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mecasermin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using mecasermin (Increlex)?

Your child should not use this medication if he or she is allergic to mecasermin, or if the child has cancer or has finished growing and his or her bone growth plates are closed. Mecasermin is not for use in children who have growth hormone deficiency, malnutrition, underactive thyroid, or those who are taking long-term steroid medications.

To make sure your child can safely use mecasermin, tell your doctor if the child has other medical conditions, especially:

  • diabetes;
  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • a curved spine (scoliosis); or
  • a history of allergic reaction to a preservative called benzyl alcohol.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether mecasermin will harm an unborn baby. This medication should not be used during pregnancy.

It is not known whether mecasermin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using mecasermin.

How is mecasermin given (Increlex)?

Mecasermin is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not use this medicine at home if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Do not give this medication as an IV injection directly into a vein.

Use a different place on your child's upper arm, thigh, stomach, or buttocks each time you give your child a mecasermin injection. Your care provider will show you the best places on your child's body where to inject the medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Your doctor may occasionally change your child's dose to make sure your child gets the best results. The doctor may also want you to check the child's blood sugar before meals until the correct dose is determined.

Mecasermin is usually given twice per day. Give the mecasermin injection 20 minutes before or after the child eats a meal or snack. Skip the dose if the child's meal or snack will be missed. Mecasermin can cause low blood sugar, which may be worse if the child does not eat before or after the injection.

Take care not to let your child's blood sugar get too low while using mecasermin. Know the signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and how to recognize them:

  • hunger, weakness, nausea, irritability, tremors;
  • drowsiness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision;
  • confusion, trouble concentrating;
  • sweating, fast heartbeat;
  • seizure (convulsions); or
  • fainting, coma (severe hypoglycemia can be fatal).

Always keep a source of sugar available in case your child has symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar sources include orange juice, glucose gel, candy, or milk. If your child has severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, use an injection of glucagon. Your doctor can give you a prescription for a glucagon emergency injection kit and tell you how to give the injection.

Call your doctor if hypoglycemia symptoms do not get better after eating or drinking a sugar source.

Use a disposable needle only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

To be sure this medication is not causing harmful effects, your child will need to be checked on a regular basis. Do not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Store new unopened vials (bottles) of mecasermin in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Throw away any mecasermin that has become frozen.

Once you have opened a vial and started using it, the medication will keep for up to 30 days if stored in the refrigerator.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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