Watching your child grow and marking their progress on a ruler, wall, or other measurement place is a common joy for parents. Unfortunately, some children don’t grow as fast or as much as their peers. While most of these are just children of short parents, some have treatable medical growth problems. One common treatment is sermorelin.
You may have also heard of sermorelin being used for more than just childhood growth problems. So, let’s take a look at some of the benefits and uses we can get from sermorelin.
What Is Sermorelin?
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a peptide hormone necessary for growth and development. This is something that your body naturally produces, and that is excreted from the pituitary gland. It is important for maintaining healthy organs and tissues throughout your life. However, it is especially important during childhood and adolescence, when your body is undergoing a wide range of dramatic changes.
HGH also needs growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) to function properly. GHRH is a molecule that controls the release of HGH from the pituitary gland into the bloodstream
Occasionally, this process doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. If HGH levels are too low or too high, they can lead to health problems for children and adults.
Sermorelin can be used to help stimulate the production and release of the hormone by the pituitary gland. Sermorelin is simply a synthetic version of GHRH that helps get more HGH into the bloodstream.
Benefits and Uses
Sermorelin is only available with a prescription. It’s most often used as a treatment for underdeveloped growth in children. In fact, a past study showed that after only six months, daily injections of sermorelin caused growth rates to increase by 74%.
Off-label, sermorelin is used to treat HGH deficiency in adults. Studies surrounding the use of sermorelin in adults are rare. However, studies have shown that it does increase the levels of HGH in the bloodstream.
This has led to claims that sermorelin use can help restore HGH production and even be used as an anti-aging therapy. Some suggest that it can be used to increase insulin sensitivity, lean body mass, libido, and general well-being. However, conclusive research into these uses is still unproven and controversial.
Finally, research suggests that the use of sermorelin may help treat certain kinds of recurrent brain tumors.
Differences from HGH Therapy
As discussed, sermorelin is synthetic GHRH, though the goal is to increase HGH levels. So you might wonder why we don’t just inject HGH instead of the intermediary.
In reality, many people do use genetically engineered HGH instead. The FDA approved a biosynthetic form in 1985. Prior to this, HGH could only be recovered from the pituitary glands of the deceased. This carried a risk of disease transmission, which was eliminated thanks to the synthetic form.
Research has shown that it’s effective in treating HGH deficiency in adults and underdeveloped growth in children. However, HGH has more side effects and risks. There are people for whom it is not an appropriate therapy.
How Is It Used?
Sermorelin is administered via subcutaneous (under the skin) injections. While you need a prescription to obtain the drug, you don’t need to visit the doctor for the injections. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can administer the injections yourself at home. Your doctor can even demonstrate the best injection technique to help you with this.
They will also determine your dosage and how long your treatment will last according to your individual factors. Injections are done at night, two hours after dinner, and on an empty stomach for best results. Typically Monday through Friday taking two days off.
Before you begin, use an antiseptic to wipe the rubber vial stopper, then puncture it with the needle. Most people self-administer sermorelin in their stomachs or thighs. Try to inject it into the fatty tissue just under the skin.
Since it’s a daily injection, you’ll want to change the injection site location frequently. This will help prevent soreness and bruising. Most doctors recommend changing the site daily.
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Risks of Using Sermorelin
Sermorelin is usually well-tolerated, though its long-term risks are still unknown.
Since it’s a synthetic drug, there is a chance you could develop an allergic reaction. Because of this, you should inform your doctor about any allergies before starting treatment.
Potential Side Effects
Side effects are usually minor, with the most common being irritation at the injection site. You may experience the following:
Usually, these reactions don’t last long and go away without action. With use, you’ll become better at self-administering the shots, which typically reduces the appearance of these side effects.
Some people do experience other less common side effects from sermorelin. These include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Redness in the neck or the face
- Difficulty sitting still
- Taste changes
If you notice any concerning side effects, make sure you contact your doctor immediately.
It’s also important to tell your doctor about any medications, vitamins, supplements, and other IV treatments you are taking. These could interact with sermorelin.
Common interactions to note are:
- Antithyroid medications
- Muscarinic antagonists
- Somatostatin-containing drugs
- Drugs that affect somatostatin
Who Might Benefit from Sermorelin?
Children and adolescents with poor growth are the best candidates for sermorelin. This group may benefit from both diagnosis and treatment of HGH deficiency.
Older research also suggests adults with an HGH deficiency may benefit from sermorelin. Some adults use the drug for bodybuilding or anti-aging purposes. However, the benefit and risks remain controversial due to a lack of evidence. If you’re looking for these types of benefits, you may want to look into other therapies, such as IV therapy.
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Who Should Avoid It?
Sermorelin use is not for everybody. Those taking medications that may interact with it should consult their doctor.
In addition, those with certain conditions may need additional screening and may need to avoid using it. Conditions to be aware of include:
- Allergies to sermorelin
- Pregnancy or planning to become pregnant
Is Sermorelin Therapy Right for You?
Using sermorelin may be beneficial in treating HGH deficiency, especially in children and adolescents. While it may also be useful for other goals, whether it is right for you is something to discuss with your doctor.
Related: Benefits of IV Hydration