Each patient’s growth hormone replacement therapy should be individualized. The outcome of treatment is influenced by many factors, including but not limited to the age at which the patient starts treatment, the condition of the patient prior to and during treatment, and the dose prescribed by the patient’s physician.
Saizen® (somatropin) for injection works to stimulate skeletal growth, increase the number and size of skeletal muscle cells, influence the size and function of internal organs, and has important effects on metabolism. But the process takes patience.
What to Expect when Children are on Treatment
In children, growth hormone therapy helps bones grow, which causes an increase in height. However, it may take time before you begin to see a distinct change. During the first two years of therapy, your child may grow several inches. After that, growth continues until the growth plates close and treatment with Saizen for growth failure should be discontinued.
Just as it takes a child a number of years to naturally grow to his or her adult height, treatment may be recommended for several years. Growth hormone treatment can continue until your child has achieved his or her final goal height as determined by their physician. It is more than likely your child will take growth hormone until bone growth is complete.
Helping Your Child Stay Committed to Therapy
Long-term commitment to growth hormone therapy can be especially difficult for a child. It’s important to remember that people who take growth hormone as prescribed have better outcomes than those who miss doses or take breaks from treatment. Remind your child that stopping therapy may limit the growth benefit he or she gets.
Here are a few ideas to encourage your child to stay committed to therapy:
- Set realistic expectations; your child should know that even with therapy, growth and an increase in height takes time
- Plan a small reward after every week or month your child takes growth hormone as prescribed
- Everyone likes praise; let your child know you appreciate the commitment he or she is making
What Adults Might Expect with Treatment
In adults, growth hormone therapy will likely not affect height; however, a clinical trial showed beneficial effects on several bone turnover markers, lean body mass and total fat mass in adults treated with Saizen® (somatropin) for injection compared to the placebo group.