Growth Hormone (Parenteral)

Overview

If a child's body is unable to produce enough amounts of growth hormone, they may not attain normal, optimum growth and development. The somatrem or somatropin therapy helps reverse such a hormonal deficiency in the victim, allowing them to grow like an average, healthy person. Studies have indicated that the drugs can have a modest effect on the final height a child with idiopathic short stature achieves.

Children with kidney complications, Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), or Turner's disorder may fail to achieve healthy growth, requiring them to use somatrem or somatropin to address the problem. A doctor may also prescribe the medication to stimulate growth or induce weight gain in adults with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

You may use somatrem or somatropin as an injection at home or in the hospital. Some training under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner is necessary in the case of home-based self-administration of the hormone growth medication.

Conditions Treated

  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Growth failure in kids with PWS, Turner's syndrome, or kidney disease
  • Growth failure/weight loss in adults with AIDS
  • Idiopathic short stature in children

Type Of Medicine

  • Growth hormone

Side Effects

It is not yet clear whether the use of growth hormone can cause blood cancer, although some people that have used the medication have ended up with leukemia. The blood complication has before affected individuals suffering from the deficiency of natural growth hormone who have not used either somatrem or somatropin.

Work closely with your doctor while on growth hormone medication and report to them any unusual or uncomfortable symptoms you experience, including an abnormal sense of touch, poor eyesight, drowsiness, severe headache, or anxiety. Likewise, keep an eye out for an irregular heartbeat or ear complications, such as an infection, especially in people with Turner's syndrome.

Some patients complain of a thumping noise in the ears while using growth hormone. Others experience an uncomfortable pricking (such as with a needle) sensation or tingling in areas such as arms, legs, and feet. Let your doctor know if you have these symptoms when you are on the medication.

Somatrem and somatropin may, in rare cases, cause pain in body areas such as the chest, abdomen, hip, and knee. You may also get pain and a depression in your skin at the site of injection with the medication. Many patients using the drugs to treat growth failure do not typically experience these side effects, which nevertheless merit medical attention once they occur.

Not every somatrem or somatropin side effect is adverse or requires medical intervention. In specific cases, the unwanted treatment results may disappear with the time. These include coldness, pain in the back, bowel movement complications, depression, high body temperature, ear congestion, running nose, and sore throat. See your doctor if such symptoms fail to go away as you continue your treatment.

You may anticipate gradual improvements in side effects such as loss of appetite or voice. Similarly, any abnormal sweating, feeling of heaviness in the chest, adding weight, swollen joints, or coughing does not usually constitute a medical emergency unless it persists or becomes too uncomfortable. The same is true for trouble breathing, sleeping, or moving.

Many people receiving treatment for growth hormone deficiency do not report or experience side effects such as larger breasts, carpal tunnel syndrome, inability to concentrate, abnormal fatigue or weakness, or irritability. In extremely rare cases, the medication can cause unfavorable psychological outcomes including aloofness and loss of happiness. Some patients may also complain of sleepiness, skeletal discomforts or pain in the muscles.

It is possible for somatrem or somatropin to cause other side effects that are not in the above paragraphs. As such, be keen to identify any unwanted results you get while using the drugs. Always seek medical advice on how to cope with undesired treatment outcomes. The FDA is on call at 1-800-FDA-1088 to receive any side effect reports.

Dosing

Somatrem or somatropin can treat growth hormone deficiency as a result of several possible causes, meaning that no single dose is right for every patient. Typically, the weight and age of the patient are factors that a doctor considers before prescribing the drug. Likewise, how many injections you should get every day, the spacing between each, and the overall duration of treatment depend on the complication that caused your specific problem.

The prescription label contains general directives that your doctor may tweak to address your specific growth failure condition. The dosage the healthcare practitioner recommends to you overrides any other instructions. There is initial dosing specification for this medication, which the physician may adjust gradually depending on your response to treatment.

Children taking somatrem to treat growth failure due to growth hormone deficit should start with 0.3 milligrams of the medication for every kilogram of body weight per week until their healthcare giver recommends dosage adjustments. The doctor administers the injections in smaller doses beneath the skin or into a muscle.

