Human growth hormone (HGH) is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that has a powerful effect on a child’s growth. According to The Magic Foundation, HGH also contributes to bone density, immune system function, heart strength, and lung capacity. When a child doesn’t produce enough HGH, her doctor may prescribe injections of synthetic HGH (somatropin) to be given subcutaneously, or between his skin and muscle layers. It’s important to rotate HGH injection sites to prevent damage to the skin and subcutaneous tissue.
Genentech, the company that manufactures the Nutropin brand of somatropin, says the tissue under the abdominal skin does a great job of absorbing the drug.
Choose a site below the waist but above the hipbones, and between the area where the body curves on the side and two inches from the center of the abdomen. Stay away from the navel when you inject HGH.
You may find abdominal injections less painful than those in other areas, but it’s important to avoid injecting at your waistline so your clothes don’t irritate the site.
The front and outside surfaces of the thighs are also good injection sites.
To identify the right spot, Genentech recommends that you “divide” the leg between the hip bone and knee into thirds. Give the HGH injection into the skin on the middle third of the thigh, either on the front of the leg or on one of the outside areas. Gently pinch up one to two inches of skin before injecting the medication.
The upper, outer aspect of the buttocks tends to be a good spot for relatively pain-free injections. While it’s tough to inject yourself properly on these sites, the patient can lie down on a flat surface on their stomach and point their toes inward so a caregiver can find the right spot. Select a spot below the waist but above the buttocks crack, and between the side curve of the body and a few inches from the spine.
Genentech suggests using the largest part of the back part of the upper arms as an alternative injection site for HGH. This site will be effective only if you can grasp enough skin to administer the drug subcutaneously. This means you’ll need to hold enough skin between your thumb and index finger to insert the needle under the skin at a 45 to 90 degree angle. If you’re giving the HGH injection to someone else, stand beside and a little behind the person and ask her to place his hand on her hip.