Long-term efficacy and safety of somatropin for adult growth hormone deficiency

Treat Endocrinol. 2003;2(2):109-20. doi: 10.2165/00024677-200302020-00004.


The beneficial effects of somatropin (growth hormone [GH] replacement therapy) in adults are now established. Long-term somatropin administration in GH-deficient adults improves body composition, muscle strength, quality of life, bone mass and density, and lipoprotein pattern. The extent to which somatropin therapy can also reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in GH-deficient adults remains to be determined. By starting with a low dose of somatropin, which is gradually increased based on clinical response (body composition, well-being, and serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration), effective treatment can be achieved with a minimum of fluid-related adverse effects. Thorough long-term monitoring of glucose metabolism, cardiovascular measurements, and underlying pituitary disease, is, however, mandatory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arteriosclerosis / etiology
  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Body Composition
  • Bone and Bones / injuries
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Heart / drug effects
  • Heart Diseases / chemically induced
  • Human Growth Hormone / adverse effects
  • Human Growth Hormone / deficiency*
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Mortality
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Quality of Life


  • Human Growth Hormone