contact us Get discount

Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment for Adults

Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment for Adults
Audio version:

Growth hormone deficiency in adults is best treated with growth hormone replacement therapy.

A growth hormone deficiency (GHD) occurs when your body does not produce enough human growth hormone (HGH). Both children and adults can suffer from growth hormone deficiency.

Growth hormone deficiency in adults is referred to as “adult-onset GHD.” HGH levels decline as people age. Therefore, adult-onset GHD is often also referred to as “age-related GHD.” Despite its continued need, after adolescence, HGH levels in the blood begin to drop. It is this drop in HGH levels that occur as men and women age that is usually responsible for GHD in adults.

Severe growth hormone deficiency in adults can be caused by anything that impacts pituitary function. Tumors or other disease or injury to the pituitary can cause GHD in adults, but it is the steady decline of growth hormone over time that is most often responsible for the symptoms of GHD in adults.

The safest and most effective treatment for adults with growth hormone deficiency is growth hormone replacement therapy. HGH replacement therapy is given via injections. The dosage of growth hormone used to treat adult-onset GHD will vary depending on your age, weight, medical history, lifestyle, and overall wellness goals.

What is Growth Hormone Deficiency?

A growth hormone deficiency (GHD) occurs when your body does not produce enough human growth hormone (HGH). Both children and adults can suffer from growth hormone deficiency.

Adults, as well as kids, can suffer from GHD. This is why doctors refer to two different categories or types of growth hormone deficiency:

  • Child-onset GHD, which is present at birth or starts in childhood. It can be carried into adulthood.
  • Adult-onset GHD, which develops in adulthood. Adult-onset GHD is sometimes also referred to as “age-related GHD.”

How Do I Know if I Need Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment?

Any man or woman who is over 45 and not feeling as strong and vital as they would like to could need growth hormone deficiency treatment. However, in order to know if you are a candidate for growth hormone therapy, you should get to know the signs and symptoms of adult-onset or age-related growth hormone deficiency.

What Are the Symptoms of Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults?

The primary difference between adult-onset growth hormone deficiency and childhood GHD is that a growth hormone problem as a child results in abnormal growth. In adults, a GHD will not impact stature, but there are a number of other symptoms that do overlap with the signs of growth hormone deficiency in children. These include:

  • A tendency to weight gain, particularly belly fat
  • Often feeling fatigued, slow, or lethargic
  • An overall feeling of lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Low libido and other sexual wellness issues
  • Hair loss, or thinning hair
  • Liver spots, “creepy” skin, and other skin conditions
  • Suppressed immune system, easier to get sick, harder to heal or recover
  • Memory loss and other cognitive difficulties
  • Bone loss and bone weakness
  • Depression, anxiety, and other emotional changes

While the above list could be indicative of a growth hormone deficiency in adults, the only way to know for sure is to have a growth hormone test.

What Tests Are Used to Diagnose Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Stimulation Test for Growth Hormone Deficiency.If you are an adult over 40 and are exhibiting any number of the above symptoms, your doctor will likely want to have you tested for a growth hormone deficiency. There are a number of ways to test for growth hormone deficiency in adults; however, they all start with drawing blood.

Since HGH levels in your blood rise and fall during the day and vary from day to day, a test that simply measures the presence of HGH in your blood is not adequate enough to achieve a diagnosis of growth hormone deficiency. More sophisticated testing is required.

The way doctors usually test for growth hormone deficiency in adults is to use what are known as “stimulation tests.” Rather than testing for the presence or level of HGH in your blood at any given time, HGH stimulation tests introduce a medication that is supposed to stimulate your pituitary gland to release growth hormone. Similarly, a test that stimulates the release of another hormone related to HGH, IGF-1, may also be used.

These growth hormone stimulation tests may be used alone or in combination. In any case, once the stimulant is introduced, your blood will be drawn and evaluated for adequate production and release of growth hormone.

In our facilities, we use the IGF-1 test to diagnose growth hormone deficiency. Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is a naturally occurring protein that stimulates protein synthesis. It is sometimes also called somatomedin-C. Your growth hormone levels and your IGF-1 levels are closely related. It is the presence of growth hormone that stimulates the production of IGF-1 by the liver. Therefore, if your IGF-1 level is low, it can be used as an accurate indicator of a growth hormone deficiency.

Your IGF-1 and your other growth hormone levels and factors all decrease as you age. The IGF-1 blood test can give a clear indication of age-related growth hormone deficiency (GHD).

