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Types of Growth Disorders

Some children experience slow growth due to factors such as diet, emotional stress, or disease. For a small number of children and adults, their short stature is caused by a medical condition that either slows or stops growth. Norditropin® is used to treat some of these conditions.

What is Noonan syndrome?

Noonan syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects both boys and girls. About 1 in 1,000 to 2,500 infants is born with Noonan syndrome, which can cause congenital heart disease, distinctive facial features, short stature, and other conditions.

What causes Noonan syndrome?

Noonan syndrome is caused by a mutation, or abnormality, in one of several genes. In about half of Noonan syndrome cases, the mutation occurs in a gene contained on chromosome 12. There is a 50% chance that a parent with Noonan syndrome will pass the chromosome to their child.

What are the physical features of Noonan syndrome?

Up to 83% of patients with Noonan syndrome have short stature. At birth, a child with Noonan syndrome may have normal weight and length, but during childhood and/or puberty they may fall behind in height, weight, and bone age or maturation compared with the general population.

Certain physical traits and conditions may occur in Noonan syndrome. Some children with Noonan syndrome may have many of these conditions, while others have just a few:

Heart defects

Abnormal bruising or bleeding

Unusual facial features (which may fade as a child grows), including wide-set eyes, down-slanting eyes, drooping eyelids, arched eyebrows, and low-set ears with forward-facing lobes

Delay in puberty

Poor eyesight

Chest and skeletal deformities

Webbed neck

A low hairline at the back of the neck

Learning disability or mild retardation

Lymphatic abnormalities

Undescended testicles in males at birth

Brilliant blue or blue-green eyes

Feeding difficulties in infancy

Frequent or forceful vomiting in infancy

Hearing problems

Everyone is different: Some children may have many of these features, while others have just a few. Because children with Noonan syndrome usually have more than one of these traits, most likely they will need to see other medical specialists, like a heart specialist (cardiologist) or an eye specialist (ophthalmologist).

What about puberty?

In children with Noonan syndrome, puberty can be delayed by about 2 years. The pubertal growth spurt is often reduced or absent. Bone development may also be delayed by 2 years.

How is Noonan syndrome diagnosed?

Today, there is no simple test that can diagnose a boy or girl with Noonan syndrome. The diagnosis is first made by recognizing the physical features of Noonan syndrome. After evaluation, a geneticist may confirm a diagnosis of Noonan syndrome with genetic testing.

After the diagnosis.

If your child is diagnosed with Noonan syndrome, the pediatric endocrinologist may recommend a treatment such as growth hormone. And, they’ll probably ask to schedule regular follow-up visits with the appropriate specialist, to monitor your child’s growth, and other conditions.

Parents and caregivers can find community, support, and educational resources through growth-related patient advocacy groups. Visit the Noonan Syndrome Foundation to learn more.

Find support.

Parents and caregivers of children with growth disorders can find support, community, and education through growth-related patient organizations, such as the MAGIC Foundation.

Norditropin® stories.

Learn more about what life is like for families whose children are being treated with Norditropin®.

Selected Important Safety Information

Do not use Norditropin® if: you have a critical illness caused by certain types of heart or stomach surgery, trauma or breathing (respiratory) problems; you are a child with Prader-Willi syndrome who is severely obese or has breathing problems including sleep apnea; you have cancer or other tumors; you are allergic to somatropin or any of the ingredients in Norditropin®; your healthcare provider tells you that you have certain types of eye problems caused by diabetes (diabetic retinopathy); you are a child with closed bone growth plates (epiphyses).

Indications and Usage

What is Norditropin® (somatropin) injection?
Norditropin® is a prescription medicine that contains human growth hormone and is used to treat:
  • children who are not growing because of low or no growth hormone 
  • children who are short (in stature) and who have Noonan syndrome, Turner syndrome, or were born small (small for gestational age-SGA) and have not caught-up in growth by age 2 to 4 years 
  • children who have Idiopathic Short Stature (ISS) 
  • children who are not growing who have Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) 
  • adults who do not make enough growth hormone

Important Safety Information (cont’d)

Before taking Norditropin®, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have had heart or stomach surgery, trauma or serious breathing (respiratory problems) 
  • have had a history of problems breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea) 
  • have or have had cancer or any tumor 
  • have diabetes 
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Norditropin® may affect how other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Norditropin® works.

How should I use Norditropin®?

  • Use Norditropin® exactly as your health care provider tells you to 
  • Do not share your Norditropin® pens and needles with another person even if the needle has been changed. You may give another person an infection or get an infection from them.

What are the possible side effects of Norditropin®?
Norditropin® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • high risk of death in people who have critical illnesses because of heart or stomach surgery, trauma or serious breathing (respiratory) problems 
  • high risk of sudden death in children with Prader-Willi syndrome who are severely obese or have breathing problems including sleep apnea 
  • increased risk of growth of cancer or a tumor that is already present and increased risk of the return of cancer or a tumor in people who were treated with radiation to the brain or head as children and who developed low growth hormone problems. Contact the healthcare provider if you or your child start to have headaches, or have changes in behavior, changes in vision, or changes in moles, birthmarks, or the color of your skin 
  • new or worsening high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or diabetes 
  • increase in pressure in the skull (intracranial hypertension). If you or your child has headaches, eye problems, nausea or vomiting, contact the healthcare provider 
  • serious allergic reactions. Get medical help right away if you or your child has the following symptoms: swelling of your face, lips, mouth or tongue, trouble breathing, wheezing, severe itching, skin rashes, redness or swelling, dizziness or fainting, fast heartbeat or pounding in your chest, or sweating 
  • your body holding too much fluid (fluid retention) such as swelling in the hands and feet, pain in your joints or muscles or nerve problems that cause pain, burning, or tingling in the hands, arms, legs and feet. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these signs or symptoms of fluid retention. 
  • decrease in a hormone called cortisol. Tell your or your child’s healthcare provider if you or your child has darkening of the skin, severe fatigue, dizziness, weakness or weight loss 
  • decrease in thyroid hormone levels 
  • hip and knee pain or a limp in children (slipped capital femoral epiphysis) 
  • worsening of pre-existing curvature of the spine (scoliosis) 
  • severe and constant abdominal pain can be a sign of pancreatitis. Tell your or your child’s healthcare provider if you or your child has any new abdominal pain. 
  • loss of fat and tissue weakness in the area of skin you inject 
  • increase in phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase, and parathyroid hormone levels in your blood

The most common side effects of Norditropin® include:

  • injection site reactions and rashes, and headaches

Please click here for Norditropin® Prescribing Information.

Norditropin® is a prescription medication.

Novo Nordisk provides patient assistance for those who qualify. Please call 1-866-310-7549 to learn more about Novo Nordisk assistance programs.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit, or call 1-800- FDA-1088.

Talk to your health care provider and find out if Norditropin® is right for you or your child.