Growth Hormone Deficiency Medications (cont.)
Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone
- Generic/trade names: Sermorelin (Geref)
- How GHRH works: Some cases of growth hormone deficiency in children are caused by failure of the hypothalamus (a part of the brain that secretes signals the pituitary to release hormones) to secrete growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH). Children with this problem may be treated with GHRH.
- Who should not use these medications
- People with allergy to GHRH
- People with active cancer
- People with closed epiphyses (that is, with completed long-bone growth)
- Use: GHRH is administered by daily subcutaneous injections (shallow injections administered just under the skin). GHRH may also be administered 3 times a day as a nasal spray.
- Drug or food interactions: High doses of corticosteroids (for example, prednisone [Deltasone, Meticorten]) inhibit the growth-promoting effects of GHRH. Dose adjustments may be needed for people taking diabetes medications.
- Side effects: The doctor will monitor blood sugar levels according to a set schedule. Antibodies to GHRH may develop and prevent some individuals from getting better. GHRH may cause nausea, vomiting, or taste alterations.
Arthur B Chausmer, MD, PhD, FACP, FACE, FACN, CNS
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD