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Egrifta (Generic Tesamorelin Injection)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Egrifta (tesamorelin) is a prescription medication primarily used to reduce excess abdominal fat in HIV-infected patients with lipodystrophy, a condition characterized by abnormal fat distribution in the body. Lipodystrophy is a common side effect of long-term HIV treatment.

Egrifta works by stimulating the production and release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland, which helps to reduce visceral adipose tissue (fat around the organs in the abdomen) in HIV-infected individuals with lipodystrophy.

How should this medicine be used?

Egrifta (generic name: tesamorelin) is a medication used to reduce excess fat accumulation in adults with HIV-related lipodystrophy. It is typically administered as a subcutaneous injection, meaning it’s injected under the skin.

Here’s a general guide on how Egrifta should be used:

  • Prescription: Egrifta is available only with a doctor’s prescription. Your healthcare provider will determine the appropriate dosage and frequency based on your individual medical condition.
  • Administration: Egrifta is administered as a subcutaneous injection, usually into the abdomen. However, your doctor may provide specific instructions for injection sites. It’s important to rotate injection sites to prevent irritation or lumps under the skin.
  • Dosage: The recommended dosage of Egrifta is typically 2 mg once daily. Your doctor may adjust the dosage based on your response to the medication and any side effects experienced.
  • Timing: Egrifta injections are typically administered at the same time each day for consistency.
  • Preparation: Before injecting Egrifta, ensure that you have the correct dosage and that the medication is clear and colorless. If the solution is discolored or contains particles, do not use it. Follow the instructions provided with the medication for proper preparation.
  • Injection Technique: Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the medication. Use a new, sterile needle and syringe for each injection. Your doctor or healthcare provider can teach you the proper injection technique. Clean the injection site with an alcohol swab and let it dry before injecting the medication.
  • Storage: Egrifta should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not freeze. Once prepared for injection, use it immediately or store it in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.
  • Missed Dose: If you miss a dose of Egrifta, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
  • Monitoring: Your doctor will monitor your progress regularly while you are taking Egrifta to ensure it is working effectively and to watch for any side effects.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions and consult them if you have any questions or concerns about using Egrifta. They can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history and individual needs.

Other uses for this medicine

While Egrifta is primarily indicated for HIV-related lipodystrophy, it may also have off-label uses. However, it’s essential to consult with your doctor regarding any potential off-label use and to follow their guidance.

What special precautions should I follow?

Regarding special precautions for Egrifta use, here are some important considerations:

  • Medical history: Before starting Egrifta treatment, patients should inform their healthcare provider about their complete medical history, including any underlying medical conditions, allergies, or medications they are currently taking.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Egrifta should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as its safety in pregnant or lactating women has not been established.
  • Diabetes risk: Egrifta may increase blood sugar levels and the risk of developing diabetes, particularly in individuals with pre-existing glucose intolerance or diabetes. Patients should undergo regular monitoring of blood glucose levels during treatment with Egrifta.
  • Cancer risk: There have been concerns about the potential risk of cancer associated with tesamorelin use, particularly for individuals with a history of malignancy or those at higher risk for cancer. Healthcare providers should carefully assess the risk-benefit profile before prescribing Egrifta in such cases.
  • Injection site reactions: Like with any injectable medication, Egrifta may cause injection site reactions, including pain, redness, swelling, or irritation. Patients should be educated on proper injection techniques and instructed to rotate injection sites to minimize discomfort.
  • Adverse effects: Patients should be aware of potential side effects of Egrifta, such as joint pain, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and peripheral edema. They should promptly report any unusual or severe symptoms to their healthcare provider.
  • Interactions: Patients should inform their healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications they are taking, as Egrifta may interact with certain drugs, potentially affecting their effectiveness or increasing the risk of adverse effects.

It’s essential for patients to adhere to their healthcare provider’s instructions and attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor their response to Egrifta treatment and address any concerns or adverse effects promptly.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Regarding special dietary instructions for Egrifta, there are no specific dietary restrictions associated with its use. However, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is important for overall health and may complement the effects of Egrifta in reducing abdominal fat. Patients should follow a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains and limit intake of processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you forget to take a dose of Egrifta, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up. If you have any concerns or questions about missed doses, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for guidance.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Egrifta (tesamorelin) may cause some side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of Egrifta include:

  • Injection site reactions: Pain, redness, swelling, or irritation at the injection site are common side effects of Egrifta. Rotating injection sites can help minimize discomfort.
  • Joint pain: Some individuals may experience joint pain or stiffness while using Egrifta.
  • Muscle pain: Muscle pain or discomfort may occur as a side effect of Egrifta treatment.
  • Nausea: Some people may experience feelings of nausea or queasiness while taking Egrifta.
  • Vomiting: In some cases, Egrifta may cause vomiting as a side effect.
  • Peripheral edema: Swelling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet (peripheral edema) may occur in some individuals using Egrifta.

It’s essential to note that not all individuals will experience these side effects, and some side effects may resolve on their own as the body adjusts to the medication. However, if any side effects persist or become severe, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you experience any unusual or severe symptoms while taking Egrifta, seek medical attention promptly.

As with any medication, there is a potential for other less common or more severe side effects with Egrifta use. Patients should discuss any concerns or questions about potential side effects with their healthcare provider before starting treatment.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal:

  • Storage: Store Egrifta vials (both powder and reconstituted solution) in the refrigerator at a temperature between 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). Do not freeze. Protect from light. Keep the medication out of reach of children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired Egrifta properly according to local regulations or as instructed by your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Proper disposal helps prevent environmental contamination and accidental ingestion by children or pets.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of an emergency or suspected overdose with Egrifta, seek immediate medical attention or contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 (in the United States). Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, joint pain, muscle pain, or other adverse effects. It’s essential to follow medical guidance in such situations.

What other information should I know?

  • Keep all appointments with your healthcare provider for monitoring and dose adjustments as needed.
  • Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, supplements, or herbal products you are taking, as they may interact with Egrifta.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully for administering Egrifta, including proper injection techniques and site rotation.
  • Report any new or worsening symptoms, side effects, or concerns to your healthcare provider promptly.
  • Do not share Egrifta with others, even if they have similar symptoms, as it is prescribed specifically for your condition.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about Egrifta or its use, consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist for clarification.

By following these guidelines for storage, disposal, and emergency procedures, as well as staying informed about important information related to Egrifta use, you can help ensure the safe and effective management of your condition.

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