What is it?
HGH is an abbreviation for Human Growth Hormone. It is used as a supplement and has many claims. The claims for HGH include: increased muscle mass, weight loss, growth promotion, increased energy, regrowth of organs that shrink with age, improved immune system function, increased exercise performance, lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol profile, stronger bones, faster healing of wounds, more youthful skin tone, regrowth of hair and restoration of hair color, disappearance of wrinkles, sharper vision, improved memory and sleep, and mood elevation.
Other names for HGH include: Human Growth Hormone, rHGH, Recombinant Human Growth Hormone.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
Tell your doctor if you
- are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
- are breastfeeding
- have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease
Talk with your caregiver about how much HGH you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking HGH. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.
To store this medicine:
Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.
- Before taking HGH, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- HGH use may lead to eye problems in diabetic people (7)
Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.
- Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
- Chest pain
- Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin
Other Side Effects:
You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.
- Higher blood pressure (8) and heart rate (how fast the heart beats) (9)
- Feeling tired or "worn out" (10)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (soreness and stiffness in wrist and arm) (9)
- Nightmares (8)
- Higher amounts of insulin in the body (11)
- Breast tenderness (10) or bigger breast area in men (8)
- Trouble breathing normally has occurred in the first week of treatment only (8)
- Muscle stiffness, stiff joints, and numbness in the hands (8)
- Skin rashes have been seen in the first week of treatment only (8)
- Injection site pain (when given as a shot) (10)
1. Rudman D, Feller AG, Nagraj HS et al: Effects of human growth hormone in men over 60 years old. NEJM 1990;323:1-6.
2. Bengtsson, BA, Eden S, Lonn L et al: Treatment of adults with growth hormone (GH) deficiency with recombinant human GH. J Clin Endo Meta 1993;76:309-317.
3. Hodes RJ: Frailty and disability: Can growth hormone or other trophic agents make a difference? J Am Ger Soc 1996;124:708-716.
4. Papadakis MA, Grady D, Black D et al: Growth hormone replacement in healthy older men improves body composition but not functional ability. Ann Int Med 1996;124:708-716.
5. Rosen T, Bosaeus I, Tolli J et al: Increased body fat mass and decreased extracellular fluid volume in adults with growth hormone deficiency. Clin Endo 1993;38:63-71.
6. Rudman D: Growth hormone, body composition and Aging. J AM Gerit Soc 1985;33:800-807.
7. Rymaszewski Z, Cohen RM & Chomczynski P: Human growth hormone stimulates proliferation of human retinal microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1991; 88(2):617-621.
8. Ellegard L, Bosaeus I, Nordgren S et al: Low-dose recombinant human growth hormone increases body weight and lean body mass in patients with short bowel syndrome. Annals of Surgery. 1997; 225(1):88-96.
9. Corpas E, Harman SM & Blackman MR: Human growth hormone and human aging. Endocrine Reviews 1993; 14(1):20-39.
10. Thompson JL, Butterfield GE, Gylfadottir UK: Effects of human growth hormone, insulin-like factor I, and Diet and exercise on body composition of obese postmenopausal women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1998; 83(5):1477-1484.
11. O'Neal DN, Kalfas A, Dunning PL et al: The effect of 3 months of recombinant human growth hormone (GH) therapy on insulin and glucose-mediated glucose disposal and insulin secretion in GH-deficient adults: a minimal model analysis. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 1994; 79(4):975-983.
12. Redmond GP, Bell JJ & Perel J: Time course of inhibition of human drug metabolism by growth hormone (Abstract). Clin Pharmacol Ther 1978; 23:126.
13. Product Information: Genotropin(R), somatropin. Pharmacia & Upjohn, Kalamazoo, MI, (PI revised 09/2000) reviewed 09/2000.
14. Jurgens G, Lange KHW, Reuther LO et al: Effect of growth hormone on hepatic cytochrome P450 activity in healthy elderly men. Clin Pharmacol Ther 2002; 71(3): 162-168.
Last Updated: 1/4/2011