What Are the Guidelines for Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment?

The treatment recommended in all guidelines for adults with growth hormone deficiency is human growth hormone (HGH) replacement therapy. The guidelines suggest that HGH therapy improves the quality of life of adults with GHD by:

  • Benefiting body composition
  • Increasing exercise capacity
  • Improving skeletal integrity

Most guidelines for administering growth hormone therapy for adults state that the risks of dangerous side effects associated with HGH replacement are low. Guidelines also state that growth hormone therapy dosages should be tailored to an individual’s needs and lifestyle.

Treatment guidelines for adults with GHD suggest that growth hormone therapy offers adults with GHD significant benefits. In addition, the treatment guidelines for adults with growth hormone deficiency suggest:

  • Adults who have had childhood GHD need to be retested after they reach full stature.
  • Growth hormone therapy in adults improves cardiovascular health.
  • Growth hormone therapy in certain adults with growth hormone deficiency may improve mortality rates.
  • HGH therapy improves the quality of life of most adults with growth hormone deficiencies.

Are There Different HGH Therapy Medications?

Growth hormone therapy is given via injections of prescription HGH. The only way to receive authentic growth hormone therapy is with a doctor’s prescription, and the only way prescription growth hormone therapy is given is with an injection. Any product or supplement that claims to be HGH, or contain HGH, that you can purchase without a prescription, or is taken in any form other than via an injection, is not HGH.

All HGH injections are some form of the prescription medication somatropin. Somatropin is made from recombinant human DNA, so it is an exact replica of the HGH that is normally produced by your pituitary gland. Prescription HGH shots are available under many names, but they are all the same drug. Some of the most common growth hormone injections prescribed to treat GHD are:

  • Omnitrope
  • Serostim
  • Norditropin
  • Zomacton
  • Genotropin
  • Saizen
  • Humatrope
  • Zorbitive

These differ only in their available dosages and their delivery methods. Your medical professional will decide which is the right HGH prescription for you.

How Much Does HGH Treatment Cost?

On average, you can expect to pay $500 to $5000 a month for injectable HGH from a legitimate company. This depends on the size and potency of the dose needed. Price ranges are also based on the type of injections. HGH injections that use reconstituted HGH and standard syringes tend to cost less than those that use pre-measured cartridges or injectable pens.

The following chart compares the cost of the brands of HGH our doctors prescribe.

Omnitrope/SandozPen 5mg (without cartridge)$400
Pen 10mg (without cartridge)$400
Cartridge 5mg$950
Cartridge 10mg$1,595
Vial 5.8mg$475
Serostim/EMD Serono4mg vial$4500
5mg vial$5100
6mg vial$5700
Norditropin/Novo NordiskFlexPro pen 5mg$1,075
FlexPro pen 10mg$1,905
FlexPro pen 15mg$2,760
Genotropin/PfizerGenotropin Mixer ® 5mg$1,050
Genotropin Mixer ® 12mg$3,000
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 0.2 mg$350
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 0.4 mg$680
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 0.6 mg$960
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 0.8 mg$1,350
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 1.0 mg$1,850
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 1.2 mg$2,200
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 1.4 mg$2,500
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 1.6 mg$2,750
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 1.8 mg$3,100
Genotropin MiniQuick Pen ® 2.0mg$3,800
Humatrope/Eli LillyHumatrope vial 5mg$1000
HumatropPen 6g$1400
HumatropPen 12g$3200
HumatropPen 24g$5700
Zorbitive/EMD Serono8.8mg Vial$15000
Zomacton/FerringVial 5mg$475
Vial 10mg$1000
Saizen/Merck SeronoVial 5mg$1000
Vial 8.8mg$1,800

Do I Need a Prescription to Start Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Yes, absolutely, you must have a doctor’s prescription to legally receive treatment for growth hormone therapy. Any product you can buy without a prescription claiming to be HGH or contain HGH cannot, by law, contain any real human growth hormone. Any such products should be avoided. They are worthless at best and dangerous, perhaps fatal at worst.

How to Start Growth Hormone Deficiency Treatment

While you must have a doctor’s prescription to start growth hormone deficiency treatment, it is not that difficult to get one. In fact, you only need to follow these five steps.

