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Growth Hormone Therapy question

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Has anyone here considered or done growth hormone therapy on their short-statured child?


My ds is 8, but is the size of a six-year old and is at about the 1st percentile for height and weight in his age group. He is super sensitive about his height, especially since dad is 6 ft. 6. Now he was adopted from Bulgaria and the people there are generally much shorter, so to compare him to the American growth charts isn't really correct for his height, either. Upon advice from his pediatrician, we have been tracking his growth with an endocrinologist at the University of Minnesota. She says that all his hormone and thyroid functions are fine, but that he is a late bloomer. He eats well (a lot), is advanced academically (thanks to homeschooling) and is consistently physically active. Otherwise...healthy!!

However, she suggested that if we want to do growth hormone therapy, now is the time to do it.


I've actually am heavy on the "no" side of this choice (because of the side effects, daily injections, etc.) but I am wondering if there is anyone here who has done this and who has had some positive experiences with it??


Any input would be appreciated.

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First of all, would your insurance even consider paying for it? If not, it can run $20,000++++ per year for several years. Here our endo said insurance would NOT pay unless it was indicated by tests showing growh hormone deficiency.


How are his bone age scans? If they are running behind his actual age, you likely have a few years to decide---you just need to start before puberty in most cases.


Does the endo have an estimated adult height for him? If it isn't too short, then I would not do it. There are risks to using growth hormone, esp. if his growth hormone levels are normal.


My girls were on the verge of deciding what to do in this area as well. They were both well BELOW the 1% on the charts. The endo here though said that they would likely reach 4'10" as adults so we decided that we could live with that. Much shorter and we would have considered the hormone shots.


I know it is a little harder for boys but you also have his race/ethnic background in play here as some groups are just shorter all around.

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My youngest dd takes a month hormone shot to do the oppisite of what you want. She has been in puberty since she was 2, and will recieve this shot till she is 14. She is miserable the week before her shot and the week after. Everyone in the house knows when BabyG is coming down as we say here; we call it hormone he**. I basically have 4 teenagers in the house. Plus, the shots hurt, her arms are tender all the time cause she won't take a shot anywehre but there. When she first stated getting this shot she would vomit everytime, but dr say this is not side effect from shot. Her hair changed, her nails changed, she battles acne sometimes. Then you have the fact that she is super tall, just as tall as my 13 yo son. There are many more cons to this, I just can't think of them at the moment. I know you son is small right now but if you can avoid this please do so. Also, as Ottakee stated, these shots are expensive; mine is $1400 each month and no insurance doesn't cover it. We are very lucky to have been accepted into a program that helps off set this cost; but it is still a cost. Also, these are synthenic hormones you don't want to inject unless you positivly have to. If you have any questions I can try to help. I really wouldn't worry though, small is not a bad thing, my oldest son has been small for very long time. He just shot up 6 inces and is taller than me, but he is 15 and very late compared to friends. It will happen for him.

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For some reason, the cost of the injections didn't even dawn on up! Gulp!:eek:


Ds's bone age is about 6.5 years, so it is behind. Hence, the "late bloomer" label. As far as predicting adult height, the endo didn't give me any idea. I suppose I should've asked her that.


Thanks for the input...off to do some more research.

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