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Questions & Answers
Side Effects & Adverse Reactions
Increased mortality in patients with acute critical illness due to complications following open heart surgery, abdominal surgery or multiple accidental trauma, or those with acute respiratory failure has been reported after treatment with pharmacologic doses of somatropin (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). The safety of continuing somatropin treatment in patients receiving replacement doses for approved indications who concurrently develop these illnesses has not been established. Therefore, the potential benefit of treatment continuation with somatropin in patients experiencing acute critical illnesses should be weighed against the potential risk.
There have been reports of fatalities after initiating therapy with somatropin in pediatric patients with Prader-Willi syndrome who had one or more of the following risk factors: severe obesity, history of upper airway obstructions or sleep apnea, or unidentified respiratory infection. Male patients with one or more of these factors may be at greater risk than females. Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome should be evaluated for signs of upper airway obstruction and sleep apnea before initiation of treatment with somatropin. If during treatment with somatropin, patients show signs of upper airway obstruction (including onset of or increased snoring) and/or new onset sleep apnea, treatment should be interrupted. All patients with Prader-Willi syndrome treated with somatropin should also have effective weight control and be monitored for signs of respiratory infection, which should be diagnosed as early as possible and treated aggressively (see CONTRAINDICATIONS). ZOMACTON is not indicated for the treatment of pediatric patients who have growth failure due to genetically confirmed Prader-Willi syndrome.
Cases of pancreatitis have been reported rarely in children and adults receiving somatropin treatment, with some evidence supporting a greater risk in children compared with adults. Published literature indicates that girls who have Turner syndrome may be at greater risk than other somatropin-treated children. Pancreatitis should be considered in any somatropin-treated patient, especially a child, who develops persistent, severe abdominal pain.
Benzyl alcohol, a component used to reconstitute the ZOMACTON 5 mg vial, has been associated with serious adverse events and death, particularly in pediatric patients. The "gasping syndrome," (characterized by central nervous system depression, metabolic acidosis, gasping respirations, and high levels of benzyl alcohol and its metabolites found in the blood and urine) has been associated with benzyl alcohol dosages >99 mg/kg/day in neonates and low-birth weight neonates. Additional symptoms may include gradual neurological deterioration, seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, hematologic abnormalities, skin breakdown, hepatic and renal failure, hypotension, bradycardia, and cardiovascular collapse. Practitioners administering this and other medications containing benzyl alcohol should consider the combined daily metabolic load of benzyl alcohol from all sources.
When administering ZOMACTON 5 mg to newborns, reconstitute with sterile normal saline for injection, USP. WHEN RECONSTITUTING WITH STERILE NORMAL SALINE, USE ONLY ONE DOSE PER VIAL AND DISCARD THE UNUSED PORTION.
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FDA Safety Alerts
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FDA Labeling Changes
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ZOMACTON is indicated for the treatment of children who have growth failure due to an inadequate secretion of normal endogenous growth hormone.
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ZOMACTON™ [somatropin (rDNA origin)] for Injection, a polypeptide of recombinant DNA origin, has 191 amino acid residues and a molecular weight of about 22,124 daltons. It has an amino acid sequence identical to that of human growth hormone of pituitary origin. ZOMACTON is a strain of Escherichia coli modified by insertion of the human growth hormone gene.
ZOMACTON is a sterile, white, lyophilized powder, intended for subcutaneous administration, after reconstitution with the accompanying diluent.
ZOMACTON 5 mg vial contains recombinant somatropin 5 mg and mannitol 30 mg. The 5 mg vial is supplied in a combination package with an accompanying 5 mL vial of diluting solution. The diluent contains bacteriostatic 0.9% sodium chloride injection, USP, (normal saline), 0.9% benzyl alcohol as a preservative, and water for injection.
ZOMACTON 10 mg vial contains recombinant somatropin 10 mg, mannitol 10 mg, disodium phosphate dodecahydrate 3.57 mg, and sodium dihydrogen phosphate dehydrate 0.79 mg. The 10 mg vial is supplied in a combination package with an accompanying 1 mL syringe of diluting solution. The diluent contains bacteriostatic water for injection with 0.33% metacresol as a preservative.
ZOMACTON is a highly-purified preparation. Reconstituted solutions have a pH in the range of 7.0 to 9.0.