Growth hormone secretagogues. Clinical experience and therapeutic potential

Drugs. 1995 Oct;50(4):595-601. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199550040-00002.


In recent years, several biosynthetic hexa- and heptapeptides, as well as nonpeptide bezolactam derivatives, have been found to be potent growth hormone (GH) secretagogues. They act synergistically with GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) but via different receptors, and are GHRH dependent. All are active when administered intravenously, orally or subcutaneously. Short and long term experience in adults and children has proven that these drugs evoke the metabolic changes induced by GH and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), including acceleration of growth velocity in children. With the exception of a partial downregulation phenomenon, no adverse effects have been reported so far. This new class hormone-like drugs acting GH secretagogues may have immense clinical potential.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism*
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligopeptides / therapeutic use*
  • Secretory Rate / drug effects
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • Oligopeptides
  • growth hormone releasing hexapeptide
  • Growth Hormone
  • Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone