Signifor

1 What is Signifor?

Generic: Pasireotide

Signifor injection is a somatostatin analog used for the treatment of Cushing's disease in adults who cannot have or have failed surgery. Signifor is an orphan drug.

Signifor is an injectable drug and can be purchased only with prescription.

Treatment with Signifor is associated with several serious side effects such as hypocorticolism (too low levels of the hormone cortisol), poor control of blood sugar levels, diabetes, heart complications, abnormal liver enzymes, formation of gallbladder stones (cholelithiasis) and deficiency in pituitary gland hormones. Signifor must be used only with doctor’s supervision.

2 What to Know Before Using

Signifor may cause problems if you have other medical conditions or if you use certain drugs. Here are important things to understand first before having treatment with Signifor.

Health conditions

Make sure to mention to the doctor all of your medical conditions before starting to use Signifor. The doctor needs to know if you have the following health problems before starting treatment:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease or problems in heart rhythm
  • Liver disease
  • Having long QT syndrome, or having personal or family history of it
  • Diseases affecting the gallbladder
  • History of electrolyte imbalances, such as too high or too low potassium, magnesium or sodium

Pregnancy

Do not use Signifor if you are pregnant. Signifor is an FDA pregnancy category C drug, which means it might be harmful to the fetus when given to pregnant patients. If you are pregnant, tell it to your doctor.

Breastfeeding

It is not known if Signifor can be passed onto breastmilk. Since many medicines can be present in breastmilk, do not nurse a child if you are taking Signifor.

Drug interactions

Signifor may interact with the drugs Cyclosporine, Bromocriptine and other drugs that prolong QT interval (e.g.,. Chlorpromazine, Droperidol, Flecainide, and Quinidine). If you take those medicines, tell it to your doctor before treatment with Signifor.  

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3 Proper Usage

Signifor is an injectable drug. Signifor is injected under the skin (subcutaneous route) while the Signifor LAR is injected into the muscle (intramuscular route). Follow the doctor’s prescribed dose in injecting Signifor, and do not inject more or less than needed. It is usual for the doctor to change the dose of Signifor frequently.

Signifor is usually injected twice a day, and you can self-inject at home. Your healthcare provider will teach you to inject Signifor properly.

Signifor LAR only needs to be injected once every 4 weeks. Because it has to be injected into the muscle, it should be injected by a healthcare professional in a healthcare facility.

Make sure to inject Signifor at different places to prevent skin problems. Do not inject into inflamed skin. Signifor ampules are designed for single-use only, so you have to dispose of it after opening and extracting the drug.

If you missed a dose of Signifor, inject as soon as your remember. If it is almost time for the next injection, skip them missed a dose and return to the original schedule.

Do not open Signifor ampules until you are ready to inject them. Store Signifor at room temperature away from heat, moisture and light. Signifor LAR must be stored in the refrigerator, but not in the freezer. 

4 Precautions to Take

You must be monitored by the doctor when you receive Signifor. Make sure to keep up with the clinic and laboratory appointments.

If you are to inject Signifor and become confused on what to do, call your doctor for help right away.

Make sure to dispose of used syringes, needles and ampules properly. Place them in a puncture-proof container and follow local waste disposal laws. Used Signifor ampules must be disposed of right away, even if there is still some medicine left.

If you have diabetes or elevated blood sugar levels, you must check blood sugar frequently when having treatment with Signifor. 

5 Potential Side Effects

Signifor may cause side effects that may require the attention of your doctor. Here are the serious side effects of Signifor:

  • Allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, skin rash, swelling of the lips, mouth, nose, or tongue.
  • Symptoms of low cortisol such as pain in the muscles or joints, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, tiredness, unintentional weight loss, unusual craving for salty food items, mood changes, and irritability.
  • Symptoms of elevated blood sugar levels such as increased hunger, thirst, increased urination, dryness of the mouth and skin, fruity odor of breath, drowsiness, blurring of vision, and losing weight.
  • Gallbladder problem symptoms such as chalky-colored stools, stomach discomfort after a meal, nausea, heartburn, bloating, and severe upper stomach pain that spreads to the back

Signifor may cause minor side effects such as:

  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling or bloating
  • Hair loss
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Pain and redness at the injection site
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