What is somatropin?

Somatropin is a form of human growth hormone. Human growth hormone is important in the body for the growth of bones and muscles.

Somatropin is used to treat growth failure in children and adults who lack natural growth hormone, and in those with chronic kidney failure, Noonan syndrome, Turner 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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Before you receive somatropin, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a growth hormone medicine, or to drug preservatives such as benzyl alcohol, metacresol or glycerin.

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to somatropin, or if you have:

  • diabetic retinopathy (a serious eye condition caused by diabetes);
  • cancer; or
  • Prader-Willi syndrome and are also overweight or have sleep apnea or severe respiratory (lung) problems.

You should also not use somatropin if you have a serious medical condition after having:

  • open heart surgery or stomach surgery;
  • trauma or other medical emergency; or
  • breathing problems (such as lung failure).

If you have certain conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication. Before using somatropin, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
  • diabetes;
  • scoliosis;
  • high blood pressure (hypertension);
  • a pancreas disorder;
  • a history of cancer;
  • carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • underactive thyroid; or
  • a brain tumor or lesion.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether somatropin is harmful to an unborn baby. Before using this medication, 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. Do not use somatropin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

If you use Zorbtive to treat short bowel syndrome, avoid drinking fruit juices or soda beverages. Follow the instructions of your doctor or nutrition counselor about what types of liquids you should drink while using Zorbtive.

Avoid drinking alcohol if you have short bowel syndrome. Alcohol can irritate your stomach and could make your condition worse.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose can cause tremors or shaking, cold sweats, increased hunger, headache, drowsiness, weakness, dizziness, fast heartbeat, and nausea. Long-term overdose may cause excessive growth.

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Call your doctor if you miss more than 3 doses in a row.

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Side Effects

If you have Prader-Willi syndrome, call your doctor promptly if you develop signs of lung or breathing problems such as shortness of breath, coughing, or new or increased snoring. Rare cases of serious breathing problems have occurred in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome who use somatropin.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden and severe pain or tenderness in your upper stomach;
  • nausea, vomiting, sweating, fever, fast heartbeat, yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • increased thirst and urination;
  • sudden and severe pain behind your eyes, vision changes;
  • swelling in your head, face, hands, or feet; or
  • numbness or tingling in your wrist, hand, or fingers.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache;
  • redness, soreness, swelling, skin rash, itching, pain, or bruising where the medicine was injected;
  • breast swelling;
  • joint pain, swelling, or stiffness; or
  • mild nausea, stomach pain, gas.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Before using somatropin, tell your doctor if you use insulin or take oral (by mouth) medicine to treat diabetes. Somatropin may affect blood sugar levels and you may need to adjust your dose of the diabetes medication. Do not change the dose of your diabetes medication without your doctor's advice.

Tell your doctor if you use any type of steroid medicine such as cortisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisone, and others. Steroids can make somatropin less effective and your doses may need to be adjusted. Do not stop using a steroid suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), seizure medication, birth control pills, anabolic steroids, or hormone replacement medications for men or women.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with somatropin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Genotropin, Genotropin Miniquick, Humatrope, Norditropin, Norditropin Cartridge, Norditropin Nordiflex Pen, Nutropin, Nutropin AQ, Nutropin Depot, Omnitrope, Saizen, Serostim, Tev-tropin, Zorbtive, somatropin, HumatroPen, and Omnitrope Pen 5

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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