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Three Paths To Growth Hormone And Wellness—Genotropin, Norditropin and Nutropin

Medically Reviewed by

The need for growth hormone is critical for its ability to regulate many different functions including skeletal muscle and bone growth, glucose and lipid metabolism, and fluid homeostasis. For many individuals with HGH deficiency, synthetic growth hormone provides the necessary support.

Historically growth hormone, extracted from human cadavers was used to treat short stature in children in the 1960’s. After contamination of the natural hormone resulted in the deaths of 26 people, harvesting growth hormone in the U.S. was prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration. Shortly thereafter, in the mid 1980’s, synthetic growth hormone was formulated. This allowed for an infinite supply, making it available for many applications.[4]

Synthetic Growth Hormone—Two New Formulas

Using recombinant DNA technology, two forms of growth hormone known as, “somatropin” and “somatrem” were developed in the laboratory. This technology modified bacteria genetically by introducing genes coded for human growth hormone production. In essence, bacteria could now produce HGH without limits. Somatropin was formulated to replace natural HGH secreted from the pituitary gland and is chemically indistinguishable from the real thing in both urine and blood tests. Somatrem was developed as well, designed to mimic growth hormone, containing an additional amino acid in the formula.[2]

Presently at least 8 HGH formulas are manufactured in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration heavily regulates these for quality, purity, and safety. Growth hormone is also manufactured in many Asian countries and Europe as well. Counterfeit, and black market products are also produced, many times with little or no regard for standards of safety.

Growth hormone is manufactured in freeze-dried powder and liquid form.


Genotropin, manufactured by Pfizer, Inc. is growth hormone of highest purity and contains the 191 amino acid formula.

Who should not take Genotropin?

  • Have growth plates already closed (children)
  • Suffer from lung failure due to serious illness
  • Experience complications from recent medical trauma, injury, or illness
  • Have cancer/past history of cancer
  • Have diabetic retinopathy
  • Are currently under treatment for Prader-Willi syndrome and are overweight or have breathing difficulties, including sleep apnea
  • Are nursing mothers

How is Genotropin administered?

Genotropin is injected into the muscle or under the skin. It may be used with a pen injection system or with a standard needle and syringe. Freeze-dried powder is mixed with liquid to create the injectable solution. Genotropin Mixer is marketed exclusively for Genotropin.

Drug Interactions With Genotropin

  • Corticosteroids or estrogens—May decrease effectiveness of Genotropin.
  • Anticonvulsants—Genotropin may increase Side effects from these medications.
  • Insulin/diabetes medication—Genotropin may reduce effectiveness.

Genotropin Side Effects

Allergic reaction may include hives, breathing difficulties and facial swelling including lips, tongue, or throat.

Other side effects may include:

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headache
  • Swelling
  • Pain/itching at injection site
  • Changes in vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Knee, ear, hip pain
  • Numbness in fingers/hands/wrist
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry skin
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood sugar

Genotropin has been linked to possible increased risk for recurrence of neoplasm in children who receive radiation treatment for this cancer, as well as higher risk of glucose intolerance in some individuals, hypopituitarism, and pancreatitis.[1]


Norditropin, produced in the U.S. by Novo Nordisk Inc. is used to treat a series of growth hormone conditions in both children and adults.

Who uses Norditropin?

  • Children unable to grow due to lack of growth hormone
  • Children with Noonan syndrome or Turner syndrome, who are short in stature
  • Children short in stature, small for gestational age with retarded growth
  • Adults deficient of human growth hormone beginning in either childhood or adulthood

How is Norditropin delivered?

Norditropin administers growth hormone by injection with prefilled, preloaded FlexPro pens.

Serious side effects of Norditropin include:

  • Hyperglycemia
  • Increased intracranial pressure
  • Decreased thyroid hormone levels
  • Worsening of scoliosis in pre-existing conditions
  • Middle ear infection (Turner syndrome)
  • Increased phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, and parathyroid levels
  • High risk of death in those with serious illness due to stomach or heart surgery/trauma/severe respiratory issues
  • High risk of death in children with obesity/breathing disorders with Prader-
  • Willi syndrome
  • Return of cancerous growths
  • Knee/hip pain

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (or who may become pregnant or breastfeed) should discuss treatment options and effects prior to using Norditropin.


Nutropin, available by prescription and produced by U.S. corporation, Genentech is made for children and teenagers with growth hormone deficiency. It is administered to those with idiopathic short stature (extreme short stature with no identifiable cause) patients with Turner syndrome, and individuals with chronic kidney disease. Adults may take Nutropin if they have been deficient of HGH since childhood because of pituitary disease, diseases affecting the hypothalamus, surgery, radiation therapy, or trauma.

Nutropin side effects include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, muscle pain, swelling, rash, itching at injection site, joint pain, cold symptoms, and possible carpal tunnel syndrome.

Nutropin Delivery System

Nutropin AQ NuSpin is prefilled and disposable.

Contraindications with Nutropin

Talk to your doctor about treatment with Nutropin if taking:

  • Cyclosporine
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Insulin/diabetes medications
  • Steroids
  • Anti-seizure medication

Nutropin has not been studied for use on patients 65 and older.

Growth hormone replacement therapy with synthetic HGH is essential in the treatment of growth hormone deficiencycausing lack of growth in children, and other endocrine regulated medical disorders.[3]


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