Why does growth hormone have to be injected?

Because growth hormone is a protein, it would be digested in the same manner as a protein in food if administered in an oral tablet formulation. This would result in the breakdown of growth hormone, a process that would render it inactive. In order for growth hormone to reach the bloodstream intact and hence active, it must be injected just under the skin.

In the treatment of children, who will give growth hormone injections to my child?

In most cases, you will inject your child each day to begin with. Your child may also want to learn to inject him or herself. Many children prefer to inject themselves once they are old enough to manage on their own.

How should I inject growth hormone?

You should inject growth hormone just under the skin (in the thigh, stomach or buttocks) every evening just before bedtime. You should alternate where you inject, so you do not harm your skin. Follow the injection procedure in the Instructions for Use booklet contained in the pen box.

Will the injection hurt?

The injections can be felt very little, if at all. The needles are very small and fine, and the growth hormone only has to be injected just under the skin. With regard to treatment in children, your child may have had injections for preventing illnesses, which had to be injected deep into muscle, below the skin. Your child may also have had injections to take blood samples from a vein. All of these injections are deeper, and use bigger needles and hurt more than injections of growth hormone.

What happens if an injection is missed?

If it only happens once, you won’t notice much effect. But if you miss injections more often a child will not grow as tall as would have done if growth hormone had been taken every day. In adults, it is also important to take treatment consistently; if treatment stops, symptoms of growth hormone deficiency will return within a matter of months. If you forget an injection, just take the next injection as usual. Do not take a double dose to “catch up.” It is important that you inform doctor about missed injections.

What if too much growth hormone is injected?

There is no danger if you inject a bit too much growth hormone but inform your doctor about that.

If you overdose for an extended period of time, it could result in signs and symptoms of having an excess of growth hormone, and you should contact your physician.

Why is it recommended to inject once daily?

Growth hormone is normally produced by the body throughout the day and night (although mostly during the night) and this is why once-daily treatment is recommended with recombinant growth hormone which is identical to a natural growth hormone produced by human body.

Why is growth hormone injected in the evening?

This is to try to mimic the way growth hormone is produced in the body. Growth hormone is produced in different amounts at different times of the day and night, but usually the largest amount is produced at night while asleep.

APROM ID# 1503. December 2009.

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