Acute Critical Illness
Increased mortality in patients with acute critical illness due to complications following open heart surgery, abdominal surgery or multiple accidental trauma, or those with acute respiratory failure has been reported after treatment with pharmacologic amounts of somatropin [see CONTRAINDICATIONS]. The safety of continuing somatropin treatment in patients receiving replacement doses for approved indications who concurrently develop these illnesses has not been established. Therefore, the potential benefit of treatment continuation with somatropin in patients experiencing acute critical illnesses should be weighed against the potential risk.
Prader-Willi Syndrome in Children
There have been reports of fatalities after initiating therapy with somatropin in pediatric patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome who had one or more of the following risk factors: severe obesity, history of upper airway obstruction or sleep apnea, or unidentified respiratory infection. Male patients with one or more of these factors may be at greater risk than females. Patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome should be evaluated for signs of upper airway obstruction (including onset of or increased snoring) and sleep apnea before initiation of treatment with somatropin. If, during treatment with somatropin, patients show signs of upper airway obstruction (including onset of or increased snoring) and/or new onset sleep apnea, treatment should be interrupted. All patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome treated with somatropin should also have effective weight control and be monitored for signs of respiratory infection, which should be diagnosed as early as possible and treated aggressively [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Patients with preexisting tumors or GHD secondary to an intracranial lesion should be monitored routinely for progression or recurrence of the underlying disease process. In pediatric patients, clinical literature has revealed no relationship between somatropin replacement therapy and central nervous system (CNS) tumor recurrence or new extracranial tumors. However, in childhood cancer survivors, an increased risk of a second neoplasm has been reported in patients treated with somatropin after their first neoplasm. Intracranial tumors, in particular meningiomas, in patients treated with radiation to the head for their first neoplasm, were the most common of these second neoplasms. In adults, it is unknown whether there is any relationship between somatropin replacement therapy and CNS tumor recurrence [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Patients should be monitored carefully for potential malignant transformation of skin lesions, i.e. increased growth of preexisting nevi.
Glucose Intolerance and Diabetes Mellitus
Treatment with somatropin may decrease insulin sensitivity, particularly at higher doses in susceptible patients. As a result, previously undiagnosed impaired glucose tolerance and overt diabetes mellitus may be unmasked, and new onset type 2 diabetes mellitus has been reported in patients taking somatropin. Therefore, glucose levels should be monitored periodically in all patients treated with somatropin, especially in those with risk factors for diabetes mellitus, such as obesity, Turner Syndrome, or a family history of diabetes mellitus. Patients with preexisting type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance should be monitored closely during somatropin therapy. The doses of antihyperglycemic drugs (i.e., insulin or oral agents) may require adjustment when somatropin therapy is instituted in these patients. [See DRUG INTERACTIONS]
Intracranial Hypertension (IH)
Intracranial hypertension (IH) with papilledema, visual changes, headache, nausea, and/or vomiting has been reported in a small number of patients treated with somatropin products. Symptoms usually occurred within the first eight (8) weeks after the initiation of somatropin therapy. In all reported cases, IH-associated signs and symptoms rapidly resolved after cessation of therapy or a reduction of the somatropin dose. Funduscopic examination should be performed routinely before initiating treatment with somatropin to exclude preexisting papilledema, and periodically during the course of somatropin therapy. If papilledema is observed by funduscopy during somatropin treatment, treatment should be stopped. If somatropin-induced IH is diagnosed, treatment with somatropin can be restarted at a lower dose after IH-associated signs and symptoms have resolved. Patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome may be at increased risk for the development of IH.
Fluid retention during somatropin replacement therapy in adults may frequently occur. Clinical manifestations of fluid retention are usually transient and dose dependent.
Patients with hypopituitarism (multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies) should have their other hormonal replacement treatments closely monitored during somatropin treatment.
Undiagnosed/untreated hypothyroidism may prevent an optimal response to somatropin, in particular, the growth response in children. Patients with an inherently increased risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease and primary hypothyroidism should have their thyroid function checked prior to initiation of somatropin therapy. In patients with GHD, central (secondary) hypothyroidism may first become evident or worsen during somatropin treatment. Therefore, patients treated with somatropin should have periodic thyroid function tests and thyroid hormone replacement therapy should be initiated or appropriately adjusted when indicated.
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in Pediatric Patients
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis may occur more frequently in patients undergoing rapid growth. Any pediatric patient with the onset of a limp or complaints of hip or knee pain during somatropin therapy should be carefully evaluated.
