How Do You Know If Your HGH Is Legal?

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The demand for growth hormone (HGH) and its high cost have fueled a proliferation of online pharmacies and discount clinics. These operations claim to be legit, but are they? The answer is most cases is no.

When you buy growth hormone, the only legal forms are those currently approved by the FDA and  prescribed by a U.S.-based licensed physician. This means that you cannot go to Mexico and legally purchase growth hormone, even if it is prescribed by a licensed Mexican doctor. The doctor must be licensed and practicing in the U.S.

You also cannot legally purchase discontinued products. Protropin, made by Roche, was discontinued in 2006. This was a somatrem form of growth hormone, which had the same amino sequence as human growth hormone plus an additional amino acid, methionine.  There are currently no FDA-approved somatrems. Supplies of Protropin have long since degraded to the point of no longer being potent, but some online pharmacies are selling it. Others, playing off the name recognition, market brands such as Protrophin, which are produced in China, India, or Mexico and are not legal here. Here are some well-known, but discontinued, brands of growth hormone:

  • Nutropin Depot (Genentech)
  • Serostim LQ (EMD Serono)
  • Bio-Tropin (Ferring)
  • Crescormon (Genentech)
  • Ascellacrin 10 and 2 (Serono)
  • Accretropin (Cangene)
  • Saizen, Zorbtive, Serostim, Norditropin, and Humattrope were discontinued in some sizes

Jintropin is commonly mentioned in bodybuilder forums as a “good” product. It is legal in China, where it is produced, but it is not legal in the U.S. In fact, in 2010 the maker of Jintropin, GeneScience, pled guilty to U.S. federal charges of illegally distributing Jintropin in the U.S. and paid a $9 million fine. Nonetheless, Jintropin continues to be sold on the U.S. black market. The company’s founder, Lei Jin, had worked as a research scientist at Genentech, which produces legal growth hormone and in fact was the first company to synthesize it, back in 1985. If a local clinic sells Jintropin to you, it is illegal and you should question the quality of medical care you are receiving.

Be aware also that no FDA-approved manufacturer works with any online supplier. If a website claims to work with “the best manufacturers” and slaps a few logos on the site, the website does not work with any of these manufacturers. No licensed pharmaceutical company is going to jeopardize millions of dollars in research and development costs, and even more millions in profits, to work with an online supplier who sells at a discount. These pharmaceutical companies are already selling all the growth hormone they can produce to legitimate pharmacies at full price.

Be suspicious, too, of name brands like Saizen which are  labeled in Spanish and may be counterfeit products made in Mexico. One FDA-approved European manufacturer has had to deal with this through litigation. Many patients do not realize the growth hormone is counterfeit for several months, until they check their IGF-1 level and it is not what it should be a that dose. The problems with counterfeiting are so rampant through online sources and shady clinics, some people recommend that you test the product using a pregnancy strip. This will tell you if the product you are buying is HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) instead of HGH (human growth hormone), because HCG is produced by pregnant women. But this test will not tell you if it is something else, tainted, or full of toxic metals.

Also, there is no such thing as legal “generic” growth hormone. Growth hormone is licensed and marketed under brand names. There are no oral, nasal, or spray forms of HGH, either. These are the currently legal manufacturers and brands of pharmaceutical growth hormone (somatropin):

  • Serostim (EMD Serono)
  • Saizen (EMD Serono)
  • Zorbitive (EMD Serono)
  • Nutropin AQ and AQ Pen (Genentech)
  • Valtropin (LG Life)
  • Humatrope (Lilly)
  • Norditropin Flexpro and Nordiflex (Novo Nortdisk)
  • Tev-Tropin (Ferring)
  • Genotropin (Pfizer/Pharmacia and Upjohn)
  • Omnitrope (Sandoz)

SourceL The DFA Orange Book of Approved Drug Products