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Pronunciation: mek-a-SER-min
Class: Insulin-like growth factor

Trade Names

- Injection 10 mg/mL


Mimics actions of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is the principal hormonal mediator of statural growth. Binds to and activates type 1 IGF-1 receptors that stimulate multiple processes leading to statural growth. Metabolic actions are in part directed at stimulating uptake of glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids so that metabolism supports growing tissues.

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IGF-1 can produce hypoglycemia by suppressing hepatic glucose production and stimulating peripheral glucose utilization.



Bioavailability close to 100% (subcutaneous dosing). T max is 2 h.


More than 80% protein bound. Vd estimated to be 0.257 L/kg, but increases as dose increases.


Metabolized by liver and kidney.


The t ½ is about 5.8 h (subcutaneous dosing). Cl is about 0.04 L/h/kg.

Indications and Usage

Long-term treatment of growth failure in children with severe primary IGF-1 deficiency or with growth hormone (GH) gene deletion who have developed neutralizing antibodies to GH.


Patients with closed epiphyses; presence of active or suspected neoplasia; IV administration; hypersensitivity to any component of the product.

Dosage and Administration

Children 2 yr of age or older

Subcutaneous 0.04 to 0.08 mg/kg (40 to 80 mcg/kg) twice daily initially. If well tolerated for at least 7 days, the dose may be increased by 0.04 mg/kg/dose, to the max dose of 0.12 mg/kg twice daily. Reduce dose if hypoglycemia occurs despite adequate food intake.

General Advice

  • For subcutaneous administration only. Not for intradermal, IM, IV, or intra-arterial administration.
  • Do not administer if solution is discolored, cloudy, or contains particulate matter.
  • Rotate injection sites (abdomen, buttocks, thigh, or upper arm). Give new injections at least 1 inch from previous injection. Do not inject into skin areas that are tender, bruised, red, hard, or lipodystrophic.
  • Administer prescribed dose 20 min before or after a meal or snack. Do not administer when meal or snack is omitted.


Store unopened and opened vials in refrigerator (36° to 46°F). Protect from freezing and direct light. Discard any unused solution remaining after 30 days following initial vial entry.

Drug Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions


Cardiac murmur (at least 5%).


Convulsions, dizziness, headache (at least 5%).


Thickening of soft tissue of the face.


Abnormal tympanometry, ear pain, ear tube insertion, fluid in middle ear, hypoacusis, otitis media, serous otitis media (at least 5%).


Vomiting (at least 5%).


Thymus hypertrophy (at least 5%).

Lab Tests

Mild elevations in AST and LDH, elevations in cholesterol and triglycerides.


Bruising, lipohypertrophy (at least 5%).


Hypoglycemia (at least 5%).


Arthralgia, pain in extremity (at least 5%).


Snoring, tonsillar hypertrophy (at least 5%); intracranial hypertension (4%), thickening of the soft tissues of the face.



Perform funduscopic examination at start of therapy and periodically thereafter during therapy. Monitor patients for development of lymphoid tissue hypertrophy, slipped capital femoral epiphysis, progression of scoliosis, thickening of soft tissues of face (acromegalic changes), and signs and/or symptoms of intracranial hypertension. Monitor preprandial blood sugars at treatment initiation and until a well established dose (no hypoglycemia in 7 days) is established.


Category C .




Mecasermin has not been studied in children younger than 2 yr of age.

Hazardous Tasks

Because of risk of hypoglycemia, avoid high-risk activities (eg, driving) within 2 to 3 h after mecasermin dosing until a well-tolerated mecasermin dose has been established.


Mecasermin has not been studied in adults.

Allergic reaction

May occur.

Benzyl alcohol

Mecasermin contains benzyl alcohol, which has been associated with neurologic toxicity in neonates.

Insulin-like hypoglycemic effects

Administer mecasermin shortly before or after a meal or snack to reduce risk of hypoglycemic reactions. Pay special attention to small children because oral intake may be inconsistent.

Intracranial hypertension

Intracranial hypertension, with papilledema, visual changes, headache, nausea and/or vomiting has been reported.

Lymphoid tissue hypertrophy

Lymphoid tissue (eg, tonsillar and adenoidal) hypertrophy associated with complications such as snoring, sleep apnea, and chronic middle-ear effusions has been reported.


Progression of scoliosis can occur in patients who experience rapid growth.

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

Can occur in patients who experience rapid growth.

Thyroid/Nutritional deficiencies

Should be corrected before initiating therapy.



No experience; expected signs and symptoms include hypoglycemia with an acute overdosage and acromegaly with long-term overdosage.

Patient Information

  • Ensure patient or caregiver understands how to store, prepare, and administer the dose, and dispose of used equipment and supplies. Advise patient or caregiver to review the patient information leaflet before starting therapy and to read and check for new information each time the medication is refilled.
  • Advise patient or caregiver that therapy will be started at a low dose and then gradually increased as tolerated to max effective dose. Caution patient or caregiver not to stop taking or change the dose unless advised by health care provider.
  • Instruct patient or caregiver to rotate injection sites and to give new injections at least 1 inch from previous injection site(s). Caution patient to never inject into areas where the skin is tender, bruised, red, hard, or shows signs of lipodystrophy.
  • Review symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and action plan to undertake if hypoglycemia occurs. Instruct patient or caregiver to notify health care provider if severe or frequent hypoglycemic reactions occur despite adequate food intake.
  • Advise patient or caregiver to notify health care provider if any of the following occur: frequent or persistent nausea and/or vomiting, persistent headache, snoring, visual changes.
  • Advise patient or caregiver to discontinue therapy and notify health care provider if signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction are noted.
  • Caution patient or caregiver that each dose must be administered within 20 min before or after a snack or meal and to skip the dose if the meal or snack is omitted. Caution patient or caregiver not to double the dose to catch up if a dose is missed.
  • Caution patient to avoid engaging in any high-risk activity within 2 to 3 h after dosing until a well-tolerated dose (no hypoglycemic reactions in 7 days) has been established.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.