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Somatropin, mammalian derived (By injection)

Somatropin, Mammalian Derived (soe-ma-TROE-pin, mam-MAY-lee-un dee-RIVED)

Serostim® and Serostim® LQ promote weight gain and increase physical endurance in people with HIV or AIDS. Nutropin®, Nutropin AQ®, and Saizen® are used in children and adults who do not make enough growth hormone. Nutropin® and Nutropin AQ® are used in children with growth failure caused by chronic kidney disease, idiopathic short stature, or Turner syndrome. Zorbtive® treats short bowel syndrome (SBS). This medicine is a human growth hormone.

Brand Name(s):

Saizen, Saizen Click Easy Cartridge, Saizen Saizenprep Cartridge, Serostim, Zorbtive

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to somatropin or a similar growth hormone, or if you have diabetes with eye problems, active cancer, or certain breathing problems or if you have a severe illness after surgery or a major medical emergency. Children might not be able to use Nutropin®, Nutropin AQ®, and Saizen® if they have Prader-Willi syndrome and are severely overweight or have severe breathing problems, a brain tumor, or bones that are already mature. Do not use Zorbtive® if you are receiving cancer treatments.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how often it should be given. This medicine is given as a shot under your skin. Saizen® can also be given as a shot into one of your muscles.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • You may be taught how to give your medicine at home. Make sure you understand all instructions before giving yourself an injection. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. There are many different types of injection devices available for this medicine. Read all instructions carefully to be sure you know how to use your device.
  • Each time you get your medicine, check to be sure you have received the proper device. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about the device that you were given.
  • Allow Serostim® LQ to reach room temperature before you give yourself a shot.
  • You will be shown the body areas where this shot can be given. Use a different body area each time you give yourself a shot. Keep track of where you give each shot to make sure you rotate body areas.
  • Use a new needle and syringe each time you inject your medicine.
  • You might not use all of the medicine in each vial (glass container). Use each vial only 1 time. Do not save an open vial. Do not use this medicine if it has changed color or you see particles in it.
  • Missed dose: Call your doctor or pharmacist for instructions.
    • Saizen®, Serostim®, and Zorbtive®: Should be stored at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
    • Nutropin®, Nutropin AQ®, and Serostim® LQ: Should be stored in the refrigerator away from direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Once the powder medicine has been mixed with the liquid, the mixture must be stored in the refrigerator.
    • Nutropin®, Saizen®, and Zorbtive®: Mixed medicine should be used within 14 days.
    • Nutropin AQ® vial, cartridge, and injection device should be used within 28 days.
    • Serostim® that has been mixed should be used within 24 hours.
    Make sure you understand how long you can store the medicine after it has been mixed. Throw away any mixed medicine that has not been used within this time.
  • Throw away used needles in a hard, closed container that the needles cannot poke through. Keep this container away from children and pets.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how somatropin works. Tell your doctor if you are using any of the following:
    • Cyclosporine
    • Insulin or diabetes medicine
    • Medicine to treat seizures
    • Oral estrogen hormone replacement
    • Steroid medicine (such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, prednisone)

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, diabetes, fluid retention (body swelling), pancreas problems, pituitary problems, psoriasis, thyroid problems, or you have had recent heart or stomach surgery. Tell your doctor if you have a history of cancer or scoliosis. Tell your child's doctor if your child has a history of ear infection.
  • Serostim® is used with other medicines to treat HIV infection. Take all other medicine your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.Do not breastfeed. You can spread HIV or AIDS to your baby through your breast milk.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Changes in blood sugar levels
    • Changes in vision
    • Hip bone problems (especially in patients with growth hormone deficiency or Turner syndrome)
    • Pancreatitis
  • Nutropin®, Nutropin AQ®, Saizen®, and Zorbtive® are usually mixed with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection. You should not use Bacteriostatic Water for Injection if you have had an allergic reaction to benzyl alcohol. Ask your pharmacist about other ways you can mix this medicine.
  • Zorbtive® is part of the treatment used to treat short bowel syndrome. Carefully follow your doctor's instructions about any special diet. Take all other medicine or supplements your doctor has prescribed as part of your combination treatment.
  • Your doctor will check your progress and the effects of this medicine at regular visits. Keep all appointments.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches
  • Headache or vision problems
  • Hip or knee pain, or trouble walking (in children)
  • Increased thirst, hunger, or tiredness, or increase in how much or how often you urinate
  • Numbness, tingling or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Sudden and severe stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Pain or aching in your hands
  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Trouble sleeping

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 7/4/2018

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