HGH is important for the growth of bones and muscles, and is used to treat growth failure in children and adults lacking natural HGH, and in those with chronic kidney failure, Noonan syndrome, Turner syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, short stature at birth with no catch-up growth, and other causes. Somatropin is also used to prevent severe weight loss in people with AIDS, or to treat short bowel syndrome.
Somatropin is contraindicated in allergic patients as well as in those with:
- diabetic retinopathy
- Prader-Willi syndrome who are overweight, have sleep apnea or severe respiratory (lung) problems
- complications following open heart or stomach surgery
- trauma or other medical emergency
- breathing problems (like lung failure)
- liver disease
- kidney disease (or are on dialysis)
- a pituitary gland disorder
- a pancreas disorder
- a history of cancer
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- underactive thyroid
- a brain tumour or lesion
Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome must seek medical assistance in presence of any signs of lung or breathing problems: shortness of breath, coughing, or new or increased snoring. Seek emergency medical help if any of the signs of an allergic reaction occur: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In some instances treatment with somatropin may cause
- redness, soreness, swelling, rash, itching, pain, or bruising at the injection sites
- arms or legs pain
- joint stiffness or pain
- muscle pain
- cold symptoms like stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat
Adverse side effects
- increased heart rate
- severe pain in the upper stomach spreading to the back,
- nausea and vomiting
- increased thirst,
- increased urination,
- hunger, dry mouth,
- fruity breath odour,
- drowsiness, dry skin,
- blurred vision, and weight loss
- sudden and severe pain behind the eyes
- vision changes
- swelling in the head, face, hands, or feet
- numbness or tingling in wrists, hands, or fingers
Before starting somatropin doctor should consider concomitant use of insulin or any oral medicine to treat diabetes. Since somatropin may affect blood glucose, dosage of diabetes medication may need to be adjusted.
Doctor should be aware if the patient is using any type of steroid medicine: cortisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisone, or others, as well as all other medications, especially cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), seizure medication, birth control pills, anabolic steroids, or hormone replacement medications for men or women. Steroids can make somatropin less effective thus doses may need to be adjusted.
If patient is using Zorbtive for short bowel syndrome treatment, drinking alcohol, fruit juices or soda beverages should be avoided.
Doctor’s recommendations as well as directions on the prescription label must be followed at all times. Dose should not be altered without doctor’s consent.
Inject into a muscle or under the skin; do not inject at the same site twice in a row. Do not inject this into skin or muscle that is red, sore, infected, or injured.
When mixing somatropin with a diluent swirl gently, do not shake the bottle. Do not use the medication if it has changed colour or has particles in it.
Overdose can cause tremors, shaking, cold sweats, hunger, headache, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, fast heartbeat, and nausea. Long-term overdose may cause excessive growth.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember unless it is almost time for the next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose. Call your doctor if you miss more than 3 doses in a row.