Side Effects

Drug information provided by: Merative, Micromedex®

Leukemia has been reported in a few patients after treatment with growth hormone. However, it is not definitely known whether the leukemia was caused by the growth hormone. Leukemia has also been reported in patients whose bodies do not make enough growth hormone and who have not yet been treated with man-made growth hormone. However, discuss this possible effect with your doctor.

If growth hormone is given to children or adults with normal growth, who do not need growth hormone, serious unwanted effects may occur because levels in the body become too high. These effects include the development of diabetes; abnormal growth of bones and internal organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver; atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries); and hypertension (high blood pressure).

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Abnormal or decreased touch sensation
  2. blurred vision
  3. burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  4. dizziness
  5. ear infection or other ear problems (in patients with Turner's syndrome)
  6. nervousness
  7. pounding in the ears
  8. severe headache
  9. slow or fast heartbeat

Less common

  1. Chest pain


  1. Abdominal pain or bloating
  2. changes in vision
  3. depression of skin at place of injection
  4. headache
  5. limp
  6. nausea and vomiting
  7. pain and swelling at place of injection
  8. pain in hip or knee
  9. skin rash or itching

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Back pain
  2. chills
  3. cough or cough producing mucus
  4. constipation
  5. depressed mood
  6. diarrhea
  7. difficulty in breathing
  8. difficulty in moving
  9. dizziness
  10. dry skin and hair
  11. ear congestion
  12. feeling cold
  13. fever
  14. general feeling of discomfort or illness
  15. hair loss
  16. hoarseness or husky voice
  17. loss of appetite
  18. loss of voice
  19. runny nose
  20. shivering
  21. shortness of breath
  22. sore throat
  23. slowed heartbeat
  24. sneezing
  25. stuffy nose
  26. sweating
  27. swollen joints
  28. tightness in chest
  29. trouble sleeping
  30. weight gain
  31. wheezing

Less common or rare

  1. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  2. enlargement of breasts
  3. feeling sad or empty
  4. increased growth of birthmarks
  5. irritability
  6. joint pain
  7. loss of interest or pleasure
  8. muscle pain, cramps, or stiffness
  9. skeletal pain
  10. sleepiness
  11. swelling of hands, feet, or lower legs
  12. trouble concentrating
  13. unable to sleep
  14. unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.