What is somatropin?
Somatropin is a form of human growth hormone important for the growth of bones and muscles.
Somatropin is used to treat growth failure in children and adults who lack natural growth hormone. This includes people with 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 may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about somatropin?
You should not use somatropin if you have cancer, eye problems caused by diabetes, or if you are being treated for Prader-Willi syndrome and you are overweight or have severe breathing problems. You should not use somatropin if you have a serious illness due to lung failure or complications from recent surgery, injury, or medical trauma.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using somatropin?
You should not use somatropin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- a serious illness due to lung failure or complications from recent surgery, injury, or medical trauma;
- eye problems caused by diabetes (diabetic retinopathy); or
- if you are being treated for Prader-Willi syndrome and you are overweight or have severe breathing problems (including sleep apnea).
To make sure somatropin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- a pituitary gland disorder;
- abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis);
- underactive thyroid;
- history of head injury or brain tumor; or
- a history of childhood brain cancer and radiation treatment.
Some brands of somatropin are not expected to harm an unborn baby, including Genotropin, Omnitrope, Saizen, Serostim, and Zorbtive.
It is not known whether certain other brands of somatropin will harm an unborn baby, including Humatrope, Norditropin, Nutropin, and Tev-tropin.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether somatropin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I use somatropin?
Your dose and brand of somatropin, and how often you give it will depend on what you are being treated for. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Somatropin is injected into a muscle or under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.
Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject somatropin. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.
Do not shake the medication bottle or you may ruin the medicine. Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.
Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof “sharps” disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.
While using somatropin, you may need frequent blood tests. Your growth progress will need to be tested often. Your eyes may also need to be checked.
If you are being treated for short bowel syndrome, follow the diet plan created for you by your doctor or nutrition counselor to help control your condition. Somatropin is not a cure for short bowel syndrome.
If you have Prader-Willi syndrome, your treatment program may also include weight control. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.
If you use a form of somatropin that comes in a cartridge for use with an injection pen, use only the pen injection system provided with the somatropin brand you use.
How you store this medicine will depend on what brand you are using and what diluent you are mixing somatropin with. After mixing somatropin, you may need to use it right away or you may be able to store it for later use. Read and carefully follow the instructions provided with your medicine about proper storage of somatropin before and after it has been mixed. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about proper storage of your medication.
Throw away any somatropin left over after the expiration date on the label has passed.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your 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.
Before you receive somatropin, tell your doctor about all your past and present medical conditions, especially allergies, trauma, surgery, diabetes, cancer, breathing problems, liver or kidney disease, scoliosis, high blood pressure, pancreas disorder, underactive thyroid, or a brain tumor.
Also tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially steroids or diabetes medications. Your dosages of these medicines may need to be changed when you start using somatropin. Do not stop using a steroid suddenly or change any of your medication doses without your doctor’s advice.
If you have Prader-Willi syndrome and are using somatropin, call your doctor promptly if you develop signs of lung or breathing problems such as shortness of breath, coughing, or new or increased snoring.
Call your doctor at once if you have sudden and severe pain in your upper stomach with nausea and vomiting, fast heartbeat, increased thirst or urination, weight loss, or vision changes and sudden, severe pain behind your eyes.