Hands dispensing pills from bottle.

MK-677 has gotten plenty of attention for its claims about promoting muscle growth, better sleep and enhanced recovery. But here’s what you need to know about the substance and its impact on your health.

What is MK-677?

MK-677 is a small molecule that stimulates the production of human growth hormone (hGH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). The effects of MK-677 are similar to peptides that increase hGH levels, but MK-677 can be taken orally as a powder, tablet or liquid, whereas peptides need to be injected. 

The increases in hGH and IGF-1 levels cause changes in body composition, such as muscle growth, but these gains aren’t permanent, and effects wear off when people stop taking the drug. The health effects of long-term use of MK-677 have not been investigated, and they should not be assumed to be safe.

What are the side effects of MK-677?

At least one clinical trial of MK-677 was stopped early because of concerns that it might cause heart failure. Many studies show diabetes-like impacts of MK-677 including increases in blood glucose levels, reductions in insulin sensitivity and increases in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c).

Other reported side effects of MK-677 include:

  • Increased appetite
  • Swelling
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness
  • Muscle pain

Is MK-677 legal in Australia?

Although MK-677 has been around since the mid-1990s, it’s still considered an experimental drug. It has been trialled for treatment of frailty in older people and children with growth hormone deficiency but there are no approved uses for the drug in Australia, and MK-677 is banned in sport.

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