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. Clomifene is commonly called Serophene or Clomid.

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

What is clomifene?

Clomifene is used to treat some types of infertility, such as in women who don't ovulate or have irregular periods. Clomifene 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.

Multiple births are possible with clomifene – about 10% of pregnancies from clomiphene treatment are twins, and about 1% are triplets. Quadruplets or more are possible but very rare.

In New Zealand clomifene tablets are only available on prescription from your doctor. 

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 

  • Timing: 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.
  • Missed dose: 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 to make up for a missed dose.

Precautions before starting clomifene

  • Do you think you may already be pregnant?
  • Do you have liver problems?
  • Do you have ovarian cysts or uterine fibroids?

If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start clomifene. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.

Side effects

Like all medicines, clomifene can cause 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

Reference

clomifene citrate New Zealand Formulary

Credits: Sandra Ponen, Pharmacist. Reviewed By: Dr J Bycroft. Health Navigator NZ Last reviewed: 17 Dec 2020