  • Step 1 – Fill out an online medical history form – This first step is indeed the only step in the process of getting HGH injections that can be done online.
  • Step 2 – See a doctor –If your online medical history form indicates that you are a good candidate for HGH therapy, the next step is to see your doctor. He or she will discuss your medical history in further detail, ask you more about your symptoms, and take a complete physical exam.
  • Step 3 – Laboratory hormone testing – Once you have completed your physical exam, you will be referred to a laboratory to have the hormone levels in your blood tested.
  • Step 4 – You will obtain a prescription for a program of HGH injections –  If the results of your laboratory tests show that your HGH levels are low,  your doctor will prescribe a dosage of growth hormone injections to suit your needs and lifestyle.
  • Step 5 – Your HGH will be delivered to you – Your prescription for HGH therapy will be forwarded to one of the pharmacies we work with that specializes in filling prescriptions for HGH injections. The pharmacy will then deliver your HGH therapy supplies to you.

What to Expect From Treatment for Growth Hormone Deficiency?

HGH Therapy Results.Adults with GHD can expect to see life-changing results from HGH therapy. However, it will take time to achieve the full benefits of HGH replacement. HGH injections are usually prescribed for six months. Over the course of those months, you will slowly see improvements in your strength, vitality, and overall health and wellness.

Many studies have proven the many benefits of HGH replacement for adults with age-related GHD. For patients with adult-onset GHD, HGH therapy can:

  • Increase cellular rejuvenation
  • Increase your body’s ability to turn fat into energy
  • Improve your ability to build lean muscle
  • Increase energy and vitality
  • Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Improve memory and your ability to complete complex cognitive tasks
  • Increase sex drive and enhance sexual performance

Benefits and Side Effects of HGH Deficiency Treatment

There are many benefits of growth hormone therapy for adults diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency; however, like any drug or medical procedure, there are some potential side effects of growth hormone deficiency treatment with HGH.

What are the Long-Term Benefits of Growth Hormone Therapy?

Most people will begin to see the results of growth hormone therapy within the first four weeks of treatment. Most initial growth hormone therapy is prescribed for six months. The following chart illustrates a month-by-month breakdown of the kinds of results you can expect from growth hormone replacement.

After One MonthThe effects of daily growth hormone injections will become apparent within a week or two. You will be sleeping better; you will see increases in your energy level and overall vitality. By the 3rd or 4th week, you will be thinking more clearly.
After Two MonthsIn month 2, more physical results will be seen. You will look notably more fit. You will have more lean muscle, and your skin will have an overall more youthful appearance.
After Three MonthsAfter 12-14 weeks on growth hormone, you will look and feel much better than when you started. You will be stronger, more flexible; bone density will have improved so that you will feel less joint pain, and you should also see an improvement in libido and sexual performance.
After Four MonthsAfter three months and into your 4th, fat loss and muscle gain will be very significant. You will be entering the period of peak results of growth hormone injections.
After Five MonthsAfter month five, this is when most patients have their “before” and “after” pictures taken. Do not be surprised at what you looked like before you started growth hormone therapy.
After Six MonthsAfter six months, you will be a stronger, healthier person. You will have received all of the many benefits of growth hormone therapy, such as:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved sex life
  • Improved mental acuity
  • Improved muscle tone

Possible Side Effects of HGH Therapy

HGH injections are approved by the FDA to treat GHD. Growth hormone injections are generally regarded as safe; however, like any drug, they do have some potential side effects.

Some of the most common side effects adults being treated for GHD might experience include:

  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation at the injection site
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Any side effects that you may experience during growth hormone therapy can usually be reduced by simply adjusting your dose or changing your brand of growth hormone injections. Be sure to tell your doctor of any side effects or discomforts you may experience while taking HGH injections.

What Do the Research Studies Say About Growth Hormone Deficiencies?

There has been significant research that indicates the value of growth hormone replacement therapy for treating adults with adult-onset or age-related GHD. Current research all provides evidence for the antiaging abilities of HGH therapy in adults as well as proof of its positive impact on strength, vitality, and sexual health.

For example:

The National Institutes of Health have recently provided the Ohio University Edison Biotechnology Institute and Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine with a $2.23 million to John Kopchick, Ph.D., to follow up his earlier work that found that growth hormone could extend the lifespan of mice.

A recent study analyzed the impact of growth hormone therapy on muscle mass and power in adult men. The results showed that HGH injections “significantly increased” exercise capacity, led to positive changes in body compositions, and decreased total body fat, and increased lean muscle mass.

