What is Ipamorelin?

Medically reviewed by Leann Poston M.D. on 9/12/2020

If you’re looking for a tool to help fight the signs and symptoms of aging, or maybe just want a boost for your energy levels, physical fitness, or metabolism, then you may have come across some discussion of peptides.  Peptides are compounds made up of amino acids, which can act as chemical triggers in the body – binding to certain receptors and triggering the body to produce or release different hormones or chemicals.  Anti-aging peptides, specifically, are a subset of this group of compounds and becoming increasingly popular.  For many, they are an effective way to fight the signs and symptoms of aging, as well as to realize specific benefits in several bodily systems, with minimal side effects.  One such peptide that has gained a lot of traction in recent years is known as ipamorelin. 

What is Ipamorelin?

Ipamorelin is a simple peptide, made up of a chain of 5 amino acids.  It’s formally known as a growth hormone secretagogue – a compound that is not a growth hormone itself, but promotes and triggers the production of growth hormone in the human pituitary.  In the case of ipamorelin, it also acts as a ghrelin/growth hormone secretagogue receptor agonist.  In less science-heavy terms, the action of ipamorelin mimics the action of the natural hormone ghrelin in the body.  Through that process, it triggers the release of human growth hormone from the pituitary gland.  Normally, hormones may trigger the release of multiple other chemicals or hormones which causes side effects, but ipamorelin is more limited in its action and scope by just triggering growth hormone release (Raun et al, 1998).

Human Growth Hormone

Human growth hormone is a critical chemical the body uses for a range of different purposes – primarily growth, but much more beyond that.  Growth hormone levels tend to decrease, often substantially, start around age 30.  In fact, on average, adults lose up to 14% of their circulating levels of human growth hormone per decade after 30 (Iranmanesh et al., 1991; Giustina & Veldhuis, 1998). This contributes to many of the various and common “aging” effects, such as decreased energy, increased difficulty in maintaining or building muscle, a slowing metabolism, slowed or less effective injury or wound healing, and more.  Naturally, by increasing levels of human growth hormone, some of these negative effects can be reversed.

How Ipamorelin Works

This is where ipamorelin comes into play.  Direct treatment with human growth hormone has significant side effects.  Providing synthetic growth hormone directly into the body is not a natural process, causes spikes and uneven levels of hormone circulating in your system, and greatly increases the likelihood of side effects, up to and including serious side effects such as increased cancer risk (Erotokritou-Mulligan et al., 2011).  This is not dissimilar from other forms of hormone treatment, such as estrogen or testosterone treatments, in terms of the direct hormone link. 

Peptides like ipamorelin are different, however, in that they aren’t hormones themselves.  Rather, by mimicking the action of certain triggering molecules and hormones, such as ghrelin, they trigger the body – specifically the pituitary gland – to produce and release its own natural growth hormones, in a consistent, stable way.  This reduces or eliminates the vast majority of the side effects as compared to direct hormonal treatment.  That’s one of the main reasons anti-aging peptides have become so popular – you get the benefits of hormonal replacement or treatment without significant known risks.

Benefits of Ipamorelin

Ipamorelin stimulates the release of growth hormone in a very selective way. Studies on the benefits of ipamorelin demonstrate the following:

  • Increase bone density (Svensson et al., 2000)
  • Increases body fat loss in obese adults (Kim et al, 1999)
  • Increased muscle mass (Andersen et al, 2001)

Side Effects and Contraindications for Use of Ipamorelin

Ipamorelin is generally well-tolerated, with few side effects in most people who take it.  Side effects can depend on the dosage (Beck, Sweeney & McCarter, 2014).  For our purposes, however, we are talking about ipamorelin designed for subcutaneous injection, as that is the format available from Invigor Medical (and, in fact, is one of the more common formats for anti-aging peptides today).  Side effects from Ipamorelin include:

  • Redness, itchiness, or irritation at the injection site, which usually is temporary
  • Increased appetite/hunger (though this can also be due to the net effect of a boosted metabolism and more muscle mass gains)
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Increased weight (Johansen, et al, 1999)

Excessive water retention may occur but is rare when used as per proper dosing instructions.  It’s a common symptom of an overdose or taking too much ipamorelin, however.