Adults using somatropin to repair growth failure due to growth hormone deficiency should start with 0.005 milligrams of the drug per kilogram of body weight once every day. Injection under the skin delivers this medication.

The initial dosage for adults on somatropin available in Norditropin Cartridges or Norditropin NordiFlex is 0.004 milligrams for each kilogram of body weight once every day. Injection under the skin administers the drug.

The per-week dose for children on somatropin ranges between 0.16 and 0.3 milligrams for each kilogram of body weight depending on the doctor's prescription. Typically, the patient takes the medication in smaller doses through an injection under the skin.

In the case of minors taking somatropin via Norditropin Cartridges or Norditropin NordiFlex, the correct 6 or 7-day dosage per week ranges between 0.024 and 0.034 milligrams for each kilogram of body weight. You give this medication through an injection beneath the skin as the doctor directs.

There are specific dosage specifications for treating growth failure in patients with kidney complications. Children with the condition may take a total of 0.35 milligrams of somatropin per kilogram of body weight every week to treat it. The patient receives the injections in smaller doses into a muscle or underneath the skin as appropriate each day.

If Turner's syndrome is the cause of a child's growth failure, they may use 0.375 milligrams of somatropin for each kilogram of body weight per week. An injection under the skin in smaller doses will suffice.

If Prader-Willi syndrome is the cause of growth hormone deficiency in a child, a weekly dose of 0.24 milligrams of somatropin for every kilogram of body weight will suffice. The doctor may recommend you split the medication into 6 or 7 smaller doses throughout the week. Injection under the skin delivers the drug into the patient's system.

Growth hormone therapy may also help reverse weight loss in adults with AIDS. In that case, a patient weighing more than 55 kilograms may receive an under-the-skin injection of 6-mg somatropin just before going to bed every day. If your weight range is 45-55 kilograms, a prescription of 5-mg somatropin each day at bedtime may suffice. Any adult weighing less than 35 kilograms may use a daily bedtime injection of the medication at the rate of 0.1 milligrams for every kilogram of body weight.

Major Drug Interactions:

If somatrem or somatropin interacts with other medication that a patient may be taking simultaneously, there might be dire consequences, including escalation of specific side effects or the triggering of other health complications. Therefore, your doctor will seek to know about any other drugs you are using before recommending that you start using any growth hormone therapy.

Typically, doctors will not readily prescribe somatrem or somatropin to patients that are receiving vaccination for a rotavirus infection. In some cases, you may not use any growth hormone along with this vaccine.

Likewise, doctors do not usually prescribe growth hormone along with Bupropion due to potential adverse interactions. If you have to use the medications simultaneously, the dosage of one or both of them may need adjusting.

Warnings/Precautions

  • Do not use somatrem or somatropin to treat a non-existent growth hormone deficiency. Only a healthcare practitioner may prescribe the medication to children as well as adults who suffer from growth failure. Abuse of these drugs can lead to health complications such as diabetes.
  • Children who are growing as naturally expected but still use growth hormone are at the risk of developing cardiac disorders, including atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. The medication may also interfere with the proper development of bones and body organs such as heart, kidneys, and liver in otherwise healthy individuals.
  • Continue having regular medical checkups, and keep seeing your doctor while taking somatrem or somatropin.
  • Only a doctor can decide the right dosage of somatropin for treating weight loss or growth failure in minors with AIDS. It is not clear what specific benefits or risks the medication poses to children with the condition.
  • If you are self-administering the drug at home, be sure you understand how to prepare and give an injection. If necessary, consult your caregiver about the proper use of a NordiPen injection device or pre-filled pen.
  • Consult your pharmacist about appropriate use or refer to the patient information that may be available every time you get a refill of your growth hormone medicine.
  • Repeated exposure of the same skin area to an injection may cause complications. Ask your caregiver to provide directives on how to choose as well as alternate injection sites on your body.
  • The medication comes with needles and syringes for single use only. Your healthcare professional should advise you on how to store the items and dispose of them safely.

For the sake of patient's health and safety, a doctor must take into account all pre-existing medical conditions that an individual may have before recommending any growth hormone therapy to them. As such, you may need to consider carefully potential benefits against the risks if you are thinking about taking growth hormone while you still have an acute critical illness. It is risky to use somatrem or somatropin if you have had medical problems after having respiratory failure, injury, or an open heart operation.

