% (6 in every 100) of clomifene-induced pregnancies will be multiple pregnancy. This is because the ovaries may be stimulated so that more than one egg is released and therefore more than one egg may be fertilised.
  • Clomifene is available at tablets.

Dose

  • The usual starting dose of clomifene is 1 tablet (50 milligrams) taken once daily for 5 days early in the menstrual cycle — usually from day 3 to 7 of cycle.
  • Your dose may be increased to two tablets daily on subsequent courses if your doctor thinks this is necessary.
  • Always take your clomifene exactly as your doctor has told you. The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much clomifene  to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.

How to take clomifene 

  • Swallow the tablet with a drink of water. 
  • Take clomifene at the same time each day, either in the morning OR in the evening, on each of the five days.
  • You can take clomifene with or without food.
  • If you forget to take your dose, speak with your doctor, as you may need to change your treatment cycle.
  • Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

Possible side effects

Like all medicines, clomifene can cause unwanted side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often unwanted side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.

Side effects What should I do?
  • Feeling flushed
  • Hot flushes or hot flashes 
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • These are quite common when you start taking clomifene
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with your eyesight
  • Spots or flashes in front of your eyes
  • Be careful when driving or using tools until you know how this medicine affects you
  • Tell your doctor if troublesome
  • Pain in the stomach or abdomen
  • Feeling bloated
  • Vaginal bleeding  
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
 
  • Signs of problems with your liver such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pain in the abdomen
 
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116
  • Signs of a stroke such as numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, slurred speech, sudden blurred vision, confusion or unsteadiness
  • Tell your doctor immediately or ring HealthLine 0800 611 116

Learn more

The following links provide further information on clomifene.

Medsafe Consumer Information Sheets:

Serophene

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft. Health Navigator NZ Last reviewed: 12 Oct 2015