Inhaled growth hormone (GH) compared with subcutaneous GH in children with gh deficiency: Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and safety

Emily C. Walvoord, Amparo De La Peña, Soomin Park, Bernard Silverman, Leona Cuttler, Susan R. Rose, Gordon Cutler, Stenvert Drop, John J. Chipman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Background: Delivery of GH via inhalation is a potential alternative to injection. Previous studies of inhaled GH in adults have demonstrated safety and tolerability. Objective: We sought to assess safety and tolerability of inhaled GH in children and to estimate relative bioavailability and biopotency between inhaled GH and sc GH. Design/Methods: This pediatric multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial had two 7-d treatment phases. Patients received inhaled GH and sc GH in the alternate phase. Placebo was administered by the route opposite from active drug. GH and IGF-I levels were measured at multiple time points. Pharmacokinetics were assessed using noncompartmental methods. Results: Twenty-two GH-deficient children aged 6-16 yr were treated. Absorption of GH appeared to be faster after inhalation with maximum serum concentrations measured at 1-4 h compared with 2-8 h for sc GH. Mean relative bioavailability for inhaled GH was 3.5% (90% confidence interval 2.7-4.4%). Mean relative biopotency, based on IGF-I response, was 5.5% (confidence interval 5.2-5.8%). Similar dose-dependent increases in mean serum GH area under the curve and IGF-I changes from baseline were seen after inhaled and sc GH doses. Inhaled GH was well tolerated and preferred to injection. No significant changes in pulmonary function tests were seen. Conclusions: In this first pediatric trial of GH delivered by inhalation, it was well tolerated and resulted in dose-dependent increases in serum GH and IGF-I levels. This study establishes that delivery of GH via the deep lung is feasible in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2052-2059
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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