Human growth hormone (HGH) injections are the most effective method for managing the symptoms of low growth hormone levels. In order to receive legal HGH injections, you must get an HGH prescription from your doctor.
The injections can be performed in the medical office, but you can also self-inject daily in the convenience of your home as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions.
HGH must be injected to work properly, and only a correct technique can guarantee the effectiveness of the therapy. Thus, it is important to follow the official instructions on how to administer growth hormone injections instead of the ones you may find on the internet.
Where to inject HGH?
The best place to inject HGH is in the fat tissue under the layers of your skin. This type of injection is called subcutaneous and it ensures a great bioavailability for the medication.
Besides, studies report that subcutaneous injections lead to a slower release of HGH in the body compared to other injection methods which more closely resemble a physiological growth hormone secretion. On the other hand, intramuscular injections lead to far too quick absorption.
As evidence suggests, subcutaneous injections are also the easiest to perform at home, without the help of trained professionals. The method allows for a broader range of suitable injection sites, a lower risk of infection, and less pain.
The typical subcutaneous injection sites include:
- abdominal area, at least 2 inches away from the belly button
- outer areas of the upper arms and thighs
- back and lower loins
According to small clinical trials, the abdominal area might lead to the best absorption of HGH compared to other subcutaneous injection sites.
Nevertheless, injection sites need to be rotated frequently, because repeated subcutaneous injection on the same spot can lead to lipoatrophy. This is a localized loss of fat that leads to the formation of a small dent in the skin.
Lipoatrophy is a typical adverse effect for all kinds of subcutaneous injections and it can be completely avoided by rotating injection sites as studies show.
How to take HGH?
There are different brands of HGH that your doctor may prescribe. They all contain bioidentical human growth hormone but often come in different pharmaceutical forms.
Thus, brands may have different instructions for injecting depending on the exact form of the medication. The optimal HGH dosage can also vary in-between different brands which should be taken into account to ensure the safety and effectiveness of your therapy.
Some GH products come in powder form. They must be mixed and reconstituted with a diluent such as bacteriostatic water to become suitable for injection. Others are prefilled (in liquid form) or even preloaded in an injector pen which makes it easier to use and dose.
As studies suggest, HGH products that come prefilled are equally effective but more convenient for use when compared to those in powder form.
Preparation and Administration
The best injectable HGH brands on the market include Omnitrope, Norditropin, Saizen, Genotropin, and Humatrope and each has official instructions and policies related to its proper use.
However, there are general safety principles that you should always follow when preparing and administering your injections.
Make sure that you understand them before attempting to self-inject and always consult your medical doctor or other healthcare providers if you have any questions or doubts.
Here is a short step-by-step guide that covers the general points on how to prepare for an HGH injection:
- Let the vial, pen, or pen cartridge stay at room temperature for 30 minutes. The liquid must be clear and colorless. If it is cloudy then discard it.
- Do not shake, tap forcefully, freeze, heat, or leave the liquid in direct sunlight because the HGH will be inactivated and rendered ineffective.
- If your HGH product requires reconstitution then you can gently swirl the vial until it dissolves completely.
- Before reconstitution disinfect the stoppers of both vials, use a larger sterile needle to withdraw the diluent, and direct it at the walls of the HGH vial when mixing.
After you have prepared your injection, you must select an injection site. In order to avoid injecting the medication into the muscle or within the skin layers, it is important to follow the official instructions for administration.
Here is how to administer HGH injection properly and safely:
- If your HGH required reconstitution, then replace the needle with a smaller one, suitable for subcutaneous injections. Always use sterile needles before injection.
- Disinfect the injection site and pinch your skin with the fingertips of your non-dominant hand. Take into account that the amount of subcutaneous fat varies between individuals.
- Use your dominant hand to quickly stick the whole needle into the pinched fold of skin.
- Stick the needle at a 45° angle for syringes or at 90° if you are using an injector pen.
- Inject the medication and give it a few seconds before pulling the needle out. Afterward, put only light pressure on the injection spot and do not massage it.
