Sermorelin – Injection Route

Sermorelin is a synthetic growth hormone which can be used to diagnose and treat growth hormone deficiency in children.

Overview

Sermorelin is a man-made version of a substance naturally found in the body. It is responsible for the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland. Sometimes children do not produce enough growth hormone, and this can result in them not growing properly. By having them take synthetic sermorelin, their pituitary glands begin to produce more growth hormone so that they grow at a more normal rate. The drug is used as a diagnostic tool for growth hormone deficiency, as well as a treatment.

Sermorelin is only available with a doctor’s prescription and is available in the US under brand name Geref. It is administered in powder form and is designed to be made into a solution for injection. Usually, these injections are administered by a healthcare professional in a clinic, hospital or doctor’s office. The drug is usually prescribed to children to treat growth hormone deficiency, but in some instances, it may be prescribed to adults, or for the treatment of other conditions.

Conditions Treated

  • Growth hormone deficiency

Type of Medicine

  • Human growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH or GRF)

Side Effects

Pain, redness or swelling at the injection site is a more common side effect associated with sermorelin injections. You should tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice this effect. Rare side effects, which should also be mentioned to your doctor, include:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Swelling of face, lips or tongue
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Vomiting

Some side effects associated with sermorelin are minor and don’t usually require medical attention. You could discuss them with your doctor if they become particularly bothersome. In many instances, they go away once the body adjusts to the drug. Examples of such side effects, which are rare, include:

  • Dizziness
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sitting still or hyperactivity
  • Sleepiness
  • Strange taste in mouth
  • Pale skin

If you notice any other side effects not listed here, tell your doctor as soon as possible. You could also report them to the FDA.

Dosage

The amount of sermorelin you take will depend on a number of factors, including your age, weight and medical history. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and do not take more sermorelin than prescribed or take it more often than is prescribed. On average, a dose of 0.2 to 0.3 mcg of sermorelin is injected under the skin once each day.

Administration of sermorelin injections

Sermorelin is usually administered in a doctor’s office or clinic environment by a healthcare professional such as a doctor or nurse. However, in some instances, doctors may allow it to be administered at home with either the patient or, if the patient is a child, someone else administering the injection. In these instances, you should follow your doctor’s instructions precisely.

Sermorelin is provided in powder form and should be reconstituted into a solution. The packaging gives detailed instructions on this process, and on the injection process. Read these carefully so that you understand each step before you begin preparing the injection.

Make sure you understand safety protocols for the use of disposable syringes and needles. The instructions included with the drug will provide information on the safe handling and disposal of needles, but if you’re unsure you can always check with your healthcare provider.

It is recommended that you choose a different injection site for each injection to minimize bruising and discomfort. You could keep records of the date and location of each injection to ensure you don’t inject in the same area too soon. The drug should be injected subcutaneously (under the skin), and examples of suitable injection sites are:

  • Upper arm
  • Abdomen
  • Hip
  • Thigh

Do not use sermorelin if the vial it is provided in is cracked or damaged, or if the powder appears to be discolored or contains particles. Do not shake the solution when you are mixing it. Once you have prepared the sermorelin solution, use it straight away. Any unused solution should be disposed of.

The needles and syringes provided with sermorelin are designed to be used once only and then disposed of. Do not reuse them, as doing so could transmit infection.

Missed doses

If a dose of sermorelin is missed, it should be administered as soon as possible. However, if when you realize the dose has been missed it is almost time for the next one, simply skip it and continue with your normal dosing schedule. Do not double up doses to make up for missed ones, as doing so could increase the risk or severity of side effects.

Interactions

Some medicines can interact with sermorelin and make it less effective. Make sure your doctor knows about all the medicines you are currently taking, including those prescribed to you and those bought over the counter. Tell them of any herbal supplements, vitamin supplements or multivitamins you are taking too. It is particularly important that your doctor knows if you are taking any of the following types of drugs:

  • Cyclooxygenase inhibitors, such as: Aspirin, Indomethacin
  • Glucocorticoids, such as prednisone
  • Insulin
  • Medicines which lower thyroid levels, such as propylthiouracil
  • Muscarinic antagonists, such as atropine
  • Medicines which contain or release somatostatin, such as: Clonidine, Levodopa

All other growth hormone therapy should be stopped at least one week before treatment with sermorelin begins. Your doctor should advise you about this, but if you have any questions you could consult them or your pharmacist.

Always check with your doctor before you start, stop or change any medicine you are currently taking.

Warnings

Underactive thyroid

Underactive thyroid could affect the way that sermorelin is processed by the body and make it less effective. If you suffer from underactive thyroid your doctor may choose not to prescribe the drug, or they may adjust some of the medicines you are currently taking for underactive thyroid.

Head or brain injuries or diseases

If you are suffering from a head or brain injury or disease, you may not be able to take sermorelin. Make sure your doctor has your full medical history in order that they can decide if the drug is safe for you. You should also make them aware if you sustain a new head injury while taking sermorelin.

Allergies

Make sure your doctor knows about all allergies you currently suffer from, particularly if you have experienced a reaction to drugs like sermorelin in the past. Your doctor should also know about all other allergies, including pollen, chemicals, foods, dyes and animals.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Sermorelin is a pregnancy category C drug, which means it should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits of the drug far outweigh potential risks to the mother and fetus. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking sermorelin.

It is not known whether sermorelin is excreted in breast milk and, if so, what risks it poses to nursing infants. If you want to breastfeed while taking sermorelin, discuss the potential risks with your doctor. It may be safer to avoid breastfeeding while taking this medicine.

Storage

Sermorelin is most often administered in a hospital environment, which means that patients will not have to store it at home. However, if it is prescribed for home administration, follow your doctor’s storage instructions closely.

The drug should be stored in the refrigerator between 36 and 46 degrees F (2 and 8 degrees C). Keep the medicine from freezing. It should also be kept away from moisture, direct light or heat and should not be stored in the bathroom.

Keep sermorelin, as well as syringes and needles, away from children and pets by storing it up and away from the ground so that it is not within easy reach. Do not hold onto unused or expired medicine and ask your healthcare provider how to dispose of it properly. You should also carefully follow their instructions in regard to safely disposing of used needles.

Summary

Sermorelin is a GHRH designed to diagnose and treat growth hormone deficiency in children. It works by stimulating the release of growth hormone in the pituitary gland. In the US, its brand name is Geref and is only available with a doctor’s prescription.

Designed to be administered via subcutaneous (under the skin) injections, sermorelin is usually administered in a doctor’s office or clinic environment, though it may sometimes be administered at home. If patients are to administer it themselves (or have it injected by a parent) they will be provided with detailed instructions on correct use. The drug is provided in powder form and is to be reconstituted. It is then administered via single-use, disposable needles, and syringes. It should be injected into a different part of the body each time.

The most common side effect associated with sermorelin is itching, swelling or redness at the injection site. This should be mentioned to a doctor. In rare instances, it can cause hives, tightness of the chest, vomiting, and swelling of the face or tongue, all of which should be reported to a doctor immediately. Some patients may also experience dizziness, flushing, hyperactivity, sleepiness or pale skin, but these side effects don’t usually require medical attention unless they become severe or prolonged.

 

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Last Reviewed:
February 01, 2018
Last Updated:
January 27, 2018