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In the case of patients with a known sensitivity to the supplied diluent (metacresol) or, if sensitivity to metacresol becomes apparent after treatment has been initiated, Valtropin (somatropin injection) ® should be reconstituted with 1.5 mL Water for Injection and used as a single use vial (see STABILITY AND STORAGE). See CONTRAINDICATIONS for information on 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. 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 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 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). Unless patients with Prader-Willi syndrome also have a diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency, Valtropin (somatropin injection) ® is not indicated for the long-term treatment of pediatric patients who have growth failure due to genetically confirmed Prader-Willi syndrome.
Therapy with Valtropin (somatropin injection) ® should be directed by physicians who are experienced in the diagnosis and management of pediatric patients with growth hormone deficiency and Turner syndrome, or adult patients with either childhood-onset or adult-onset growth hormone deficiency.
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. 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 (including obese patients with Prader-Willi syndrome), 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.
Patients with preexisting tumors or growth hormone deficiency secondary to an intracranial lesion should be examined 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.
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 occur 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 Turner syndrome, chronic renal insufficiency, and Prader-Willi syndrome may be at increased risk for the development of IH.
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 should be monitored carefully for any malignant transformation of skin lesions.
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/Patient should be informed that such reactions are possible and that prompt medical attention should be sought if allergic reactions occur.
Pediatric Patients (See PRECAUTIONS, General)
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis may occur more frequently in patients with endocrine disorders (including pediatric growth hormone deficiency and Turner syndrome) or 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 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. Skeletal abnormalities including scoliosis are commonly seen in untreated Turner syndrome patients. Scoliosis is also commonly seen in untreated patients with Prader-Willi syndrome. Physicians should be alert to these abnormalities, which may manifest during somatropin therapy.
Patients with Turner syndrome should be evaluated carefully for otitis media and other ear disorders since these patients have an increased risk of ear and hearing disorders (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Somatropin treatment may increase the occurrence of otitis media in patients with Turner syndrome. In addition, patients with Turner syndrome should be monitored closely for cardiovascular disorders (e.g., stroke, aortic aneurysm/dissection, hypertension) as these patients are also at risk for these conditions.
Adult Patients (See PRECAUTIONS, General)
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 growth hormone deficient adults. Fluid retention during somatropin replacement therapy in adults may occur. Clinical manifestations of fluid retention are usually transient and dose dependent (see ADVERSE REACTIONS).
Experience with prolonged treatment in adults is limited.
Carcinogenicity studies have not been conducted with somatropin.
Somatropin was not genotoxic with and without metabolic activation in the Ames bacterial mutagenicity assay, the in vitro Chinese Hamster Ovary and Chinese Hamster Lung cell chromosomal aberration assay, and the in vivo mouse micronucleus assay.
Male and female rats given SC doses of 1, 3, 10 IU/kg/day of somatropin from premating day 60 and premating day 14 to gestation day 7, respectively, did not show any adverse effect on fertility, mating or early development. This represents systemic exposures 1 to 15 times the human therapeutic levels based on body surface area comparisons.
Pregnancy Category B. There are no adequate and well controlled studies of Valtropin (somatropin injection) ® 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.
Subcutaneous reproduction studies have been performed with somatropin in rats and rabbits at doses up to 15 and 30 times, respectively, human therapeutic levels based on body surface area comparisons.
In pregnant rats given SC doses of 1, 3, 10 IU/kg/day of somatropin from gestation day 7 and 17 through organogenesis, an increase in embryolethality was observed in all somatropin-treated groups (3.88, 4.85, 4.72 %) compared to control (0.54%), representing systemic exposures 1 to 14 times human therapeutic levels based on body surface area comparisons.
In pregnant rabbits given SC doses of 1, 3, 10 IU/kg/day of somatropin from gestation days 6 and 18 through organogenesis at doses up to 30 times the human dose, no developmental adverse effects were observed.
In perinatal and post-natal studies in rats, somatropin at doses of 1, 3, 10 IU/kg/day given from gestation day 7 to lactation day 21, did not result in adverse effects on gestation, morphogenesis, parturition, lactation or post-natal weight of offspring (the only parameter evaluated), representing systemic exposures 1 to 14 times human therapeutic levels based on body surface area comparisons.
There have been no studies conducted with Valtropin (somatropin injection) ® in nursing mothers. 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 Valtropin (somatropin injection) ® is administered to a nursing woman.
The safety and effectiveness of Valtropin (somatropin injection) ® 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 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: 4/30/2007
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Valtropin Information
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