Somatuline depot (Lanreotide) is used for the long-term treatment of acromegaly (a growth hormone disorder) in patients who cannot be treated with surgery or radiation. Somatuline depot works by reducing levels of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-growth factor 1 hormone (GF1) in the body.
Somatuline depot is also used to treat neuroendocrine tumors in the gastrointestinal tract or the pancreas (GEP-NET) that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery.
Somatuline depot requires a prescription and must be used only with direct supervision of the doctor.
Patients taking Somatuline depot should be monitored due to risk of gallstones, abnormal blood glucose levels, thyroid and heart problems.
2 What to know before using
The doctor will consider the following factors before prescribing Somatuline Depot.
Do not give Somatuline Depot to children and patients below 18 years old. The safety and efficacy of Somatuline Depot have not been established in children.
Use on elderly patients
There is no evidence suggesting that Somatuline Depot poses additional risks to elderly patients. Due to the risk of kidney problems in elderly, they must be given additional monitoring when having treatment with Somatuline Depot.
If you are pregnant, tell it to the doctor before starting treatment with Somatuline Depot. Somatuline Depot is an FDA pregnancy category C drug, which means it can cause harm to the unborn baby when given to pregnant patients.
Do not breastfeed when receiving Somatuline Depot.
Make sure to tell the doctor all the medicines you take before receiving Somatuline Depot. Somatuline Depot may interact with certain medicines and cause undesirable adverse effects. Your doctor may have to adjust doses or discontinue some of your medicines when giving Somatuline Depot. Tell the doctor if you are taking any of the following medicines that can interact with Somatuline Depot:
Somatuline Depot is an injectable drug, and it is injected deep under the skin (deep subcutaneous route). Because of the need for close monitoring, it is not advisable to self-inject Somatuline Depot at home.
It is usually given once every 4 weeks, and the doctor or nurse usually administers it by injecting into the buttocks. Doctors usually prescribe Somatuline Depot for 3 months and then make adjustments as tests show a reduction in growth hormones and insulin growth factor hormone. If adequate control of hormones is achieved, the doctor may give Somatuline Depot once every 6 or 8 weeks.
The doctor will also order frequent lab tests to check your progress. It is very important not to miss clinic visits when having treatment with Somatuline Depot.
As Somatuline Depot will be given by health professionals, overdosing is unlikely. If you miss a clinic appointment where you will receive Somatuline Depot, call your doctor right away.
4 Precautions to take
Somatuline Depot is known to reduce absorption rates of other drugs. If you are taking Somatuline Depot, tell all your other mediciness to the doctor so dosage times can be changed.
Note that Somatuline Depot vials are for one-time use only, which means they must be discarded after opening.
Somatuline Depot may cause problems in the organs of the body. To avoid complications, make sure to visit your doctor and keep up with clinic appointments.
You need to check your blood sugar levels frequently when taking Somatuline Depot.
If you experience other health problems while taking Somatuline Depot, or felt that your symptoms do not improve, do not hesitate to call your doctor right away.
5 Potential side effects
When taking Somatuline Depot, your doctor will advise you to watch out for serious side effects. Call the doctor right away if you experience any of the following:
Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as difficulty breathing, hives, skin rash, swelling of the throat, mouth, face, or tongue.
Symptoms of possible hypertension such as severe headache, blurred vision, pounding pain in the neck or ears, anxiety and nosebleeds.
Possible symptoms of hyperglycemia such as thirst, hunger, increased urination, dryness of the mouth, fruity odor of breath, drowsiness, dry skin, and losing weight.
Symptoms of gallstones such as sudden pain in the upper stomach that spreads to the back or shoulders (especially after meals at night), pain when breathing, nausea, vomiting, losing appetite, chills, clay-colored stools, and jaundice.
Somatuline may cause minor side effects such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, bloating, pain and itching on the injection site.
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