Growth hormone (GH) usage and abuse
Growth hormone is essential for body growth but it also modulates metabolic pathways as well as neural, reproductive, immune, cardiovascular, and pulmonary functions. Numerous beneficial effects of growth hormone have led to its expanded therapeutic use in both children and adults. There are several officially approved applications of human growth hormone and many more proposed applications that resulted from huge number of clinical studies on GH therapy.
Growth hormone abuse includes improper or excessive use. Over the last decade GH has become one of the most commonly abused drugs in sport due to the fact that its administration is currently undetectable. Enormous doses that are injected and frequent simultaneous abuse of other substances such as other anabolic steroids (testosterone) lead to frequent side effects that may be fatal.
In spite of numerous beneficial effects of growth hormone the true physiological impact of GH replacement therapy on various metabolic parameters may be confounded by the dose and route of administration of GH so accurate physicians’ monitoring during GH therapy is needed.