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AIDS Treatment Data Network
(ATDN) Treatment Briefs: Growth Hormone Approved

December 1, 1996
Treatment Review No. 23 - December 1996

A new treatment for HIV-related wasting has been approved for prescription. Human Growth Hormone (trade name Serostim) has been shown to improve lean body mass in early studies, when given for a 12 week period. Lean body mass is a measurement of important muscle tissue where energy is stored. People with wasting seem to lose this tissue rather than fat, and loss of lean body mass can be fatal. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested that the company that makes Serostim conduct further studies to work out how best to use this drug, as not all studies using Serostim have shown clear benefits. Serostim is very expensive, and can cost up to $36,000 a year. Serostim is given by an injection under the skin. The company that makes the drug, Serono Laboratories, has set up a patient assistance program that can be reached at (800) 714-2437.

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