Somavert

1 What is Somavert?

Brand: Somavert

Generic: Pegvisomant

Somavert is a growth hormone receptor antagonist used for the treatment of acromegaly in patients who cannot be treated with surgery or radiation. Acromegaly is a genetic condition caused by overproduction of growth hormone (GH) in the body, which causes the hands, feet, and parts of the face to become large, thick, and bulky.

Doctors usually prescribe Somavert to cases of acromegaly that already tried surgery and radiation, or have failed with other medications. Somavert works by blocking receptors for GH in cells, so they do not respond to the effects of the GH.

Somavert requires a prescription. Treatment with Somavert may cause problems in liver and blood sugar levels. Somavert must be used only with doctor’s supervision. 

2 What to Know Before Using

Your doctor will consider the following before prescribing Somavert.

Health conditions

Make sure the doctor know all of your health problems before starting to use Somavert. Certain health conditions may worsen if you take Somavert. Your doctor may need to know if you have any of the following medical conditions:

Use on children

Somavert is not approved to be used on patients younger than 18 years old.

Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, tell it to the doctor before using Somavert. Somavert is an FDA pregnancy category B drug, so it may be given to pregnant patients.

Breastfeeding

Ask your doctor first before breastfeeding when you are taking Somavert. It is not well known if Somavert is expressed in breastmilk. 

Have a question aboutAcromegaly?Ask a doctor now

3 Proper Usage

Somavert is an injectable drug, and it is given by injecting it into the skin (subcutaneous route).  Somavert is usually injected once a day, so your health provider will likely teach you to do self-injections. Always follow doctor’s instructions in taking Somavert. Do not inject more or less than the prescribed dose.

Somavert package contains the drug powder and diluent. Here are the basic steps in preparing Somavert for injection:

  • Take out Somavert powder and diluent from the refrigerator.
  • Open the vials and wipe the rubber with alcohol-soaked cotton balls
  • Extract the prescribed about of diluent
  • Inject the diluent into the vial containing Somavert powder. Direct the stream against the sides of the vial. DO NOT direct the stream directly on the powder.
  • Gently swirl the vial to dilute Somavert powder. DO NOT shake or invert the vial, which denatures the drug and makes it unusable.
  • Inspect the vial and make sure it is clear. DO NOT use if the liquid is cloudy or has discoloration.
  • Withdraw the right amount of Somavert and inject right away.

Somavert can be injected into the upper arm, upper thigh, abdomen, or buttocks (inject at 90-degrees). Make sure to inject Somavert at different places to prevent skin problems.

Somavert must be used daily for the best effect. It is important that you visit your doctor frequently when taking Somavert to check your progress.  

If you missed a dose of Somavert, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to the original dosing schedule. Do not inject more Somavert to make up for the missed dose.

You could overdose on Somavert if you injected too much. If this happens, call emergency hotlines right away.

Store Somavert in the refrigerator. Prepared Somavert with a diluent can be stored at room temperature and will remain usable for up to 6 hours only.

4 Precautions to Take

If you are prescribed to inject Somavert, you must be seen by the doctor to check the effectiveness of treatment and check for early signs of side effects. Make sure to keep up with clinic appointments and lab tests.

When having Somavert injections at home, make sure to dispose of used syringes and vials properly by local waste regulations. You can dispose them by putting them inside a large plastic bottle and seal the contents.

Note that Somavert vial is single-use only. After extracting the drug, dispose of the vial even if there is still some medicine left.

Somavert may cause abnormal liver test results. If you receive care from another doctor or from other health providers, make sure they know you are taking Somavert.

5 Potential Side Effects

Somavert may cause serious side effects. Call the doctor if you experienced any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as hives, wheezing, skin rash, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat.
  • Symptoms of liver problems such as nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, fatigue, loss of appetite, passing out dark urine and clay-colored stools, and jaundice
  • Thickening of the skin, or formation of hard lump, on the injection site
  • Easy bruising

Somavert may cause minor side effects such as:

  • Pain
  • Flu like symptoms such as fever, body aches, and chills
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain and irritation at the injection site
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