The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Tesamorelin for Fat Accumulation

52-Week Effects and Safety of Tesamorelin (Growth Hormone Releasing Factor) in HIV Patients With Fat Accumulation

May/June 2008

Body fat changes (lipodystrophy) are relatively common among HIV patients, especially in those who have been on longer treatment, who are older, and have had fluctuations in weight. Also, there are particular antiviral medications that are associated with these body changes. At CROI, 52 week, long-term safety and efficacy of tesamorelin was reported. Tesamorelin or placebo was given (randomized) to patients with increased abdominal fat -- lipodystrophy, daily by subcutaneous injection for 26 weeks. This phase was followed by another 26 weeks by which placebo patients received tesamorelin and the previous tesamorelin-treated individuals were re-randomized to continue for an additional 26 weeks or change to a placebo. At 52 weeks, from the study population of 275 men and 40 women there was a highly significant improvement in patients continuing on the drug, showing loss of 17 and 23% of abdominal fat respectively. Also, observed at 52 weeks was a sustained increase in body mass. Importantly, the drug did not alter glucose (blood sugar) metabolism or contribute to other adverse events, unlike growth hormone (Serostim). An added benefit was a loss of triglycerides (blood fats, associated with increased cardiovascular risk).

Tesamorelin is a growth hormone releasing factor analogue. When tesamorelin is administered, the bio-feedback system of growth hormone release by the pituitary gland is still intact, avoiding excessive growth hormone levels and potential side effects. This distinguishes tesamorelin from Serostim. The reduction in both belly fat and triglycerides, without significantly effecting sugar levels, seen with tesamorelin use has the overall potential of reducing cardiovascular risk to patients with HIV disease (but individuals should also consider smoking cessation), as well as improving and enhancing their quality of life.

Dr. Dan Berger (Medical Director, Northstar Healthcare, Chicago) is an author of the article published in The New England Journal of Medicine on tesamorelin and an author of the abstract presented at CROI.

Got a comment on this article? Write to us at

  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by Positively Aware. It is a part of the publication Positively Aware. Visit Positively Aware's website to find out more about the publication.
See Also
More Research on Fat Accumulation (Lipohypertrophy) and HIV/AIDS

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining: