Growth Hormone Injections???

Hi , I had a former 26 weeker, who is now 23 months old, and weighs 17 and half pounds. Her height is 30 inches. She is very small and petite. I was wondering if growth hormone injections work? and when can you start giving them to children?? Also does medicad cover, or do you have to pay up front??? I also wanted to know what are the risks of having these injections, and are they really worth it?? Please, if anyone has any information about this.... please let me know.

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My daughter has not had growth hormones but my younger brother did starting when he was about 5 years old. If I remember correctly, growth hormones are generally used when a child is very short for their age, not if they are only under wieght. I'm not sure where your daughter is ion the growth chart as far as height but my daughter is 33 months old and is only about 27.5 inches tall. She has only grown .5 inches in the last 6 months and her docs have not mentioned growth hormones yet. I know that my younger brother who is now 22 years old had a pituitary (sp?) gland problem that was interfering with his growth. He is now 6 ft 3 in but he will have to take the injections for the rest of his life because he just isn't producing the right hormones. They are very expensive though and my parents insurance covers 80% after the $1000 deductable.

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Hi

I dont really know the answer to your question but I have read a discussion about growth harmones posted on this site before.

Here is the link..

http://www.inspire.com/groups/preemie/discussion/growth-hormone-2/

Hope this helps
Good Luck
Archana

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My son has been on growth hormone injections for 2.5 months now. He too, is a 26 weeker. He turned 3 last weekend. It does take several test to qualify for the GH. We see an endocrinologist and have had bloodwork, a growth hormone stimulation test and a bone age x-ray. Insurance is really strict on the requirements...I guess because of the cost. I'm not positive about the coverage of medicaid for the GH but I would think that if she qualifies, she would be covered. Our insurance is an 80/20 plan. So our initial startup (first 2 viles, needles, device) were $490. Then it is $190 amonth until our $1000 out of pocket is met. Definitely pricey but I think it cost around $500 a vile (which could last 1-2 weeks, depending on your dose) w/out insurance.
As far as his growth is concerned, he has grown a half an inch and gained 3 lbs. (he is 35 inches tall (10% for height) and 32 lbs (50% for weight). They said that we can expect him to grow anywhere from 3-5 inches the first year.
As far as side effects are concerned, he eats like a CHAMP. They say they can have leg cramps and head aches but we haven't had any problems on the current dose that we are on.
If you have any more questions, I'd be glad to answer them if I can.
Ashley

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My former 26 weeker, now 3 started growth hormones in July. He is currently 25 lbs and is 32" tall. We went through all the tests Ashley talked about. They will also take into consideration the height of you and the father. Based on mine and my husbands height, my son is projected to be nearly 6'3". At the growth rate before the shots he was projected at 5'1".

I would talk to your ped about it. They will need to refer you to an endocrinologist. Our ped ordered all the tests before we saw the endocrinologist so they would have all the results from the tests at our first appointment. That way we would have an idea if he qualified for GH at the first appointment with the endocrinologist.

My sons bone density tests, growth hormone, blood blood work all was "normal". But because he was IUGR (1 lb 1oz 11 3/7") at birth and has not caught up, he did qualify for GH. Because he is not truly GH defecient, they are not expecting great results from the GH, but we thought it was worth a try. I do not know if medicaid will cover it, but if you see an Endo and they think it's medically necessary, I would think they would.

The shot is expensive. However, there are non profit organizations that you can apply for assistance with to help with co-pays if you have one.

We have not really noticed any side effects with our son since being on the GH. Our only struggle is getting him to sit still for the nightly injection. He does not have a lot of fat on him at his injection sites (butt and thighs) so we do not have a lot of meat to stick him in. His "reward" for getting a shot is to put a sticker on a calendar so we know where we gave him the shot. You have to alternate spots each night.

Good luck!
Jodi

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Hi,

My DD is on growth hormone therapy for about two years now and for her it did wonders. She has a kidney condition that interfers with her growth and the growth hrmone and supplies are covered by our medical insurance. Your daughter is also very lightweight. Is she eating properly? If not, she won't grow well even on growth hormone. The growth hormone is practically ineffective if not supported by good nutricion. Like previous posts said, you should take your daughter to specialists who will decide what the best option for her is.

Monica

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So excited to read the posts! We are just in the process of starting the paperwork for our son. He was IUGR and has never been on the growth chart for height. He just became 5th percentile for weight thanks to the last 13 months on a G-tube (100% G tube fed). I am hopeful that it works as my son is projected to maybe hit 5" without them but has significant bone delay (bone age test done three times already). Good luck with your daughter and medicaid as I heard they are very expensive!

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Both my twins are in GH, they are NOT IUGR and do NOT have hereditary short stature nor do they have GH DEFICIENCY, they have IGF1 (a binding protein) deficinecy.
It has done wonder for us too.



Just FYI, in other countries GH is given as a therapy for e.l.b.w babies.
Here we have to fight tooth and nails, and the blood test here and the follow up there, gggrrrrrrrr!
The GH therapy (not covered) is about 10,000 US$ for hte first year.

Good luck

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Dear Ashley,
My daughter is 7 and is the size of a 4 years old due to her short gut syndrome. I have been asking about GH for years. Her doctors say "we can try it" and then do nothing. Who actually prescribes it? The endocronologist or can the primary care doc to that? Also how did you get your insurance to cover it, just by doing the tests or did the doc and you have to write a letter to the ins. co?

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We had to go through our Endocrinologist for the GH. Two test were required for our insurance to cover. One was a simple x-ray of his hand (bone age test) and then a GH stimulation test (4 hour test where they gave him meds at the beginning and then would draw his blood every 30 minutes to watch the absorption). This showed that he had a true GH deficiency. I am not sure how the insurance would cover it, had he not been deficient. They are super strict though. We go back to the dr every 6 mths to have him checked (his growth charted) and for them to adjust his dosage. It is around $500 per vile/8 days (w/out ins) and they say you would be surprised of the people that abuse it (parents taking it instead of the kids, etc.....crazy. Those are the ones that spoil it for the ones that truly need the therapy). Good luck with your efforts. It is a process but worth it:).

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Hi, I was interested to know, did the growth hormone injections actually work for your child? Have you seen an improvement, and is it worth the hasel? Please let me know. I havent started my daughter, and my doctor doesnt think she has a growth defiency being im am short stature my self. Please reply. Thanks

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Yes, the growth hormone has REALLY worked. And has made a noticeable difference. Since being on the hormone - he is growing at a rate of 93% whereas before the hormone, he was only growing at a rate of 3%. The Endocrinologist was very encouraged by his growth. They say the most noticeable time will be the first 6-8 months. And then it is a steady growth from there. And if he was only destined to be 5'10, he will. So it isn't going to make him 6'4 if it isn't in his genes. That is what we were told. That, and the fact that it wouldn't make him hit puberty early, etc were encouraging to me.
If I had to make the decision all over again, I would definitely do it.

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