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Definition of Somatropin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Somatropin: Growth hormone made by the pituitary gland or a synthetic version of that hormone. Naturally occurring somatropin is a polypeptide containing 191 amino acids. It is produced specifically by the anterior pituitary, the front section of the gland, and acts by stimulating the release of another hormone called somatomedin by the liver, thereby causing growth. Somatropin is also known as somatotropin.

Somatropin is given to children with pituitary dwarfism (short stature due to underfunction of the anterior pituitary) to help them grow.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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