Inventor of fertility drug, Clomid, dies aged 94

Frank Palopoli, RIP

Frank Palopoli was the leader of a team of chemists who designed the fertility drug Clomid (clomiphene citrate). The drug was first marketed in 1967 and over the past 50 years millions of women have become pregnant using it. Clomiphene citrate is now on the World Health Organisations list of essential medicines.


Clomid is prescribed for women who have problems with ovulation. It acts on the pituitaty gland to release hormones that are involved in ovulation. Specifically, it blocks the effect of the hormone estrogen. This blocking effect tricks the body into increasing levels of two other hormones FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinising hormone).

FSH causes eggs in the ovaries to ripen, ready for release. LH triggers the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation).

Clomid, is particularly successful in women with conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) who may not ovulate naturally.

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