Somatrem

1 What is Somatrem?

Brand: Somatrem, Somatropin

Generic: Growth Hormone

Somatrem and somatropin are synthetic analogues of human growth hormone (GH). Growth hormone is normally secreted by the pituitary gland inside the brain and stimulates the growth of children. Somatrem is prescribed to treat certain conditions caused by a deficiency in GH. Somatrem can be used to promote growth in stunted children, but only if the cause is a deficiency in GH. 

Some of the medical conditions caused by a deficiency in GH include dwarfism, chronic kidney disease, Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), and Turner's syndrome. Somatrem can be used to treat these conditions.

Somatrem is available only with your doctor's prescription.

Use of Somatrem is known to worsen certain pre-existing diseases. Only use Somatrem with doctor’s supervision.

2 What to Know Before Using

The doctor will consider the following before prescribing Somatrem.

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you experienced allergies to Somatrem or to other growth hormone medicines before. You cannot take Somatrem if you are allergic to it.

Use on children

Somatrem and other growth hormone medicines should be given to children only with doctor’s supervision.

Use on elderly

There are no studies suggesting that Somatrem may cause additional harm when given to elderly patients.

Drug Interactions

Somatrem may casue severe adverse effects when taken with certain drugs. You can avoid drug interactions by telling the doctor all the medicines you take before starting to use Somatrem. Somatrem should be used cautiously with the following drugs:

  • Rotavirus Vaccine, Live
  • Bupropion
  • Glucocorticoids such as Hydrocortisone, Prednisone, Prednisolone, Dexamethasone, Betamethasone, Triamcinolone, Beclomethasone, and Aldosterone.

Health conditions

Somatrem can worsen certain medical conditions. Make sure to tell the doctor all of your medical problems before taking Somatrem:

3 Proper Usage

Somatrem is an injectable drug, and it is given by injecting into the skin (subcutaneous route) or into the muscle (intramuscular route). The doctor bases the dose of Somatrem to your body weight, so report to the doctor any significant changes in weight. Always make sure to follow doctor’s instructions and dosage.

Somatrem is given until final height has been reached or until epiphyseal fusion occurs. Treatment with Somatrem requires you to visit your doctor often to check your progress.

Because Somatrem should be injected daily, the doctor may teach you to prepare the drug and inject them yourself. Make sure to follow doctor’s instructions in dilution of the drug, and observe strict cleanliness in preparation and injection. Here are the instructions for preparing Somatrem vials for injection:

  • Prepare things needed such as clean syringes, cotton balls with alcohol, metal scissors, and the Somatrem medication package.
  • Open the drug and sterile water vials with the help of the scissors. Wipe the rubber of the vial with the alcohol-soaked cotton ball.
  • Inject sterile water (from the package) into the drug vial using a syringe. Follow doctor’s instructions in diluting the drug. Make sure to aim the water stream against the vial wall.
  • Do not shake to mix the drug, which can result in a cloudy solution. Dissolve the drug by gently swirling the vial until mixed completely.
  • Extract the drug and inject right away.
  • Somatrem is packaged in single-use vials. Discard the vial even if there is still some medicine left. Discard the vial and used syringes properly

Inject Somatrem at different areas of the body at each dose to prevent the onset of skin problems. If you become confused when preparing or injecting Somatrem, call the doctor right away.

If you missed a dose of Somatrem, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to the original dosing schedule.

You can overdose on Somatrem by injecting too much of the drug. If this happens, call emergency hotlines and head to the hospital right away.

Store unprepared Somatrem in the refrigerator at temperatures 2 C to 8 C. Do not freeze.

4 Precautions to Take

You need to be regularly seen by the doctor when you are injecting Somatrem. Do not miss any clinic appointments and lab tests.

Always inspect the prepared solution of Somatrem before injection. The solution must be clear. Do not use the solution if it is cloudy or has particles in it.

Make sure to dispose of used vials and syringes properly. One way to dispose them is to put them in a plastic bottle with cap and mark as hazardous waste. Dispose them by local waste regulations.

Somatrem may cause your blood sugar levels to rise. You have to check your blood sugar levels often, especially if you are diabetic or at risk of diabetes.

Somatrem may cause slipped capital femoral epiphysis, which requires treatment. If you developed a limp or knee pain, call the doctor right away.

If you became pregnant or do breastfeeding while having treatment with Somatrem, call the doctor right away. 

5 Potential Side Effects

Somatrem may cause side effects that require medical intervention. Call the doctor if you experience the following side effects:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as difficulty breathing, skin rash, hives, swelling of the mouth, throat, nose, or tongue.
  • Symptoms of potential intracranial hypertension such as a headache, seeing halos around lights,, nausea and vomiting, blurred or tunnel vision
  • Symptoms of possible otitis media such as fluid or crusting in the ears reduced hearing and ear pain
  • Symptoms of possible pancreatitis such as pain in upper abdomen that radiats toward the back, pain in the abdomen, fever, nausea and vomiting
  • Developing a limp
  • Knee pain
  • Pain, swelling, or noticeable skin changes at the injection site
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