Increlex is a medication prescribed for the treatment of severe primary IGF-1 deficiency. With this condition, a child is very short for their age due to a lack of a certain growth hormone. This medication comes as a liquid that is injected just under the skin (subcutaneously) twice daily. Although this drug is usually well tolerated, side effects are possible and include headaches, dizziness, and vomiting.
What Is Increlex?
Increlex® (mecasermin) is a prescription medication approved to treat children who are very short for their age because their body does not make enough insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a hormone that is important for human growth. This is known as severe primary IGF-1 deficiency.
It is also approved to treat children with growth hormone (GH) gene deletion, in cases when the child has developed antibodies against growth hormone treatment.
Increlex is manufactured by Hospira, Incorporated, for Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
How Does Increlex Work?
Increlex is a laboratory-made version of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) hormone; it has the same actions in the body as natural IGF-1. When injected, it works to replace IGF-1 in children who have low levels of the hormone in their body.
Increlex is made in a laboratory setting using "recombinant DNA technology." This technology is the process of combining two different strands of DNA. Increlex is made by adding a gene (a sequence of DNA) for human IGF-1 to bacteria (specifically E. coli).This tells the bacteria to make the hormone.
Increlex Web site. Available at: http://www.increlex.com/. Accessed June 4, 2013.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed June 4, 2013.
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