Nutropin stands out as a significant development in the treatment of growth hormone deficiencies. As a bioengineered form of human growth hormone, this drug is critical in managing conditions that substantially impact patients' growth, development, and overall quality of life.
This article presents a comprehensive overview of Nutropin, delving into the particulars of its formulation, indications, method of administration, and costs.
Whether you are a healthcare provider, a patient, or someone caring for a loved one, this guide will deepen your understanding of this valuable medication and improve your knowledge about adequately handling and storing your Nutropin pens or vials.
Related article: Tips for Storing Norditropin HGH at Home and While Traveling!
What is Nutropin?
Nutropin is a brand name for a synthetic version of the human growth hormone our bodies naturally produce. It’s an injectable prescription medicine manufactured by Genentech.
Nutropin injections are mainly prescribed to treat growth failure in children and adults who lack natural growth hormone, including pediatric and adult growth hormone deficiency, Turner syndrome, short stature homeobox-containing gene deficiency, or Prader-Willi syndrome. It can also be used to prevent severe weight loss in people with AIDS and treat chronic kidney disease or short bowel syndrome.
Like any growth hormone therapy, Nutropin is a prescription medication that can have serious side effects, including severe headaches, confusion, weakness, loss of coordination, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and others. Never use it without medical supervision.
Related article: A Practical Guide To Using and Storing Humatrope Pens.
How does human growth hormone work?
The active ingredient in Nutropin is somatropin. It is identical to the growth hormone that the human body produces. Human growth hormone (HGH) is a protein naturally secreted by the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain.
Growth hormone is responsible for helping children and adolescents grow, but not only. It also plays a role in regulating body composition, cell regeneration, body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and heart function in adults.
When the body does not produce enough growth hormone on its own, which could be due to genetics, injury, or disease, a person might experience health problems such as growth failure, muscle loss, and metabolic abnormalities.
In such situations, doctors may prescribe HGH injections, like Nutropin, Norditropin, Genotropin, Omnitrope, Humatrope, or others, to supplement the body's natural growth hormone and prevent or treat symptoms.
Related article: Why You Should Store Genotropin In The Fridge?
Nutropin and Nutropin AQ
Nutropin is available in two forms:
- Nutropin, the original, comes as a lyophilized powder (freeze-dried) in a vial. Before injection, it must be reconstituted with a special diluent that comes with the medication.
- Nutropin AQ is a premixed, liquid formulation of Nutropin that comes in cartridges or prefilled pens. It's ready to use and does not require reconstitution, making it more convenient for patients. The "AQ" in Nutropin AQ stands for "Aqueous," referring to its liquid form.
The type of Nutropin product used depends on various factors, including the patient's specific medical needs, personal preferences, and comfort with injections. As always, these decisions should be made with a healthcare provider.
How to Use Nutropin?
Nutropin is typically given daily. It is administered via subcutaneous injection (just under the skin) and can be self-injected at home with an easy-to-use injector pen (NuSpin).
NuSpin Pen Injector
Nutropin is most commonly delivered in its premixed, liquid form. It is contained in the NuSpin prefilled pens. There's no need to mix or attach cartridges.
The pens contain several doses of somatropin. Patients can select their precise dose dailyby turning a dial on the pen. It’s important to use a new disposable pen needle for each injection.
As always, follow your healthcare provider's instructions for dosing and injecting Nutropin. Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide training on how to use the NuSpin pen properly. You can also refer to the user’s guide for detailed instructions.
Like other forms and brands of human growth hormone, Nutropin must be injected subcutaneously, that is, into the fatty tissue just beneath the skin. Common sites for subcutaneous injections include:
- The abdomen (away from the belly button)
- The thighs (front and sides)
- The buttocks (upper, outer quadrant)
- The back of the arms
Remember to rotate injection sites to prevent skin and tissue damage. If Nutropin is injected in the same place all the time, it can cause lumps, dents, or areas of hardened skin (lipodystrophy). It can also affect how well the medication is absorbed, which can lead to fluctuations in your treatment’s effectiveness.
