Human Growth Hormone

What is Human Growth Hormone?

Growth Hormone is naturally produced by the pituitary gland and stimulates growth and cell formation in humans. Synthetic Human Growth Hormone (“HGH”) was created to mimic these effects and can be legitimately prescribed for treatment of a few very rare conditions.

What are the common names or slang terms for Human Growth Hormone?

Human Growth Hormone is commonly referred to as HGH. Prescription brands of injectable HGH (somatropin) include Saizen, Genotropin, Humatrope, Nutropin and Omnitrope.

What does Human Growth Hormone look like?

HGH is a powder that is mixed with biostatic water, making it possible to be injected subcutaneously.

How is Human Growth Hormone used?

The FDA has approved HGH prescriptions for the treatment of the following rare medical conditions:

  • Children with pituitary dwarfism or growth hormone deficiency;
  • Children with Prader-Willi Syndrome;
  • Children with Turner Syndrome;
  • Children and Adults with HIV/AIDS-related wasting disease;
  • Adults with short bowel syndrome; and
  • Adults with growth hormone deficiency due to rare pituitary tumors or their treatment.*

*In adults, the FDA requires that growth hormone deficiency and a non-functioning pituitary gland be proven by a stimulation test before HGH is legally prescribed.

As seen in the news, some athletes have used HGH for non FDA-approved reasons, such as to help speed up the recovery time from injuries. HGH can not be legitimately prescribed for a non FDA-approved use, including any anti-aging or bodybuilding purpose, and any non FDA-approved use is illegal. Interestingly, studies have concluded that there is no evidence of increased muscle strength in athletes who use HGH.

What are its short and long-term effects on the body?

There are a number of serious side effects associated with HGH use. HGH can cause swelling in the arms and legs, arthritis-like symptoms, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, bloating, and muscle pain. Long-term HGH use can lead to diabetes, abnormal growth of bones and organs, hardening of arteries, and high blood-pressure.

What is its federal classification?

To be used legally, this substance requires a legitimate prescription from a physician.