How to Use a Follistim Pen

Follistim Pen broken down into its individual parts

Verywell / Nicole Galan

Follistim AQ (a man-made form of the naturally occurring hormone that controls female reproductive processes like ovulation and egg development) is commonly used to treat infertility in women who cannot ovulate and do not have primary ovarian failure.

Using the Follistim pen for the first time can be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with it. Use the following instructions to make the experience easier.

Steps for Use

  1. Assemble all of your necessary supplies.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Take the cap off of the pen.
  4. Unscrew the cartridge holder.
  5. Slide the medication cartridge onto the black rod. The rubber stopper should face outwards. Make sure to note how many units are in the cartridge (150IU, 300IU, 600IU or 900IU).
  6. Screw the yellow cartridge holder back onto the pen. Make sure that the arrow lines up with the mark on the pen.
  7. Dial the dose prescribed by your healthcare provider using the knob at the top of the pen. Make sure that the correct dose lines up with the indicator in the bubble.
  8. Wipe the rubber stopper at the bottom of the pen with an alcohol pad. Allow to air dry. Do not touch the needle or place on an open surface.
  9. Remove the paper seal at the top of the Micro-fine needle.
  10. Push the pen into the needle shield and screw on tightly.
  11. Wipe the area where you are planning on injecting the medication with an alcohol pad. Allow to air dry. The best sites for injection are the front of either thigh about halfway down or the lower abdomen one inch away from the belly button.
  12. Remove the outer needle shield. Then remove the inner needle shield. Handle the pen carefully.
  13. Inject the needle into the skin then push the injection button all the way.
  14. Remove the needle from the skin. Put the outer needle shield onto a flat surface, with the opening facing upwards. Place the pen directly into the shield, covering the exposed needle. Unscrew the needle from the pen by turning counterclockwise and drop the needle directly into a labeled sharps container.
  15. Record the dose in your medication journal to ensure that you know how much medication is left in the pen.


  • Relax, you can do this!
  • Rotate your site each time you do the injection. This will prevent one area from becoming sore or overused.
  • Record the starting amount of medication in a journal. Each time you give yourself a dose, subtract the dose so that you can keep track of what's left.
  • If you make a mistake in dialing the dose, DO NOT back the dial-up. You will lose medication that way. Dial the dose all the way so the entire knob is out. Push the injection button all the way back in and then dial the correct dose.
  • Once you load the cartridge into the pen, it can remain in the pen until the cartridge is empty. Simply put the cap back on the pen and store in the refrigerator.
2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bergandi L, Canosa S, Carosso AR, et al. Human recombinant FSH and its biosimilars: clinical efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness in controlled ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilizationPharmaceuticals. 2020 Jun;13(7):136. doi:10.3390/ph13070136

  2. Food & Drug Administration. Follitism AQ cartridge.

By Nicole Galan, RN
Nicole Galan, RN, is a registered nurse and the author of "The Everything Fertility Book."