Progression of Preexisting Scoliosis in Pediatric Patients
Progression of scoliosis can occur in patients who experience rapid growth. Because somatropin increases growth rate, patients with a history of scoliosis who are treated with somatropin should be monitored for progression of scoliosis. However, somatropin has not been shown to increase the occurrence of scoliosis. Scoliosis is commonly seen in untreated patients with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Physicians should be alert to these abnormalities, which may manifest during somatropin therapy.
Confirmation of Childhood Onset Adult GHD
Patients with epiphyseal closure who were treated with somatropin replacement therapy in childhood should be reevaluated according to the criteria in INDICATIONS AND USAGE before continuation of somatropin therapy at the reduced dose level recommended for GH deficient adults.
Local and Systemic Reactions
When somatropin is administered subcutaneously at the same site over a long period of time, tissue atrophy may result. This can be avoided by rotating the injection site [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
As with any protein, local or systemic allergic reactions may occur. Parents/Patients should be informed that such reactions are possible and that prompt medical attention should be sought if allergic reactions occur.
Serum levels of inorganic phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, parathyroid hormone (PTH) and IGF-I may increase after somatropin therapy.
Cases of pancreatitis have been reported rarely in children and adults receiving somatropin treatment, with some evidence supporting a greater risk in children compared with adults. Published literature indicates that girls who have Turner syndrome may be at greater risk than other somatropin-treated children. Pancreatitis should be considered in any somatropin treated patient, especially a child, who develops persistent severe abdominal pain.
Benzyl alcohol, a component of this product, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The “gasping syndrome,” (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping repirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages > 99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling.
Patients being treated with Omnitrope® (and/or their parents) should be informed about the potential risks and benefits associated with somatropin treatment [in particular, see ADVERSE REACTIONS for a listing of the most serious and/or most frequently observed adverse reactions associated with somatropin treatment in children and adults]. This information is intended to better educate patients (and caregivers); it is not a disclosure of all possible adverse or intended effects.
Patients and caregivers who will administer Omnitrope® should receive appropriate training and instruction on the proper use of Omnitrope® from the physician or other suitably qualified health care professional. A puncture-resistant container for the disposal of used syringes and needles should be strongly recommended. Patients and/or parents should be thoroughly instructed in the importance of proper disposal, and cautioned against any reuse of needles and syringes. Counsel patients and parents that they should never share an Omnitrope Pen with another person, even if the needle is changed. Sharing of the pen between patients may pose a risk of transmission of infection.
If patients are prescribed Omnitrope® Cartridge 5 mg/1.5 mL or 10 mg/1.5 mL (to be inserted into Omnitrope Pen 5 or Pen 10 delivery systems), physicians should instruct patients to read the corresponding INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE provided with the Omnitrope® Pens delivery systems and the Omnitrope® Cartridges.
If patients are prescribed Omnitrope® for injection, physicians should instruct patients to read the INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE leaflets provided with the Omnitrope® for injection 5.8 mg/vial. Omnitrope® is a trademark of Novartis.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and fertility studies have not been conducted with Omnitrope® See Pregnancy section for effect on fertility.
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category B
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Omnitrope®. It is not known whether Omnitrope® can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity.
Reproduction studies carried out with another somatropin product at doses of 0.3, 1, and 3.3 mg/kg/day administered subcutaneously in the rat and 0.08, 0.3, and 1.3 mg/kg/day administered intramuscularly in the rabbit (highest doses approximately 24 times and 19 times the recommended human therapeutic levels, respectively, based on body surface area) resulted in decreased maternal body weight gains but were not teratogenic. In rats receiving subcutaneous doses during gametogenesis and up to 7 days of pregnancy, 3.3 mg/kg/day (approximately 24 times human dose) produced anestrus or extended estrus cycles in females and fewer and less motile sperm in males. When given to pregnant female rats (days 1 to 7 of gestation) at 3.3 mg/kg/day a very slight increase in fetal deaths was observed. At 1 mg/kg/day (approximately seven times human dose) rats showed slightly extended estrus cycles, whereas at 0.3 mg/kg/day no effects were noted.
In perinatal and postnatal studies in rats, doses of 0.3, 1, and 3.3 mg/kg/day of this other somatropin product produced growth-promoting effects in the dams but not in the fetuses. Young rats at the highest dose showed increased weight gain during suckling but the effect was not apparent by 10 weeks of age. No adverse effects were observed on gestation, morphogenesis, parturition, lactation, postnatal development, or reproductive capacity of the offspring due to this other somatropin product. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.
It is not known whether Omnitrope® is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Omnitrope® is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of Omnitrope® in patients aged 65 and over have not been evaluated in clinical studies. Elderly patients may be more sensitive to the action of somatropin, and therefore may be more prone to develop adverse reactions. A lower starting dose and smaller dose increments should be considered for older patients [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
Last reviewed on RxList: 6/1/2011
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Omnitrope Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
Find out what women really need.