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Drugs Used to Treat Reproductive Disorders

By Philip T. Reeves, BVSc (Hons), PhD, FANZCVS, Chief Regulatory Scientist, Veterinary Medicines and Nanotechnology, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority ; Dawn Merton Boothe, DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University ; Maya M. Scott, BS, DVM, Resident, Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University ; Ian Tizard, BVMS, PhD, DACVM, University Distinguished Professor of Immunology; Director, Richard M. Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University ; Jozef Vercruysse, DVM, Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University ; Jörg M. Steiner, DrMedVet, PhD, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, AGAF, Associate Professor and Director, Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A & M University

Drugs used to regulate and control the reproductive system are often naturally occurring hormones or chemical modifications of hormones. These are often used to induce or suppress estrus, the time during the reproductive cycle in animals when the female displays interest in mating, often called “heat.” Some are also used to stimulate testicular function or sperm production. Some of the more commonly used hormones include gonadotropin-releasing hormone and related drugs, follicle-stimulating hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin, equine chorionic gonadotropin, estradiol compounds, progesterone and synthetic progestins, testosterone, and prostaglandins. Another hormone, oxytocin, is used to promote milk production and letdown and to cause contraction of the uterus to either induce labor or to enhance contraction of the uterus after the birth.