A 2012 study looking into the impact of adult-onset HGH deficiency on libido in both men and women found that “a decrease of desire and arousability both in men and women, together with an impairment of erectile function in men, have been described both in patients with GHD.” The study concluded that “Data on beneficial effects of HGH replacement therapy restoring normal GH/IGF-I levels have been associated to improvement of sexual function.”


In conclusion, all the guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of adult-onset growth hormone deficiency agree that, when the guidelines are followed, growth hormone therapy is a safe and effective treatment for adults with GHD. In addition, the guidelines for adults with GHD conclude:

  • Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency is a well-recognized clinical entity.
  • That HGH therapy is safe overall; however, patients need to be carefully monitored for possible side effects.
  • Growth hormone therapy provides body composition benefits.
  • HGH replacement therapy improves bone health in patients with GHD.
  • Growth hormone therapy reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults with GHD.
  • Growth hormone therapy improves the quality of life in adults with growth hormone deficiencies.
  • The decision to prescribe HGH therapy should be based on an individualized evaluation of the benefits vs. the risks.
  • Since the availability of recombinant growth hormone, many more people have been able to benefit from growth hormone therapy.

Remember that the very definition of guidelines in medicine is to offer your doctor a set of suggestions based on evidence and best practices. Ultimately, the determination of whether you will benefit from growth hormone therapy should only be made after careful consideration of your individual symptoms, needs, and lifestyle.

Now that you understand more about growth hormone deficiency in adults, why don’t you take a minute to contact us and see if growth hormone therapy may be right for you.


Whether or not your health insurance will cover the costs of your HGH treatments is largely dependent on your particular insurance company and policy. HGH is FDA approved for the treatment of any number of conditions that cause growth hormone deficiency in children.

It is also approved for the treatment of the "muscle wasting" that occurs in HIV aids patients. When HGH therapy is prescribed to you for one of these two purposes, it is a good chance that it will be covered by health insurance.

However, your health insurance may or may not cover your HGH medication if it has been prescribed for adult-onset growth hormone deficiency. That will all depend on your exact diagnosis and your insurance. Even if your insurance does not cover your medication, it may cover other aspects of your HGH therapy, such as lab work and doctor's visits.

Many of the pharmaceutical companies that make HGH therapy drugs offer discount programs for patients with prescriptions for growth hormone therapy who are not insured or whose HGH treatments are not covered by insurance.

Any licensed medical doctor can write you a prescription for growth hormone therapy, but you should not get your HGH treatments from just any doctor. You should work with physicians like ours who specialize in treating men and women for age-related hormone deficiencies.

Growth hormone therapy is designed to replace the HGH that your body is no longer making enough of. The benefits of HGH have been well-documented. Originally, HGH therapy was used mainly to treat children who were failing to achieve normal height. Since its discovery and original use, researchers have looked into other benefits of HGH -- specifically, its antiaging properties for older men and women.

Authentic growth hormone therapy is ONLY available as injections. All of the growth hormone made by the major drug manufacturers in the US is some form of the prescription medication somatropin. It is only prescribed in an injectable form. There is no such thing as “over-the-counter” HGH or any kind of HGH that can be bought without a prescription.

Any product claiming to be HGH, or contain HGH that is available in a pill, or a powder, or any other form than an injection, or could be purchased without a prescription – cannot, by law, be real HGH. Any such products can be avoided.

Growth hormone therapy is given for a course of about six months. After you have completed your first six-month program, you will be evaluated to see if you need to continue. Either way, you will be given lifestyle, diet, and fitness counseling which will help you to maintain the many great benefits you will have achieved from HGH injections.

You will not have to wait long to see the results of growth hormone therapy. Most patients seeking treatment for adult-onset GHD will see results within two to four weeks of starting growth hormone injections.

  • The first thing you will notice, probably within the first four to six weeks on HGH injections, will be increased energy and stamina.
  • After a month or two of taking HGH, you will see significant improvements in your strength and vitality. You will likely start to look slimmer and more "toned." At this stage, men, in particular, report improved sex drive and better sexual performance.
  • Over the next three to six months of HGH therapy, you will start to experience all of the many documented benefits of HGH, as listed above.

You will probably have to be on growth hormone therapy for six months.

Written by Author - AuthorsDoctors/Authors - Medically reviewed by   Reviewers Reviewers - Created at May 25, 2018 - Updated on October 29, 2021