What is Serostim?Serostim is a medicine that contains human growth hormone. It is used to treat wasting or cachexia in people with HIV infection (AIDS). Serostim can help to increase your lean body mass and body weight, and it can improve physical endurance. Serostim is administered subcutaneously (just below the skin).
What is the most important information I should know about Serostim?You should be maintained on anti-HIV therapy for the duration of Serostim treatment.
Serostim can cause allergic reactions, including trouble breathing and skin redness. Stop using Serostim and get emergency medical help immediately if you get any of these symptoms.
Serostim can cause swelling, particularly in your hands and feet, pain, or stiffness. Carpal tunnel syndrome (a nerve disorder that causes numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the thumb and fingers) can also occur during treatment with Serostim.
Serostim can increase your blood sugar levels, or cause new or worsen diabetes. Check your blood sugar levels regularly. Your doctor may need to adjust the dose of your diabetes medications.
Serostim can cause pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Tell your doctor if you experience severe pain in the upper stomach area, swollen and tender stomach, sweating, nausea, vomiting, fever, yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes, or fast heartbeat.
Increased pressure in your brain can occur with the use of growth hormone products. This may include papilledema (swelling of the optic disk), visual changes, headache, nausea, and/or vomiting.
Serostim can be reconstituted with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection, which contains benzyl alcohol as a preservative. Benzyl alcohol can cause toxicity in your newborn baby. You can use Sterile Water for Injection, but you can use only one dose per vial and discard the unused portion.
Who should not take Serostim?Do not use Serostim if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or benzyl alcohol if you are mixing Serostim with Bacteriostatic Water for Injection. Also, do not use Serostim if you have active cancer or if you have a serious medical condition after having an open heart or abdominal surgery, serious injuries involving many body systems, or breathing problems (such as sudden respiratory failure).
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Serostim?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Serostim. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have cancer, respiratory problems, pancreatitis, diabetes, increased pressure in your brain, kidney or liver problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, trauma, heart or abdominal surgery.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for you based on your weight.
How should I take Serostim?Use Serostim exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
Change the sites of injection every day to avoid injection-site reactions (such as redness or pain).
Always use a new, unopened needle and syringe for each injection.
Your doctor will show you and/or your caregiver how to inject this medicine, as well as how to properly dispose syringes and needles. Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly use Serostim.
What should I avoid while taking Serostim?Do not inject Serostim solution if cloudiness persists after reconstitution or refrigeration.
Do not reuse needles and syringes.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Serostim?If Serostim is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Serostim with the following: diabetes medications, glucocorticoids (such as prednisone), or oral estrogen.
What are the possible side effects of Serostim?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: breast enlargement, carpal tunnel syndrome, headache, high blood sugar levels, injection-site reactions, joint or muscle pain, nausea, numbness or tingling sensation in your skin, pain, stiffness, swelling, swollen hands or feet, tiredness
Can I receive Serostim if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Serostim during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Serostim?If you miss a dose of Serostim, inject it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not inject two doses at once.
How should I store Serostim?Store at room temperature. After mixing, store in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. Do not freeze.