Human Growth Hormone is an injectable hormone that can be administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly. When injected subcutaneously, HGH carries a bioavailability of approximately seventy-five percent. When injected intramuscularly, HGH carries a bioavailability of approximately sixty-three percent. The mode of administration will also affect the half-life of the Somatropin hormone. When injected subcutaneously, it will carry a half-life of approximately hours. When injected intramuscularly, it will carry a half-life of approximately hours. While this is a rather short half-life regardless of the mode of administration, keep in mind the total effects far outlast these numbers due to the pronounced and significant increases in IGF-1 production that stretch far past the twenty-four hour mark.
It was the ethical questions that were new. Is GH not a wise use of finite healthcare resources, or is the physician’s primary responsibility to the patient? If GH is given to most extremely short children to make them taller, will the definition of “extremely short” simply rise, negating the expected social benefit? If GH is given to short children whose parents can afford it, will shortness become a permanent mark of lower social origins? More of these issues are outlined in the ethics section. Whole meetings were devoted to these questions; pediatric endocrinology had become a specialty with its own bioethics issues.