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Side Effects of Somatropin: Are they Dangerous?

written by: Emma Lloyd•edited by: Emma Lloyd•updated: 8/11/2011

Somatropin is a synthetic form of a hormone normally produced in the body. Taking this hormone can cause mild effects such as tenderness and pain, as well as rare but serious side effects.

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    What is Somatropin?

    Human growth hormone is essential at all stages of life, but particularly so in children and teenagers. A deficiency in growth hormone means children can simply fail to grow. In people with chronic kidney failure and syndromes such as Turner syndrome and Noonan syndrome, lack of growth hormone can prevent growth occurring at a normal rate. People with AIDS may also be treated with somatropin, as it can prevent the severe weight loss that often occurs as the disease progresses.

    Synthetic versions of human growth hormone have been developed to provide an additional source of the hormone for people who cannot make their own. Somatropin is one of these synthetic hormones. This synthetic growth hormone is usually administered via an injection.

    Before taking somatropin it’s crucial to ensure your doctor has full details of all medications and supplements you are currently taking, and also has full knowledge of your current and past medical history. This includes dietary and herbal supplements, as well as prescription medications.

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    Mild Somatropin Side Effects

    Possible mild side effects of using somatropin include the following:

    • Headache
    • Joint stiffness, pain, or swelling
    • Low level nausea, gas, or stomach pain
    • Swelling of the breasts
    • Soreness, redness, pain, itching, or bruising at the injection site.

    Tell your doctor if these side effects persist or become severe.

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    Serious Side Effects of Somatropin

    The following somatropin side effects should be considered potentially serious. Anyone who experiences these side effects should contact their doctor as soon as possible.

    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Fever, sweating
    • Fast heartbeat
    • Tenderness in the stomach area
    • Yellowing of the eyes or skin (can be indicative of jaundice)
    • Visual impairment or vision changes
    • Sudden pain behind the eyes
    • Tingling or numbness in the fingers, hand, or wrist
    • Swollen feet, hands, face, or head

    People with Prader-Willi who take somatropin may experience difficulty breathing or other lung problems. Even minor issues such as snoring or coughing should be brought to the attention of your doctor.

    An overdose of somatropin may cause shaking, tremors, cold sweats, drowsiness, headache, dizziness, weakness, fast heartbeat, and nausea. Anyone who experiences these symptoms of overdose should seek emergency medical attention immediately.