Nutropin exists in different dosages, including:
- The Nutropin AQ NuSpin 5 (Clear Color, 5 mg/2 mL) delivers somatropin doses from 0.05 to 1.75 mg in increments of 0.05 mg.
- The Nutropin AQ NuSpin 10 (Teal Color, 10 mg/2 mL) delivers somatropin doses from 0.1 to 3.5 mg in increments of 0.1 mg.
- The Nutropin AQ NuSpin 20 (Blue Color, 20 mg/2 mL) delivers somatropin doses from 0.2 to 7.0 mg in increments of 0.2 mg.
The dosage of Nutropin, like other forms of somatropin, is based on various factors, including body weight, age, health status, medical history, response to treatment, and, of course, the specific condition being treated.
Always stick to your dosage, and never take more or less than what your doctor has prescribed. A healthcare provider should handle any calculations related to the dosage of Nutropin. If you have questions or concerns about your somatropin dosage, discuss these with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
According to Genentech, the manufacturer of Nutropin and Nutropin AQ, “whether you’re at home or traveling, Nutropin AQ NuSpin pens must be protected from light and kept cool between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C).” It should never be frozen.
Additionally, the injector pens or the vials cannot be kept outside the refrigerator for more than one hour per day. It implies that you should only take your pen out of the fridge for the injection and put it back inside immediatly afterward.
Related article: Why Do BodyBuilders Take Insulin?
Traveling with Nutropin
Given these strict storage conditions for Nutropin, traveling with this injectable medication requires additional considerations and precautions to ensure it stays effective and safe for use.
- Use a medical-grade travel fridge that keeps your Nutropin injector pens or vials refrigerated at all times and in all situations, like the ones from 4AllFamily.
Related article: How To Travel With Refrigerated Medication?
- Pack in your carry-on luggage. If you're flying, carry Nutropin in your carry-on luggage to avoid the risk of the medication being exposed to extreme temperatures in the checked luggage compartment.
- Airport security: In many countries, you're allowed to carry medications and a reasonable amount of accessories (needles, sharps container, syringes, etc.) in your carry-on luggage. However, it's best to keep your medication in its original packaging with a clear label so it can easily be identified. It might also be helpful to carry a copy of your medical prescription or a letter from your healthcare provider explaining your medical condition and the necessity of the medication. Consider translating it when traveling internationally.
- Time zones: When traveling across different time zones, you might need to adjust the timing of your daily Nutropin injections to stay consistent with your schedule. Discuss this with your healthcare provider before your trip.
- Backup plan: When traveling with medications like Nutropin, always have a backup plan. Bring extra medicine if possible, and know where to get medical care or additional supplies if needed.
Remember, these are general guidelines that may apply differently for each person. Always ask for your doctor’s advice before traveling with Nutropin.
Nutropin, and growth hormone therapy in general, is an expensive treatment. According to online data, the average out-of-pocket costs of Nutropin NuSpin pens are the following:
- Nutropin AQ NuSpin 5: $1,908 for 3 pens ($636 per pen)
- Nutropin AQ NuSpin 10: $3,800 for 3 pens ($1,266 per pen)
- Nutropin AQ NuSpin 20: $7,612 for 3 pens ($$2,537 per pen)
However, the actual cost of Nutropin can vary based on the dosage, the location, the specific pharmacy, as well as your health insurance plan. Insurances may cover some or all of its cost.
Genentech and non-profit organizations offer patient assistance programs that may help reduce the cost of your treatment.
Nutropin vs. Norditropin vs. Other HGH Injections
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) injections are available under various brand names such as Nutropin, Genotropin, Omnitrope, Humatrope, Norditropin, Saizen, and others.
These medications are all essentially the same type of hormone but differ in different aspects, including formation, dosage, strength, injection devices, storage conditions, indications and FDA approvals, pricing, and availability.
Ultimately, the choice between them will often come down to personal preference, comfort with the delivery device, and the specifics of the patient's medical condition. As always, these decisions should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider.
Related article: Growth Hormones, A Comparison of Different Brands.
What about you? Are you using human growth hormone injections? Don’t hesitate to share your comments and experiences below!