Somatropin is a growth hormone used to treat growth disturbance, failure or deficiency due to certain conditions (e.g. kidney problems, genetic disorder, too small or light at birth). It helps improve growth and body composition in children and adults with growth problems.
This medicine may also be used to treat weight loss and weakness for those with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or a malabsorption condition called short bowel syndrome.
This medicine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Your doctor or nurse will administer the injection for you. If you or a caregiver had been given the proper training on the preparation and injection techniques of Somatropin, you or your caregiver may do the administration.
Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not administer more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Somatropin is to be injected subcutaneously (into the fatty layer under the skin, usually in the thigh, upper arm, buttock or abdomen area).
Remember to rotate the injection sites. Do not inject into the same area all the time. New injection sites should be at least 1.5 inches away from the previous injection site. Do not inject near the navel (belly button). Do not inject in areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, hard or not intact.
This medicine is available as a pre-filled pen or syringe. Make sure you know how to use the specific device you have been given. If you have problems or do not understand the instructions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
To administer this medicine using an injection pen:
- Prepare the injection pen as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
- Attach the needle to the injection pen. Ensure that the needle is screwed on securely.
- Set the correct dose.
- Swab the injection site area with alcohol.
- Hold the injection pen with your thumb over the injection button.
- Press the injection pen against your body using the subcutaneous injection method.
- Use your thumb to push the injection button until it stops. Continue to hold the injection button in that position while slowly counting to 5 to get a full dose.
- Withdraw the injection pen from your body.
- Remove the needle from the pen. Never store the injection pen with the needle attached.
- Reset your pen as instructed by your healthcare provider.
- Use a new needle in every administration of Somatropin.
To administer this medicine using an injection syringe:
- Prepare the injection syringe as instructed by your doctor or nurse.
- Remove the prepared syringe and needle from the vial and hold the injection syringe with your thumb over the plunger.
- Insert the needle against your body using the subcutaneous injection method.
- Gently press the plunger all the way down until the syringe is empty.
- Slowly let go of the skin and gently pull the needle out of the skin. Do not recap the needle.
- Dispose your used needles and syringes according to your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions. Do not throw away in household trash.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the dosage, frequency of administration, and course of the treatment depending on your condition and response to the medication.
Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to use your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- cancer or any other form of active tumour
- had a kidney transplant
- serious illness due to complications after an injury from an accident, open heart surgery, stomach surgery
- breathing problems
- eye disease caused by diabetes (diabetic retinopathy)
as Somatropin may not be suitable for you.
Do not use this medicine to children where the bone growth is already completed (closed epiphyses) unless instructed to do so by the doctor.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- history of cancer
- thyroid disease
- kidney disease
- pancreas problems
- Prader-Willi syndrome (a genetic disorder) in child who is severely overweight, has breathing problem, shallow breathing during sleep, airway infection
- scoliosis (an abnormal curvature of the spine)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are going for an operation, including minor surgery and dental work, inform your doctor or dentist that you are using Somatropin.
To check the appropriateness of the use of this medicine, your doctor may need to do kidney function, growth rate, and eye examination before treatment initiation.
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
Your blood sugar may need to be monitored regularly as it may rise to unsafe levels.
To monitor your response, your doctor will do routine tests (certain blood tests e.g. thyroid function, insulin growth factor test) while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
Somatropin may cause any of the following side effects: swelling of ankles, arms and hands, nausea, vomiting, headache, tingling, numbness, weakness or pain in the wrist or hand, muscle pain, joint pain, and injection site redness, swelling, or itching.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- signs of increase in pressure in skull (intracranial hypertension) e.g. severe recurring headache, vision changes, nausea, vomiting
- signs of high blood sugar level e.g. confusion, tiredness, increased thirst, feeling hungry, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit
- signs of pancreas problems e.g. severe pain in the stomach area, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fever, swollen and tender stomach area
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
- medicines for diabetes e.g. insulin
- medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, allergic reactions, certain skin conditions or asthma e.g. corticosteroids
- medicines for epilepsy (fits or seizures) e.g. carbamazepine
- thyroid hormone used to treat an underactive thyroid gland
- medicines used for hormone therapy e.g. hormone replacement therapy for estrogen deficiency
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
As the storage temperatures are product specific, please check with your healthcare professional on how it should be stored. Store sway from the reach of children.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.