This guidance updates and replaces NICE technology appraisal 42 (published in May 2002).

A minor correction was made to section 6.1 of the guidance in July 2010. This does not affect the funding direction, which applies from the original date of publication in May 2010.

NICE recommends human growth hormone (somatropin) as a possible treatment for some children with growth failure (see below).

Who can have human growth hormone (somatropin)?

Children should be able to have human growth hormone (somatropin) if they have any of the following:

  • growth hormone deficiency
  • Turner syndrome
  • Prader–Willi syndrome
  • chronic renal insufficiency
  • growth failure at 4 years or older and were born small for gestational age
  • short stature homeobox-containing gene (SHOX) deficiency.

Treatment should continue until the child stops growing unless growth is slow in the first year of treatment or the child doesn’t wish to carry on with the treatment. The specialist should carefully consider weight and height before stopping treatment in children with Prader–Willi syndrome.

Why has NICE said this?

NICE looks at how well treatments work, and also at how well they work in relation to how much they cost the NHS. NICE recommended human growth hormone (somatropin) because it increases growth in children with growth failure and works well in relation to its cost.

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