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What Should I Know About HGH Injections?

By Georga
Updated Feb 05, 2024
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HGH, human growth hormone or somatropin, is naturally produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for growth and cell reproduction in humans and animals. As we age, HGH production in the body slows down and is responsible for things such as thinning hair, wrinkles, loss of muscle mass and tone, decreased libido, and decreased mental awareness.

In the US, HGH injections are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat children who fail to grow because their pituitary gland isn’t functioning properly. These injections may also be prescribed for children with Prader-Willi or Turner’s Syndrome, those with growth hormone deficiency caused by surgery or radiation, and for those with wasting syndrome such as AIDS patients. It is also used to strengthen the bones in the event of osteoporosis.

Any other uses in the US are considered illegal. Still, yet that doesn’t stop athletes from obtaining HGH injections to promote muscle growth. HGH is desirable by some athletes because it is not detectable in the urine. Doctors also offer to patients claiming fountain-of-youth solution.

HGH injections come with risks. Not only that, they usually have to be taken every day. Some patients visit the doctor's office daily to receive them, others have learned to administer it themselves.

Side effects of HGH injections include:

  • Depletion of potassium in the body which can lead to other, sometimes very serious, problems.
  • Hypoglycemia – HGH injections work against insulin in the body and those with diabetes or borderline diabetics are at high risk of a diabetic coma.
  • The reactivation of latent herpes viruses.
  • Worsening of some psychiatric conditions.
  • With certain types of cancer, HGH injections feed the cancer and make it grow and spread faster.
  • Decreased thyroid function.
  • Thickening of skin.
  • Abnormal hair growth.
  • Acromegaly – caused by too much growth hormone. It produces irreversible large extremities that cause disfigurement, soft tissue swelling of internal organs that lead to their failure, and loss of vision due to distention of the eyes.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Enlarged breasts in men.
  • Painful joints.
  • Carpel tunnel syndrome and other types of nerve pain.
  • Liver damage.

Given these serious potential side effects, HGH injections should be taken only after serious consideration and only under the supervision of a health care professional.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By DinoLeash — On Jan 13, 2011

@cellmania:

If your insurance does not cover hGH injections, the cost is very expensive. It depends on where you live and other factors but they can average anywhere from $800 a month to $3000 a month. They are well outside the budget of most of us.

For those who are fortunate enough to have their insurance company pay for the injections, most of them still require a co-pay that ranges from $300 to $700 a month.

By christym — On Jan 11, 2011

@cellmania: Some insurance companies will cover hGH injections. If it is deemed medically necessary, it will usually be covered. There is also a foundation called the “Magic Foundation” which offers assistance in appealing insurance company denials. They have helped many patients get the procedure approved through their insurance company.

By CellMania — On Jan 08, 2011

Does insurance cover growth hormone injections? If not, how much do they cost?

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