Does HCG Need To Be Stored In The Refrigerator?

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses whether or not human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) needs to be stored in the refrigerator.

Question

Does the diet form of (human chorionic gonadotropin) need to be refrigerated? I received HCG from a diet doctor, it was reconstituted as it was in powder form by the doctor's office and given to me in syringes. I have had the medication for several weeks waiting for an opportune time to begin the protocol. I have stored it in a dark dry place but was not aware of refrigeration as I have read online that this is the proper way to store it. Because these are not health professionals I am asking the question here. Is my HCG safe to inject? or has room temperature storage rendered it ineffective?

Asked by jules On Aug 07, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Aug 09, 2022
Last updated Aug 09, 2022

Key points

  • Storage requirements of human chorionic gonadotropic (HCG) products vary by manufacturer.
  • All powder for reconstitution HCG products must be stored in the refrigerator after reconstitution. Depending on the product, it will be good for 30 to 60 days.

Hi Jules and thanks for reaching out to us! There are several human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) products on the market, and I'm not quite sure which you are referring to, so I'll list them all out here, and their required storage conditions.

I do want to mention as well that I will be discussing the prescription HCG products that are available in this answer. There are a number of over-the-counter homeopathic products that are sold as dietary supplements, and, as far as I am aware, they are all fine to be stored at room temperature.

HCG Products And Required Storage

Below are the prescription HCG products and their associated storage condition requirements.

Ovidrel Pre-Filled Syringes

Ovidrel

Ovidrel Pre-Filled syringes are available in a strength of 250mcg/0.5mL.

Before dispensing (i.e. when stored at the pharmacy or doctor's office) Ovidrel Prefilled syringes must be stored refrigerated between 2-8°C (36-46°F). If they are stored in the refrigerator, they are good to use until the expiration date shown on the syringe or carton.

Ovidrel Pre-filled Syringe can be stored at room temperature after dispensing to a patient for no more than 30 days at room temperature (up to 25°C (77°F)).

Novarel Powder For Injection

Novarel

Novarel is available as both a 5,000 unit powder for injection and a 10,000 unit powder for injection.

Novarel powder (not reconstituted) is to be stored at room temperature (up to 25°C (77°F) and is good until the expiration date listed on the product.

Once reconstituted, the product must be stored in the refrigerator (between 2-8°C (36-46°F)) and is good for 30 days.

Pregnyl Powder For Injection

Pregnyl

Pregnyl is available as a 10,000 unit powder for injection.

Pregnyl powder (not reconstituted) is to be stored at room temperature (up to 25°C (77°F)) and is good until the expiration date listed on the product.

Once reconstituted, the product must be stored in the refrigerator (between 2-8°C (36-46°F)) and is good for 60 days. This is longer than the 30-day expiration of Novarel.

Generic Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

HCG by Fresenius

The manufacturer Fresenius Kabi makes a generic version of HCG in a 10,000 unit powder for injection and has the same storage requirements and expiration time-frames as Pregnyl powder.

This generic HCG product (not reconstituted) is to be stored at room temperature (up to 25°C (77°F) and is good until the expiration date listed on the product.

Once reconstituted, the product must be stored in the refrigerator (between 2-8°C (36-46°F)) and is good for 60 days.

Stored HCG Incorrectly

Based on your question, you said you received an HCG product that was reconstituted from a powder. That means you got either Novarel, Pregnyl, or the generic HCG manufactured by Fresenius Kabi.

All of the reconstituted powders, according to their respective prescribing information documents, should be refrigerated to maintain stability.

Leaving the reconstituted product at room temperature (instead of the refrigerator) may cause the drug to break down more quickly and not retain the listed strength of the product. It is extremely unlikely the drug would be dangerous to inject as HCG is not known to break down into any toxic or harmful constituents, it just might not be as effective as it once was.

Unfortunately, there is no way to see if the drug has broken down or degraded visually. Again, it won't be harmful to use, it just might be ineffective. There is no data that I could find that tested how quickly reconstituted HCG powder degrades at room temperature. Ideally, you should receive a replacement supply from your doctor so you know you are taking a drug that will be as potent as the listed strength.

Final Words

Thanks again for reaching out and please do so again in the future!

References

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication-related questions! Feel free to send him an email at Hello@HelloPharmacist.com! You can also connect with Dr. Brian Staiger on LinkedIn.

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