Contraindications for usage may exist if you take certain existing medications or supplements, especially those that work on the same biological pathways as ipamorelin.  This is why it is critical to discuss ipamorelin’s use, along with any existing medications, supplements, vitamins, or herbal remedies, as part of your consultation with your doctor, healthcare provider, or telemedicine provider, prior to seeking a prescription for ipamorelin or beginning an ipamorelin regimen. 

Ipamorelin Dosage and Format

Ipamorelin often paired with other anti-aging peptides.  Subcutaneous injections are usually meant to be made in the stomach or abdominal area.  It is recommended that Ipamorelin typically be taken only once per day, usually at night time, consistent with other anti-aging peptides’ delivery instructions.

Ipamorelin/Sermorelin and Ipamorelin/CJC-1295

Ipamorelin is a relatively short-acting anti-aging peptide in and of itself.  It goes to work quickly in the body, but that activity level also falls off in relatively short order.   Ipamorelin’s mean half-life is around 2 hours, meaning 75% of its efficacy is gone in 4 hours.  This is a different rate than other anti-aging peptides, which can make it an ideal combination drug.  CJC-1295, for example, takes as much as 4 hours to start working but lasts for as long as a week.  Ipamorelin starts the growth hormone-releasing effects, and as its efficacy tails off, the CJC-1295 takes over.  Ipamorelin/CJC-1295 are usually combined in a 1:1 ratio and provided as a blended subcutaneous injection, for a total dosage of 300 mcg (microgram) injection per day.

In the case of Sermorelin, Ipamorelin is actually the longer-acting drug, since Sermorelin works almost instantly and has a half-life of just minutes.  One of the key rationales for combining Sermorelin and Ipamorelin is the different pathways of action.  Because Ipamorelin acts on the ghrelin receptors of the pituitary, while Sermorelin only acts on the growth hormone-secreting receptors, you get more “bang for your buck” with the combined substance, providing two separate triggering pathways for the secretion and release of human growth hormone in the body.  Again, as with Ipamorelin/CJC-1295, Ipamorelin/Sermorelin is usually combined in a 1:1 ratio and provided as a blended subcutaneous injection, for a total dosage of 300 mcg (microgram) injection per day.

Where to Buy Ipamorelin Online

Ipamorelin, either on its own or in combination with another anti-aging peptide (as discussed above), is only available by prescription.  You can obtain it from your doctor or healthcare provider, or seek a telemedicine provider to buy ipamorelin online.  We strongly encourage you to consider Invigor Medical for your ipamorelin and other anti-aging peptide needs.  When you are looking to buy ipamorelin online, you want to choose a telemedicine provider based in the US, that has a reputation for service, and relies on fully licensed and accredited, US-based pharmacies, that also has affordable prices.  That description fits Invigor Medical quite aptly, which is why it has quickly become one of the leading sources for ipamorelin, anti-aging peptides, and other prescription medications directly via telemedicine consultations today. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are peptides legal?

Peptides are completely legal to use off-label for use under a doctor or healthcare provider’s supervision, which is why they are only available via prescription.  Because they trigger hormone release and have desirable, performance-enhancing effects, they are banned for use in competitive sport by many agencies, sports, and countries.  That does not, however, affect their legal status for use for anti-aging or other beneficial purposes, and simply means that competitive athletes cannot take them while part of a competitive sport. 

What are the benefits of Ipamorelin?

We’ve outlined many of the benefits of Ipamorelin above, but to recap, these include decreased body fat, improved lean muscle mass, higher energy levels, better metabolic rate, improved cellular repair/regeneration, and immune health, boosted bone mineral content, and better sleep, among others.

