The Most Frequently Asked Questions when Beginning Growth Hormone Therapy

Why is growth hormone necessary ?

Growth hormone is a natural hormone of the body that is necessary for normal linear growth and several other metabolic functions including bone mineral density, exercise endurance, lean muscle mass, and healthy cholesterol profiles. Therefore, growth hormone is indicated for the long-term therapy of children with impaired growth due to inadequate or insufficient growth hormone secretion. Individuals that have multiple pituitary deficiencies may require growth hormone throughout their lives.

Should I worry when bubbles appear in the syringe that has been prepared for injection?

A few small bubbles may be of no consequence. Practicing with a syringe and a vial of sterile water will help to improve your technique. If you are using the Genotropin Miniquick, you do not try to remove the air in the syringe prior to giving the injection

Is Growth Hormone a Steroid ?

No. It is a natural protein made up of amino acids. The purpose of growth hormone treatment in children is to promote linear growth. Growth hormone also has beneficial effects on metabolism, bone density, and body composition (i.e. fat distribution and lean muscle mass).

Are there any side-effects when using Growth Hormone?
When growth hormone is prescribed to replace a deficiency, it is rarely associated with significant side effects. Children with hypopituitarism (multiple pituitary hormone deficiency) may sometimes experience fasting hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that is improved with treatment. Children with growth hormone deficiency are also at risk of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (instability of the hip joint), which presents as knee or hip pain that is usually accompanied by limping. This is more common in children that are growing rapidly and overweight and is most common during puberty.
Increased intracranial pressure (elevated pressure in the brain) presents as severe headache, nausea or visual changes. If your child experiences any of these symptoms contact your child’s doctor for an evaluation right away since these symptoms may be associated with a rare side effect of Growth Hormone treatment.
Growth hormone does not cause scoliosis (curvature of the spine) but children with scoliosis may find it is aggravated by rapid growth; this should be discussed
with your physician.

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