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Nutropin Side Effects

Generic name: somatropin

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 11, 2024.

Note: This document contains side effect information about somatropin. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Nutropin.

Applies to somatropin: powder for solution. Other dosage forms:

Serious side effects of Nutropin

Along with its needed effects, somatropin (the active ingredient contained in Nutropin) 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 immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking somatropin:

More common

Less common

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking somatropin:

Symptoms of overdose

Other side effects of Nutropin

Some side effects of somatropin 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

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to somatropin: injectable kit, injectable powder for injection, subcutaneous kit, subcutaneous powder for injection, subcutaneous solution.


The most common adverse events were glucose intolerance, fluid retention, injection site reactions, and unmasking of latent central hypothyroidism.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Otitis media (up to 86.4%), surgical procedure (44.6%), peripheral edema (45.4%), edema (25%), flu syndrome (22.9%), ear disorders (17.6%), peripheral swelling (17.5%), leg edema (15%), pain in extremities (19.3%), pain (13.5%), headache (11.4%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hematoma, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, asthenia, fatigue, generalized edema

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Weakness

Frequency not reported: Sudden death, pyrexia, ear infection, influenza-like illness, otitis externa,

Postmarketing reports: Increased blood alkaline phosphatase level[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): IGF-1 scores above 2 standard deviations (38%), hypothyroidism (16%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypothyroidism

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Central precocious puberty

Frequency not reported: Unmasking of latent central hypothyroidism

Postmarketing reports: Decrease in serum thyroxin levels[Ref]


Scoliosis was reported as an adverse event in 5 out of 21 children with Noonan Syndrome who were followed for 11 years.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Arthralgia (37.1%), myalgia (30.4%), scoliosis (23.8%), skeletal pain (11%), back pain (10.9%), arthrosis (10.7%)

Common (1% to 10%): Musculoskeletal stiffness, stiffness of extremities, joint stiffness, joint swelling, joint disorder, leg pain, hip pain, progression of preexisting scoliosis,

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Localized muscle pain, jaw prominence, slipped capital femoral epiphysis

Frequency not reported: fracture, joint pain, growth attenuation, interference with growth response, excessive growth of hands or feet, exacerbation of preexisting scoliosis, disproportionate growth of the lower jaw, fracture

Postmarketing reports: Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Impaired fasting glucose (22%), elevated HbA1c (14%), blood glucose increased (13.8%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, glucose tolerance abnormal, fluid retention, hypertriglyceridemia, overt type II diabetes mellitus

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Diabetes mellitus, abnormalities of carbohydrate metabolism (glucose intolerance and high serum HbA1c)

Frequency not reported: Glucose intolerance including impaired glucose tolerance/impaired fasting glucose, increased appetite, transient episodes of fasting blood sugars between 100 and 126 mg/dL, transient episodes of fasting blood sugars exceeding 126 mg/dL, increased fasting blood glucose levels, increases in insulin levels, insulin resistance

Postmarketing reports: Exacerbation of preexisting diabetes mellitus, diabetic ketoacidosis, diabetic coma[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Paresthesia (17.3%), hypoesthesia (15%)

Common (1% to 10%): Hypesthesia, fatigue, carpal tunnel syndrome, Tinel's sign

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Benign intracranial hypertension, motor problem, seizure[Ref]

Intracranial hypertension with papilledema, visual changes, headache, nausea, and/or vomiting has been reported in a small number of patients.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Pharyngitis (14.3%),

Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, gastroenteritis, gastritis

Frequency not reported: Abdominal pain, increased appetite

Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): AST increased (12.5%)

Common (1% to 10%): ALT increased[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Eosinophilia (12%)[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Periorbital edema

Frequency not reported: Diabetic retinopathy[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory infection (15.9%), rhinitis (13.5%)

Common (1% to 10%): Bronchitis, cough increased, laryngitis, respiratory disorder, dyspnea, sleep apnea

Frequency not reported: Influenza, tonsillitis, nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Anti-rhGH antibodies (24%), infection (non-viral) (13%)

Frequency not reported: Antibody formation, anti-periplasmic Escherichia coli peptides (PECP) antibodies[Ref]

An IgG antibody has been identified. No antibodies to the IgE class have been detected. Growth hormone antibody binding capacities less than 2 mg/L have not led to growth attenuation. Testing for antibodies should be carried out in any patient failing to respond to treatment.

Primate studies have failed to reveal evidence of histopathological changes due to immune complex formation.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Injection site pain

Frequency not reported: Injection site reactions/rashes, lipoatrophy, nodules, rash, inflammation, pigmentation, bleeding[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypersensitivity to solvent (m-cresol/glycerol)

Rare (less than 0.1%): Generalized hypersensitivity reactions

Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Hypertension

Frequency not reported: Cardiac disorders[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased sweating, excessive number of cutaneous nevi, acne

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pruritus

Rare (less than 0.1%): Rash

Frequency not reported: Hair loss, progression of pigmented nevi, eczema[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Gynecomastia, breast-related adverse reactions (e.g. nipple pain,

gynecomastia, breast pain/mass/tenderness/swelling/edema/hypertrophy)

Frequency not reported: Urinary tract infection[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia

Frequency not reported: Aggressiveness, altered mood[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Glucosuria

Frequency not reported: Hematuria[Ref]


Very rare (less than 0.01%): Leukemia

Frequency not reported: Intracranial tumors including meningiomas, melanocytic nevus[Ref]


1. (2001) "Product Information. Nutropin (somatropin)." Genentech

2. (2003) "Product Information. Genotropin (somatropin)." Pharmacia and Upjohn

3. (2003) "Product Information. Humatrope (somatropin)." Lilly, Eli and Company

4. (2004) "Product Information. Serostim (somatropin)." Serono Laboratories Inc

5. (2004) "Product Information. Norditropin Cartridge (somatropin)." Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc

6. (2004) "Product Information. Zorbtive (somatropin)." Serono Laboratories Inc

7. Cerner Multum, Inc. "UK Summary of Product Characteristics."

8. Cerner Multum, Inc. "Australian Product Information."

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.