- Discard the used needle and always use a new sterile needle for the next injection.
According to scientific evidence, several factors can reduce the sensation of pain or discomfort during subcutaneous injections. For example, injecting in the abdominal area is associated with the least amount of pain.
HGH solution is tolerated best when it has reached room temperature and its volume is lower than 0.8ml
Besides, the use of thinner and shorter needles also reduces the incidence of pain during injections. Make sure to insert the needle with the bevel up when injecting at a 45° angle to avoid painful skin tearing.
How to use Omnitrope
Omnitrope comes either as a prefilled pen cartridge or a vial that requires reconstitution.
The liquid-formulation pen works with 1.5 ml cartridges that can contain either 5 mg or 10 mg HGH. The device must be primed for use when you replace the cartridge.
The vial contains 5.8 mg HGH and must be reconstituted 1.14 ml of bacteriostatic water before use.
How to use Norditropin
Norditropin comes as prefilled and preloaded FlexPro pens. They contain either 5, 10, 15, or 30 mg HGH in a volume of 1.5 ml or 3 ml.
The pen can also use AutoCover needles and PenMate cover to hide the needle for people who prefer not to see that part of their injector pens.
How to use Saizen
Saizen comes in a 5 mg vial, 8.8 mg vial, or 8.8 mg reconstitution device called Click.easy. The reconstitution device also contains a cartridge with a 1.51 ml diluent.
Once reconstituted, Saizen can be injected either with a regular syringe or with a smart injector device such as Easypod or Cool.click.
How to use Genotropin
Genotropin comes in reconstitution devices with two-chamber cartridges. The front chamber contains either 5mg or 12 mg HGH, while the rear chamber contains 1.14 ml diluent. After reconstitution, GH can be injected using a multi-dose Genotropin Pen.
Alternatively, there are single-use syringe devices with a two-chamber cartridge called Genotropin Miniquicks. They contain a single dose of 0.2 mg to 2 mg.2 HGH and must be discarded right after use.
How to use Humatrope
Humatrope comes in a 5 mg vial that requires reconstitution or cartridges that contain either 6 mg, 12 mg, or 24 mg of HGH. The cartridges have to be loaded in a HumatroPen injection device to be administered subcutaneously. There is also an option for Hidden Needle Cover.
What is the best time for injection?
The best time for HGH injection appears to be in the evening according to a study in 8 GH deficient patients. Taking the injection about an hour before bed leads to an HGH release that is more similar to the natural synthesis in healthy individuals.
On the other hand, taking GH in the morning resulted in a lower HGH availability and slightly lower Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) levels. Nevertheless, there wasn’t an increased insulin resistance after administering the medication in the morning even though there were 2 meal intakes right after the injection.
Whether you are taking HGH on an empty stomach or not is unlikely to influence the effectiveness of your therapy. According to evidence, subcutaneous injections lead to a peak in blood GH concentration 4-5 hours after administration and the levels remain elevated for a total of 8-12 hours.
If you take growth hormone right after a meal, the increase in insulin stimulated by food intake would diminish completely by the time GH reaches peak concentrations. It is more important to be consistent with the time and place of daily HGH injections in order to create a routine and reduce the risk of missing a dose.
What are the side effects of injections?
Subcutaneous injections can lead to minor local reactions at the injection site such as pain, discomfort, redness, swelling, inflammation, pigmentation, or bleeding (right after the injection).
According to studies, these local reactions resolve spontaneously and do not need any specific treatment. Always consult with your medical doctor if there are any persisting adverse reactions after an injection.
The presence of an air bubble in the syringe and its injection subcutaneously is not likely to cause any concerns. Air that is injected subcutaneously gets resorbed by the body without any adverse reactions unless a nearby vein is also affected.
If you get a lump of raised skin right after an injection, it might indicate that you inserted the HGH in-between the layers of the skin instead of subcutaneously. Thus, you might need to consult with a trained professional and revise your injection technique to ensure the success of your therapy.