Serostim was initially used for the treatment of the wasting syndrome in HIV patients. Serostim relieves patient symptoms like loss in appetite, weight loss, muscle atrophy and fatigue. It is not an over-the-counter drug. You can only buy it from a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription. It is important to note that this drug is FDA approved to treat muscle degradation, lean mass, and physical fatigue in AIDS patients.
The packaging of Serostim comprises of two vials, one with the powdered Serostim and the other vial with the 0.5-1 ml liquid to be reconstituted. The liquid may be Sterile water or Bacteriostatic water(preserved with 0.9% Benzyl alcohol). Serostim is available in 3 strengths i.e. in 5 mg or 6 mg and 4 mg. Serostim constituted with sterile water should be used up immediately. It cannot be stored for future uses. Serostim 5 mg and 6 mg are reconstituted with water and and hence are single dose injections
However Serostim reconstituted with Bacteriostatic water can be preserved and used upto 14 days. It must be refrigerated at 2-8 degrees Celsius. Serostim 4 mg is reconstituted with bacteriostatic water and hence it is multiple use injections. For children or patients allergic to Benzyl alcohol (preservative) present in bacteriostatic water, it is paramount to substitute the same with sterile water.
Points to note while administering Serostim:
- Do not inject the liquid component (sterile water or Bacteriostatic water) directly into the powder. Let it flow through the side of the vial.
- Do not shake the vial vigorously to mix the content. Shaking can heat up the compounds resulting in them losing their medicinal property. So give it a gentle swirl until they are fully mixed.
- Do not use the product if it seems cloudy or have particle in them.
- Always use sterile needles for administering the dose. Be sure to dispose them carefully after each use.
- Injection is to be done under the skin and not into the muscle.
- Rotate the areas of injection between upper arm,, abdomen, thigh and buttocks. Do not inject in the same place twice in a row since it may lead to local irritation. More details are available here.
Contraindications and Side effects
Growth hormones, although useful, can turn to be fatal if not taken care of. People who have suffered or are suffering from of the following ailments should not use Serostim or any other HGH.
- Patient who have recently undergone cardiovascular or abdominal surgery.
- People who have been in a accident and have not yet recovered from the trauma
- Anyone who has suffered from acute respiratory failure
- Cancer and tumor patients or patients who have a history of cancer
- Diabetics with retinopathy associated to the diabetes
- Anyone allergic to somatropin, sucrose, phosphoric acid, bacteriostatic water or benzyl alcohol
Serostim is commonly used as an injection administered under your skin. Other brands of Somatropin may be administered into the the muscle but Serostim is injected subcutaneously.