Serostim is a human growth hormone (hGH) produced by recombinant DNA technology. Serostim has 191 amino acid residues and a molecular weight of 22,125 daltons. Its amino acid sequence and structure are identical to the dominant form of human pituitary growth hormone. Serostim is produced by a mammalian cell line (mouse C127) that has been modified by the addition of the hGH gene. Serostim is secreted directly through the cell membrane into the cell-culture medium for collection and purification.
Serostim is a sterile lyophilized powder intended for subcutaneous injection after reconstitution to its liquid form
Dosage and Administration
Serostim is administered by subcutaneous injection. Therapy should be carried out under the regular guidance of a physician who is experienced in the diagnosis and management of HIV infection.
HIV-associated wasting or cachexia.
The use of exogenous sources of Growth Hormone has been popular in the United States for almost 8 years now. Originally, athletes used biologically active forms that were the actual extract of the pituitary glands of cadavers. Ascellacrin and Crescormon were the two most popular brand names on this original GH. While production was under way on the synthetic, recombinant DNA versions of this drug, it was discovered that the biologically active form was associated with the formation of a rare brain virus called Creutzveldt Jacob Disease. This was a fatal virus that afflicted a very small number of GH users, none of whom were athletes. In light of this discovery, the FDA removed all of these natural GH versions from the market in the United States.
Luckily, the synthetic recombinant versions were approved by the FDA a short time afterwards. These versions were developed after years of experiments with amino acid chains. The first of these versions was patented and produced by Genentech Labs with the brand name Protropin. A short time later, another form of synthetic Growth Hormone gained FDA approval. It was produced by Eli Lilly Labs and brand named Humatrope.
The usual starting dose is 0.1 mg/kg subcutaneously once daily (up to a total dose of 6 mg). Serostim should be administered subcutaneously once daily at bedtime according to the following body weight-based dosage recommendations:
Even if the high cost of the drug for the relatively small increase in lean body mass was not important, another problem with Serostim is. Serono omits including a bacteriostatic agent in the sterile water that Serostim is reconstituted with, so it must be used within 24 hours after mixing or thrown away because bacteria might grow in the solution. This makes Serostim much more profitable for Serono, while it effectively takes away your option of reducing common side effects by rationing out part of the vial every day to get a lower side effect-free daily dose.
If Serono did include a preservative like benzyl alcohol or metacresol in the mixing water, then you could use whatever dose was found to be appropriate, and store the unused GH in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Currently, HIV(+) individuals who cannot tolerate the severe side effects that the full 4, 5, or 6 mg doses can cause may end up throwing away any GH that they cannot use. More drug is wasted and thus more drug is sold.