When should you take Ipamorelin?

Generally, Ipamorelin taken on its own, or combined with CJC-1295 or Sermorelin, should be taken in the evening, ideally right before bed, and on an empty stomach.  This helps maximize its efficacy and follows the natural cycles of your body’s growth hormone production.  Most providers recommend taking Ipamorelin injections every day, or on a 5/7 cycles (meaning 5 out of 7 days a week).  Always follow the prescribing information or recommendations of your doctor for dosage amount, frequency, and time. 

Concluding Thoughts

Ipamorelin is a powerful anti-aging peptide on its own and can help you to realize significant benefits.  Retaining the energy levels, muscle-building capabilities, and metabolism of your younger self can go a long way towards fighting back against the effects of aging.  When combined with other anti-aging peptides, like Sermorelin or CJC-1295, Ipamorelin can help to supercharge this process, providing more effective and noticeable anti-aging results – without a lot of harmful or serious side effects as you would see in direct hormone replacement therapies.  That’s one of the key reasons why so many people have embraced Ipamorelin and other anti-aging peptides as a safe and effective way to reverse the clock and stay fit and healthy well into older age. 

ALSO READ – Sermorelin vs. Ipamorelin

DISCLAIMER

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider.  You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case.  The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice. 

References:

  • Iranmanesh A, Lizarralde G, Veldhuis JD. Age and relative adiposity are specific negative determinants of the frequency and amplitude of growth hormone (GH) secretory bursts and the half-life of endogenous GH in healthy men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 1991;73(5):1081–1088.
  • Giustina A, Veldhuis JD. Pathophysiology of the neuroregulation of growth hormone secretion in experimental animals and the human. Endocrine Reviews. 1998;19(6):717–797.
  • Erotokritou-Mulligan, I., Holt, R. I., & Sönksen, P. H. (2011). Growth hormone doping: a review. Open access journal of sports medicine2, 99–111. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S11626
  • Raun, K., Hansen, B., Johhansen, N., Thogersen, H., Madsen, K., Ankersen, M. & Andersen, P. (1998). Ipamorelin, the first selective growth hormone secretagogue. European Journal of Endocrinology (1998)139552–561
  • Beck, D.E., Sweeney, W.B. & McCarter, M.D. Prospective, randomized, controlled, proof-of-concept study of the Ghrelin mimetic ipamorelin for the management of postoperative ileus in bowel resection patients. Int J Colorectal Dis 29, 1527–1534 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00384-014-2030-8
  • Svensson, J, Lall, S, Dickson, SL, Bengtsson, BA, Romer, J, Ahnfelt-Ronne, I, Ohlsson, C, & Jansson, JO. (2000). The GH secretagogues ipamorelin and GH-releasing peptide-6 increase bone mineral content in adult female rats, Journal of Endocrinology, 165(3), 569-577. Retrieved Sep 12, 2020, from https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/165/3/569.xml
  • Kim, K.R., Nam, S.Y, Song, Y.D., Lim, S.K., Lee, H.C., Huh, K.B. (1999). Treatment with Diet Restriction Accelerates Body Fat Loss, Exerts Anabolic Effect and Improves Growth Hormone Secretory Dysfunction in Obese Adults. Horm Res 1999;51:78–84 https://doi.org/10.1159/000023319
  • Andersen NB, Malmlöf K, Johansen PB. The growth hormone secretagogue ipamorelin counteracts glucocorticoid-induced decrease in bone formation of adult rats. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2001 Oct;11(5):266-72. [DOI: 10.1054/ghir.2001.0239]
  • Johansen PB, Nowak J, Skjaerbaek C. Ipamorelin, a new growth-hormone-releasing peptide, induces longitudinal bone growth in rats. Growth Horm IGF Res. 1999 Apr;9(2):106-13. [DOI: 10.1054/ghir.1999.9998]