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 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 liver disease.
- 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’s bones are no longer growing (closed epiphyses).
- If your child has Prader-Willi syndrome and is very overweight, has trouble breathing, or has sleep apnea.
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.
- Have your child’s blood work checked often. Talk with your child’s doctor.
- Get your child an eye exam as you have been told by the doctor.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 low thyroid levels, talk with the doctor. This drug may not work as well in people who have low thyroid levels. Call the doctor right away if your child has 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.
- If your child has cancer or a tumor or has ever had cancer or a tumor, talk with the 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.
- 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.
- Use this drug with care in children. They may have more side effects. Talk with the doctor.
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 high blood pressure like very bad headache or dizziness, passing out, or change in eyesight.
- Fast or abnormal heartbeat.
- Sweating a lot.
- Change in the way your child acts.
- Change in skin color.
- Change in color or size of a mole.
- A skin lump or growth.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- Burning, numbness, pain, or tingling in the hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Irritation or swelling where the shot was given.
- Skin breakdown where this drug is used.
- Larger tonsils.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Rarely, raised pressure in the head has happened with this drug. Most of the time, signs happened within the first 8 weeks after starting this drug. Call the doctor right away if your child has a change in eyesight, 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:
- Back, arm, or leg pain.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Throwing up.
- Weight gain.
- Nose or throat irritation.
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 in the upper arm, thigh, buttocks, or stomach area.
- If you will be giving your child the shot, your child’s doctor or nurse will teach you how to give the shot.
- Move the site where you give the shot with each shot.
- Remove all pen needle covers before injecting a dose (there may be 2). If you are not sure what type of pen needle you have or how to use it, talk with the doctor.
- This product may make a clicking sound as you prepare the dose. Do not prepare the dose by counting the clicks. Doing so could lead to using the wrong dose.
- Put the cap back on after you are done using your dose.
- Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
- This drug is colorless to a faint yellow. Do not use if the solution changes color.
- Take off the needle after each shot. Do not store this device with the needle on it.
- 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 a dose by more than 3 days, skip the missed dose. Give the next dose on your child’s normal day.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
- Store in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.
- Store in the original container to protect from light.
- Throw away any part not used 6 weeks after opening.
- Do not use if it has been frozen.
- If needed, this drug can be left out at room temperature for up to 72 hours. This drug can then be put back in the refrigerator. Throw away drug if left at room temperature for more than 72 hours.
- Protect from heat and sunlight.
- Throw away drug if stored at a temperature above 86°F (30°C).
- 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.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
Last Reviewed Date
© 2023 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.