Middle-aged white male in purple collared shirt, not actual Serostim® patient

How Serostim® Works

Serostim® is a recombinant human growth hormone (r-hGH)1

Evidence suggests that altered metabolism can have an important role in the development of HIV‑associated wasting.

Mechanism of action

Serostim® is an anabolic and anticatabolic agent that exerts its influence in in HIV‑associated wasting by interacting with specific receptors on a variety of cell types including myocytes, hepatocytes, adipocytes, lymphocytes, and hematopoietic cells. Some, but not all of its effects, are mediated by insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).


  • Effects on protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism: A 1-week study in 6 patients with HIV‑associated wasting has shown that treatment with Serostim® 0.1 mg/kg/day improved nitrogen balance, increased protein-sparing lipid oxidation, and had little effect on overall carbohydrate metabolism
  • Effects on nitrogen and mineral retention: In the 1-week study in 6 patients with HIV‑associated wasting, treatment with Serostim® resulted in the retention of phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen, and sodium. The ratio of retained potassium and nitrogen during Serostim® therapy was consistent with retention of these elements in lean tissue
  • Physical performance: Cycle ergometry work output and treadmill performance were examined in separate 12-week, placebo-controlled trials. In both studies, work output improved significantly in the group receiving Serostim® 0.1 mg/kg/day subcutaneously vs placebo. Isometric muscle performance, as measured by grip-strength dynamometry, declined, probably as a result of a transient increase in tissue turgor known to occur with Serostim® therapy


  1. Serostim® (somatropin) for injection [prescribing information]. Rockland, MA: EMD Serono, Inc.