In the 1980s/1990s, an AIDS or HIV diagnosis was a scary prospect - an incurable disease that could lead to mortality for many.
Years later, the advent of new anti-retroviral medications helped most AIDS and HIV positive patients successfully manage their condition. Despite this advance, a subset of patients taking HIV medication found that they still experienced a decrease in energy, lean body mass and lost weight without trying - a condition known as HIV-associated wasting.
The approval of Serostim® (somatropin) for injection by the Food and Drug Administration brought a therapeutic option to HIV and AIDS patients impacted by wasting. As a recombinant growth hormone, its approval underscored the "outside the box" thinking that remains a hallmark at EMD Serono today as we work to bring meaningful solutions to patients.
Serostim is an injectable prescription medicine used to treat HIV-positive patients with wasting or cachexia. Serostim can only be used by people receiving treatment for the HIV infection.
Serostim should not be used if you have a critical illness, serious injury, severe breathing problem, surgery complications, eye problems caused by high blood sugar, or an allergy to the drug or diluent.
Patients using Serostim may experience swelling, serious allergic reactions that require medical attention, bone, muscle, and joint pain or stiffness, tingling, numbness, upset stomach, and extreme tiredness. Breast enlargement may also occur in men. Other more serious and less common side effects include high blood sugar, hypersensitivity and pancreatitis. Other side effects may occur. For complete product details and risks, please refer to the full Prescribing Information and talk to your doctor if you have questions or experience side effects using Serostim.
EMD Serono also explored the potential of its recombinant growth hormone in other illnesses. This led to the approval of Saizen® (somatropin) for injection, a product to treat growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children with growth failure who produce low amounts of growth hormone and adults with GHD that started as a child or as an adult.
Growth hormone deficiency is one of the endocrine (hormonal) disorders that can cause poor growth. Growth hormone is a protein produced by the pituitary gland; if the pituitary gland is malformed/damaged, it may mean that it cannot product growth hormone, which may cause a child’s growth to slow.1
Since its approval, EMD Serono developed a number of devices to help patients administer Saizen® (somatropin) for injection. EMD Serono worked in addition to give these patients the support they need through resources like Connections for Growth.
Saizen is a prescription medicine that is used to treat growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in children and adults. Saizen should not be used in children after the growth plates have closed, or in children and adults with any of these medical conditions: a critical illness, serious injury, severe breathing problems, Prader-Willi syndrome who are severely overweight, eye problems caused by high blood sugar, or an allergy to the drug or diluent.
Risks can include serious events such as tumors or cancerous growths, high blood sugar, serious allergic reactions that require medical attention, muscle and joint pain, swelling, itching, and pancreatitis. For complete product details and risks, please refer to the full Prescribing Information and talk to your doctor if you have questions or experience side effects while using Saizen.
Saizen® (somatropin) for injection: Full prescribing information (PDF)
1 Growth Hormone Deficiency Symptoms & Causes. http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/g/growth-hormone-deficiency/symptoms-and-causes. Accessed on April 30, 2018.