This information from Lexicomp® explains what you need to know about this medication, including what it’s used for, how to take it, its side effects, and when to call your healthcare provider.
Brand Names: US
What is this drug used for?
- It is used to help with growth and to treat growth hormone deficiency.
What do I need to tell the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?
- If your child is allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had.
- If your child has any of these health problems: Breathing problems like sleep apnea; cancer or other tumors like a brain tumor; diabetic eye disease; or illness shortly after open heart surgery, stomach surgery, or accidental injury.
- If your child has Prader-Willi syndrome and is very overweight, has trouble breathing, or has sleep apnea.
- If your child’s bones are no longer growing (closed epiphyses).
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe to give this drug with all of your child’s other drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?
- Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- High blood sugar has happened with this drug. This includes diabetes that is new or worse.
- Check your child’s blood sugar as you have been told by the doctor.
- Have your child’s blood work checked and eye exams as you have been told by your child’s doctor.
- This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your child’s health care providers and lab workers that your child takes this drug.
- If your child’s weight changes, talk with the doctor. The dose of this drug may need to be changed.
- Do not share this product with another person. This includes any needles or syringes, even if the needle has been changed. Sharing may pass infections from one person to another. This includes infections you may not know about.
- Too much fluid in the body has happened with this drug. Sometimes, this can lead to heart failure. Call your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath, a big weight gain, or swelling in the arms or legs.
- If your child has an abnormal curve in the spine (scoliosis), talk with your doctor. This drug could make it worse in children who are still growing.
- If your child has cancer or a tumor or has ever had cancer or a tumor, talk with your child’s doctor. The chance of cancer or tumor growth is raised with this drug. The chance of new tumors may also be raised in some patients.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly lung or breathing problems have happened in some children with Prader-Willi syndrome. The chance may be higher in children who have sleep apnea, an infection in the lungs or airway, a block in the airway, and in children who are very overweight. Call the doctor right away if your child has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chest pain or discomfort, new or worse snoring, or breathing that is not normal while asleep.
If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:
- Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to your child and the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of high blood sugar like confusion, feeling sleepy, unusual thirst or hunger, passing urine more often, flushing, fast breathing, or breath that smells like fruit.
- Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up.
- Signs of a weak adrenal gland like a severe upset stomach or throwing up, severe dizziness or passing out, muscle weakness, feeling very tired, mood changes, decreased appetite, or weight loss.
- Signs of low thyroid levels like constipation; not able to handle cold; memory problems; mood changes; or a burning, numbness, or tingling feeling that is not normal.
- Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal.
- A skin lump or growth.
- Change in color or size of a mole.
- Skin breakdown where this drug is used.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Bone, joint, or muscle pain.
- Burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in the hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Children who use this drug can rarely have a bone problem in the hip (slipped growth plate). Call the doctor right away if your child has hip or knee pain or a limp.
- Raised pressure in the head has rarely happened with this drug. The risk may be greater in patients with Turner syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome. Signs most often happen within the first 8 weeks of starting this drug. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has a change in eyesight, a severe headache, upset stomach, or throwing up.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Stomach pain or diarrhea.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.
How is this drug best given?
Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- It is given as a shot into the fatty part of the skin on the right or left side of the stomach, thigh, or buttocks.
- If you will be giving your child the shot, your child’s doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Be sure you know how to use this drug. Read the instructions for use that come with this drug. If there are no instructions for use or you have any questions about how to use this drug, talk with the doctor or pharmacist.
- If stored in a refrigerator, let this drug come to room temperature before using it. Leave it at room temperature for 15 minutes. Do not heat this drug.
- This drug needs to be mixed before use. Follow how to mix as you were told by the doctor.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Do not inject through clothes.
- Do not give into skin that is irritated, bruised, red, infected, hard, or scarred.
- Wash your hands before and after use.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- Do not use if solution changes color.
- After mixing, do not refrigerate.
- Use within 4 hours of making.
- Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. Do not reuse needles or other items. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
What do I do if my child misses a dose?
- Give a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If your child misses the dose by more than 2 days, skip the missed dose and go back to your child’s normal day.
- Do not give 2 doses within 5 days of each other.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Store in the outer carton to protect from light.
- If needed, you may store at room temperature for up to 6 months. Write down the date you take this drug out of the refrigerator. You may put this drug back in the refrigerator within the 6 months. Throw this drug away if not used within 6 months after first taking it out of the refrigerator.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
- If your child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
- Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
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