Sydney, May 10 (ANI): An increasing number of middle-aged men are injecting human growth hormone in a bid to fight old age, spending up to 15,000 dollars a year on a drug they believe is the fountain of youth.
Government guidelines state it should only be prescribed to kids with growth disorders and adults with severe hormone deficiencies.
However, an investigation has revealed that many anti-ageing clinics in Australia are flouting regulations by prescribing to people as young as 35 who want to look good, stay fit and boost their sex lives.
Most are men who use human growth hormone (HGH) to improve fitness and energy levels, but leading specialists claim it can have serious side effects.
Black-market sales are also booming, with Australian Customs has reporting a four-fold increase in HGH seizures in the last year, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
While six pharmaceutical companies have refused to confirm figures, a senior industry source said HGH sales had soared during the past two years.
Ken Ho, chairman of the department of endocrinology at St Vincent's Hospital, said misuse increases the risk of cancer and diabetes as well as enlargement of the heart and elongation of the jaw.
Ho said anti-ageing clinics were "trying to sell an expectation that if you're 55 and you no longer have the body of a 21-year-old then you can reclaim former glories by taking these drugs ... but there is no hormone that can stop ageing." (ANI)