How would I go about getting a legal prescription for HGH?
December 18, 2007 8:21 PM   Subscribe

How would I go about getting a legal prescription for HGH? (Bear with me, please.)

I am at the age (47) where I am beginning to feel time’s wear. I am vigorously active and I can still do virtually anything that I did when I was younger, but it takes me longer to recover and the aches and pains and little injuries have become a lot more common which is slowing me down. What I would like to do is go on a regime of HGH, for two reasons:

1. Curiosity about whether it would really make me feel better/faster/stronger.
2. To write about the experience (I think it would make a very timely book).

The ideal situation for me would be to get a yearlong supply and monitor the results and impressions. (I would stay out of any athletic competitions for moral reasons.) I want to do this legally, which means I will have to get a prescription, but I am healthy enough that I don’t even have a regular physician. I’d feel a little silly opening the phone book and going from doctor to doctor in the hopes that one of them would write the script.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good way to go about this? (Feel free to privately email me at the address in my profile if you have a sensitive answer.)
posted by dzot to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I’d feel a little silly opening the phone book and going from doctor to doctor in the hopes that one of them would write the script.

I imagine a doctor would feel as silly opening up a prescription pad for you, given the side effects and associated liability.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:30 PM on December 18, 2007

You could just end up giving yourself acromegaly.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:39 PM on December 18, 2007

Hormone treatments are not something to be entered into lightly (I've not been on hormones myself, but I know people who have, and the 'when is X treatment justified' discussion is one that is relevant for some of the communities I belong to). This is not something that you want to do for the sake of curiosity or a book; and if you want more energy and stamina, there are probably easier ways of achieving your goals.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 8:49 PM on December 18, 2007

In the first season of 30 Days, the episode Anti-Aging had a gentleman do just what you are describing, albeit for only 30 days. I recommend watching the episode to help you decide if you really want to go down that path.
posted by dreaming in stereo at 8:49 PM on December 18, 2007

going from doctor to doctor in the hopes that one of them would write the script

Be wary of doctor shopping laws present in some states.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:03 PM on December 18, 2007

I honestly appreciate everyone's concerns, but I already know the company line on HGH: drugs are bad, mmmkay?

But I have also read accounts of people going on low, steady, doctor-prescibed doses and improving the quality of their lives.
posted by dzot at 9:07 PM on December 18, 2007

IANAD. First of all, at 47, you need to man up, and get in with a good general practitioner, and bring your current diagnostic baseline up to snuff. A complete physical, including bloodwork, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening, prostrate exam & PSA level, liver and kidney function, etc. is the place to start. Then, discuss your concerns (fatigue, aches and pains, slow healing, early aging signs) with your doctor. HGH may or may not be beneficial for you, but asking about it is OK, if you and your doctor have ruled out more basic, prosaic problems like diabetes and anemia, as causes of your fatigue and slow injury recovery. You might also ask about testosterone replacement therapy, although, at 47, you're pretty young for it.

In my experience as an aging man, approaching doctors as a prescription pad is not a great way of taking care of yourself, or of getting the results you want. But enlisting their help to feel as good as you reasonably can is right up their alley, and in America, if your wallet holds up, and you appear responsible, you can generally get all the medical treatment you could want.
posted by paulsc at 9:10 PM on December 18, 2007 [2 favorites]

There's a first season episode of 30 Days where Morgan Spurlock's test subject gets a prescription for HGH. You might want to check it out for pointers. I should warn you, the doctor doing the prescribing is very proud of the fact that he's a longtime user of HGH himself...and he looks like he crawled out of some silent horror film.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:11 PM on December 18, 2007

I know that someone has already written about it (albeit not a book; come to think of it, that's a really good idea to follow through with it for a year!).

The positive effects fade very quickly after you stop taking it.

You don't state in your profile where you live, but in my neighbourhood in Vancouver BC, there are tons and tons of "rejuvination" and "anti-aging" clinics staffed by real MDs who specialize in vanity medicine. I'm strongly suspect that they prescribe HGH to some of their patients.

Maybe check your phonebook and call around to see if anyone will prescribe you HGH for age-related sight impairment (the HGH apparently works well to firm up the muscles controlling the lens of your eye; older folks who go on HGH tend to stop needing reading glasses).

Maybe even discuss with potential doctors that you'd like to document the process - some may be interested in writing a research paper or clinical report.

However, it sounds like some communities have an active law against prescribing HGH for life extension purposes.

As an aside, recombinant HGH (ie., made in bacteria or immortalized mammalian cells) appear to be equivalent to the traditional formulations and are available to European physicians.

Huh, HGH seems to be a candidate for anti-obesity medication.

Hmm, you might be interested in this article: A 10-year, prospective study of the metabolic effects of growth hormone replacement in adults.

And this one: Systematic review: the safety and efficacy of growth hormone in the healthy elderly.

A salient sentence from the abstract:

Human growth hormone (GH) is widely used as an antiaging therapy, although its use for this purpose has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its distribution as an antiaging agent is illegal in the United States.
posted by porpoise at 9:11 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

What you want is an "anti-aging" doctor, as others mentioned. You might try looking around for anti-aging forums and such.
posted by delmoi at 9:21 PM on December 18, 2007

Thanks Porpoise, I think the article you are referring to is from Outside magazine.

The guy started with HGH and then stepped up to steriods which I have no interest in. In recapping his little experiment he comes to the conclusion that while he would never take any steroids again, he would've stayed on HGH if he could have for "quality of life" reasons.
posted by dzot at 9:37 PM on December 18, 2007

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