Tesamorelin is a synthetic peptide used to treat HIV-associated lipodystrophy, a condition in which individuals with HIV experience abnormal changes in body fat distribution. The drug is a growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) analogue that stimulates the pituitary gland to produce more growth hormone.
HIV-associated lipodystrophy is a common side effect of antiretroviral therapy, which is used to treat HIV. This condition is characterized by a loss of subcutaneous fat in the face, arms, and legs, and an accumulation of fat in the abdomen, neck, and upper back. These changes can have a negative impact on quality of life and may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
Tesamorelin is administered by injection and is usually given once a day. It has been shown to increase insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels and reduce visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in individuals with HIV-associated lipodystrophy. VAT is the type of fat that accumulates in the abdominal area and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
Tesamorelin is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause side effects such as injection site reactions, joint pain, and muscle pain. It is not recommended for individuals with a history of pituitary or adrenal gland problems, or for individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Overall, tesamorelin is a valuable treatment option for individuals with HIV-associated lipodystrophy, as it can improve body fat distribution and potentially reduce the risk of associated health problems. However, like all medications, it should be used only under the guidance of a healthcare provider.
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