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Serostim is a medicine used to improve physical endurance and increase lean body mass and body weight in HIV infected people with cachexia (unintentional weight loss, progressive muscle wasting, and a loss of appetite). Serostim is administered subcutaneously (just below the skin).
How does this medication work?
By helping your metabolism function appropriately, Serostim helps your body build and maintain weight and lean body mass.
What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?
What: Clinical studies have shown that people treated with Serostim had increased weight and lean body mass and improved physical endurance.
When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you use Serostim exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.
How do I know it is working?
Your healthcare provider may order tests regularly to check how well this medication is working.
The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.
More common side effects may include: fluid retention, joint pain, muscle pain, numbness, pain in your arms or legs.
Less common side effects may include:
Increased pressure within your skull with symptoms such as swelling in your eyes, changes in your vision, headache, nausea, vomiting.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition that affects the nerve in your wrists, affecting the movement of your hands) with symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
Serostim may also cause pancreatitis (inflammation of your pancreas).
Serostim contains a preservative called benzyl alcohol. Benzyl alcohol can cause brain damage and other serious and possibly life-threatening side effects in newborns and premature babies.
Do not use Serostim if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.
Do not use Serostim if you are having serious complications after undergoing open heart surgery, abdominal (stomach area) surgery, serious injuries, or life-threatening breathing problems.
Do not use Serostim if you have cancer.
Do not use Serostim if you have diabetes-related eye problems.
Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Serostim. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney problems; cancer or tumors(s); diabetes; skin lesions; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.
Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you, based on your body weight.
Use Serostim exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use extra doses or use more often without first talking to your healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider will give you instructions on how to prepare and inject Serostim.
Inject Serostim in your thigh, upper arm, abdomen (stomach area), or buttocks. Every time you inject Serostim, rotate the injection sites to avoid injection-site reactions.
Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly inject Serostim.
Do not shake Serostim or use it if the solution is cloudy or has particles in it after mixing.
Do not use Serostim until your healthcare provider shows you how to use it correctly.
Do not miss any scheduled follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider.
Do not do anything that can spread infection to others, such as sharing needles or injection equipment.
If Serostim is used with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Serostim with the following: corticosteroids (such as cortisone or prednisone), cyclosporine, estrogen, insulin or other diabetes medicines, or seizure medications (such as carbamazepine or phenytoin).
The effects of Serostim during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
If you miss a dose of Serostim, inject it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not inject two doses at once.
Store at room temperature. After mixing, use single-use vials (vials used only one time) immediately or store multi-use vials (vials used many times) in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. Do not freeze.
In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222
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