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FDA Drug Safety Podcast for Healthcare Professionals: Safety review update of Recombinant Human Growth Hormone (somatropin) and possible increased risk of death

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Welcome, my name is Steve Jackson, a pharmacist in the Division of Drug Information. On August 4, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Drug Safety Communication updating the public about its ongoing safety review of recombinant human growth hormone, or somatropin, and possible increased risk of death. In December 2010, FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication to inform the public that it was reviewing results from a study conducted in France - the Santé Adulte GH Enfant (SAGhE) study - and other available information on this potential risk. FDA has determined that, at this time, the evidence regarding recombinant human growth hormone and increased risk of death is inconclusive. 

In its analysis of the SAGhE study, FDA identified a number of study design weaknesses that limit the interpretability of the study results. FDA also reviewed the medical literature, as well as reports from the Agency's Adverse Event Reporting System. These additional data sources did not provide evidence suggestive of a link between recombinant human growth hormone and an increased risk of death.  Healthcare professionals and patients should continue to prescribe and use recombinant human growth hormone according to the labeled recommendations. 

FDA is continuing to review this safety issue and expects to receive additional data from the SAGhE study in the Spring of 2012. FDA will update the public when new information is available. 

Thank you for listening. The FDA is committed to keeping healthcare professionals informed of the latest safety information. A link to this Drug Safety Communication can be found at www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety If you have drug questions, you can reach us at druginfo@fda.hhs.gov


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