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, 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.
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.
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).
To make sure you can safely take somatropin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
- a pituitary gland disorder;
- high blood pressure (hypertension);
- a pancreas disorder (especially in children);
- a history of cancer;
- carpal tunnel syndrome;
- underactive thyroid; or
- a brain tumor or lesion.
FDA pregnancy category B. Some brands of somatropin are not expected to harm an unborn baby, including Genotropin, Omnitrope, Saizen, Serostim, and Zorbtive.
FDA pregnancy category C. 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 while using this medication.
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.