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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 doses 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.
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 obstructions 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 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). Tev-Tropin is not indicated for the treatment of pediatric patients who have growth failure due to genetically confirmed Prader-Willi syndrome.
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 used to reconstitute the Tev-Tropin 5 mg vial, 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 respirations, 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.
When administering Tev-Tropin 5 mg to newborns, reconstitute with sterile normal saline for injection, USP. WHEN RECONSTITUTING WITH STERILE NORMAL SALINE, USE ONLY ONE DOSE PER VIAL AND DISCARD THE UNUSED PORTION.
Tev-Tropin therapy should be carried out under the regular guidance of a physician who is experienced in the diagnosis and management of pediatric patients with growth hormone deficiency.
In childhood cancer survivors who were treated with radiation to the brain/head for their first neoplasm and who developed subsequent GHD and were treated with somatropin, an increased risk of a second neoplasm has been reported. Intracranial tumors, in particular meningiomas, 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]. Monitor all patients with a history of GHD secondary to an intracranial neoplasm routinely while on somatropin therapy for progression or recurrence of the tumor.
Because children with certain rare genetic causes of short stature have an increased risk of developing malignancies, practitioners should thoroughly consider the risks and benefits of starting somatropin in these patients. If treatment with somatropin is initiated, these patients should be carefully monitored for development of neoplams.
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 during somatropin treatment. New-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus has been reported in patients. 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.
In patients with hypopituitarism (multiple hormone deficiencies), standard hormonal replacement therapy should be monitored closely when somatropin therapy is administered. Undiagnosed/untreated hypothyroidism may prevent an optimal response to somatropin, in particular, the growth response in children. Patients with Turner syndrome have an inherently increased risk of developing autoimmune thyroid disease and primary hypothyroidism. In patients with growth hormone deficiency, 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.
Patients with endocrine disorders, including growth hormone deficiency, may have an increased incidence of slipped capital femoral epiphysis. Any child who develops a limp or complains of hip or knee pain during somatropin therapy should be evaluated.
Intracranial hypertension (IH) with papilledema, visual changes, headache, nausea and/or vomiting has been reported in a small number of patients treated with growth hormone products. IH has been reported more frequently after treatment with IGF-1. Symptoms usually occur within the first eight weeks after the initiation of growth hormone therapy. In all reported cases, IH-associated signs and symptoms resolved rapidly after temporary suspension or termination of therapy. 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 idiopathic IH is diagnosed, treatment with somatropin can be restarted at a lower dose after IH-associated signs and symptoms have resolved.
Progression of scoliosis can occur in children 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.
Bone age should be monitored periodically during somatropin administration, especially in patients who are pubertal and/or receiving concomitant thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Under these circumstances, epiphyseal maturation may progress rapidly.
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. As is the case with any protein, local or systemic allergic reactions may occur. Parents/Patient should be informed that such reactions are possible and that prompt medical attention should be sought if allergic reactions occur.
Information For Patients
Patients being treated with Tev-Tropin and/or their caregivers should be informed about the potential benefits and risks associated with treatment. See the PATIENT INFORMATION included with the product and/or injection device. This information is intended to aid in the safe and effective administration of the medication. It is not a disclosure of all possible adverse or intended effects.
Patients and caregivers who will administer Tev-Tropin should receive appropriate training and instruction on the proper use of Tev-Tropin from the physician or other suitable qualified health care professional. A puncture-resistant container for the disposal of used needles and syringes should be strongly recommended. Patients and/or caregivers should be thoroughly instructed in the importance of proper disposal, and cautioned against any reuse of needles and syringes.
Serum levels of inorganic phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, and IGF-1 may increase after somatropin therapy.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Carcinogenesis, mutagenesis and reproduction studies have not been conducted with Tev-Tropin.
Pregnancy Category C
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Tev-Tropin. It is also not known whether Tev-Tropin can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity. Tev-Tropin should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.
It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Tev-Tropin is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of somatropin in patients aged 65 and over has not been evaluated in clinical studies. Elderly patients may be more sensitive to the action of somatropin, and may be more prone to develop adverse reactions.
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/18/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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