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Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.



COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Genotropin, Humatrope, Norditropin, Nutropin, Serostim


Various brands of this medication are used for either the treatment of children with growth failure or for the treatment of HIV-related weight loss or wasting.

How To Use

This medication is given by injection into a muscle or under the skin. It is usually given three times a week. For best results, this medication must be used exactly as prescribed. It is important to understand your therapy and to follow your doctor's instructions closely. If this medicine is used for weight loss/muscle wasting, it may take 2 weeks to notice the effects of the drug. Do not use more of this medication than prescribed or use it more often since the risk of side effects will be increased. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have and learn how to mix, prepare, inject your medicine and dispose of the materials. Needles and syringes are for one-time use only. Do not reuse.

Side Effects

Headache, fatigue or muscle pain may occur. If these symptoms continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience hip pain, knee pain or unusual weakness while using this medication. Unlikely but report: development of a limp, joint pain, unusual increase in urination or thirst. Very unlikely but report: change in the appearance or size of any mole, severe stomach pain, vomiting or vision problems. Rare (possibly fatal) lung/breathing problems may be caused by this medication in children with Prader-Willi syndrome. Those at higher risk include males, severely overweight children,or those with serious lung/breathing problems (including sleep apnea, lung infections, lung disease). Children should be checked for certain breathing problems (upper airway obstruction) before and during treatment. Heavy snoring or irregular breathing during sleep (sleep apnea) are signs of airway obstruction. Tell the doctor immediately if these signs occur. Also report any signs of lung infection, such as fever, persistent cough, or trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.


This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: children with Prader-Willi syndrome who are severely overweight or have severe lung/breathing problems (e.g., upper airway obstruction). Tell your doctor if you have a history of: allergies (especially drug allergies), diabetes, thyroid problems, back problems (scoliosis). This medication is not recommended for use if you have any of the following medical conditions: undergoing therapy for tumors (cancer), major surgery or trauma, severe breathing problems (acute respiratory failure). Caution is advised when using in the elderly because elderly patients may be more sensitive to the drug's effects. This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you use, especially of: glucocorticoids (e.g., prednisone, hydrocortisone). Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.


If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include headache; nausea; vomiting; and bloating or swelling of ankles, feet, or hands.


Laboratory tests will be done routinely while using this medication to evaluate its effectiveness and prevent side effects. Keep all doctor's appointments and laboratory visits so your therapy can be monitored closely. It may be necessary to see your doctor several times a week.

Missed Dose

It is important to use each dose at the scheduled time. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor who will help establish a new dosing schedule. Do not"double-up" the dose to catch up.


Consult your pharmacist and/or written manufacturer information for specific storage requirements. It is critical to follow those instructions closely. Do not freeze. Properly discard any unused medication after the expiration date marked on the label.