Do not use somatrem or somatropin if you have a developing tumor of the brain. Patients who have any form of malignant growth should prioritize treatment for this condition before their growth failure therapy. If you have a history of tumors, keep getting tested regularly to ensure that it has not come back. In case of cancer recurrence, stop taking somatrem or somatropin injections right away.

Likewise, health experts advise against the use of the drug in patients with sugar diabetes (or a history of the disorder in their family). The medicine may hinder insulin action, derailing treatment. Avoid the medication if you have diabetes that causes inflammation of the retina.

If Prader-Willi syndrome is the cause of your child's growth failure, discuss the best treatment options with your doctor beforehand. Some patients with the inherited disease experience more side effects while using somatrem or somatropin to repair growth hormone deficiency. Similarly, the medication may not work optimally in individuals with an underactive thyroid.

It is imperative to provide your doctor with a list of all foods and beverages that you use before beginning treatment with somatrem or somatropin. If you take alcohol or use tobacco, let your healthcare professional know in time. You just want to be sure that no harmful interactions can occur as you receive treatment for growth failure.

So far, no studies have linked growth hormone to breast milk contamination. However, lactating mothers should err on the side of caution and notify their doctor about their situation. Similarly, there is no conclusive research on the effect of the medication on pregnancy. Since the drug has had no harmful effect on a fetus in animal studies, there is a chance that pregnant women can use it safely. Nonetheless, you still want to notify your doctor about your existing or impending pregnancy in case you are considering treatment with somatrem or somatropin.

It is not clear whether growth hormone therapy may have treatment outcomes that are exclusive to the elderly and do not appear in younger patients. With that said, healthcare experts do not anticipate that older people may experience a different set of side effects from what younger adults report while using somatrem or somatropin. However, you may not rule out the possibility of senior patients responding differently to the growth failure medication, and in some cases, succumbing more readily to adverse treatment outcomes.

Some patients, including people with growth hormone deficiency, are allergic to specific medications. If you have a history of allergies after using any particular drugs, there is a chance that somatrem or somatropin may cause the same problems. Just notify your doctor about any such complications you may have experienced in the past. It is equally critical to take note of any substances, such as food additives and preservatives, or animals that trigger adverse effects in you.

Pay attention to the effects that over-the-counter products may have on your health if you are considering taking growth hormone. Be sure to scrutinize the ingredients of any such items, including non-prescription medication.

Storage

  • Store somatrem or somatropin at proper temperature (you may refer to your doctor or the user instructions leaflet that comes with the medication for specific information on storage conditions).
  • Discard any growth hormone supplies you no longer use or that are expired.
  • Ensure children cannot access the storage for this medication.

Summary

People with growth hormone deficiency may use an artificial equivalent to stimulate growth and development. Available as somatrem or somatropin, the medication can help children who suffer from growth failure due to various complications, including kidney disease or PWS. AIDS victims may also reverse weight loss by using the drugs. Children who are growing well without any abnormalities should never use the drug as it may cause complications in various internal organs. Overall, growth hormone therapy can help victims achieve optimum height and other physical developments with minimum side effects. It is imperative that the patient keeps an eye out for any undesired treatment outcomes. Be sure to notify your doctor about any uncomfortable symptoms you experience while receiving the growth failure treatment. It is also critical to visit your caregiver regularly so that they may assess your response to the medication and intervene where necessary.

You may self-administer the growth hormone medication at home or have a doctor give you the injection at the hospital. In the case of self-care, obtain the prerequisite training for proper preparation and use of the medication. Receive clear instructions from your doctor for how to use the syringes, needles, and any other medical device accompanying the regimen. Your weight and the cause of your growth failure will determine the right dosage of somatrem or somatropin for you. Always stick to the dosing your doctor recommends. You may anticipate gradual adjustments in the strength or amount of medication you have to continue using depending on symptom improvements.

Successful and safe treatment with somatrem or somatropin also depends on your other pre-existing medical conditions. Your doctor will review your health records to help devise a treatment plan that is right for you.