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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Somavert

Generic Name: pegvisomant (Pronunciation: peg VIH so mant)

What is pegvisomant (Somavert)?

Pegvisomant is a manufactured protein similar to human growth hormone (GH). Pegvisomant binds to the same receptor in the body as growth hormone, and blocks the effects of growth hormone.

Pegvisomant is used for the treatment of acromegaly (a growth disorder caused by too much growth hormone).

Pegvisomant may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

What are the possible side effects of pegvisomant (Somavert)?

If you experience any of the following uncommon but serious side effects, stop taking pegvisomant and seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
  • liver problems (may be detected by blood tests or symptoms such as yellowing of the skin or eyes, vomiting, abdominal pain, unusual fatigue, loss of appetite, itching, clay-colored stools, or dark urine).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take pegvisomant and talk to your doctor if you experience

  • discomfort at the injection site;
  • "flu-like" symptoms
  • nausea or diarrhea;
  • dizziness; or
  • water retention or slight weight gain.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about pegvisomant (Somavert)?

The stopper on the vial of Somavert contains latex. Do not use this product without first talking to your doctor if you are allergic to latex.

Your doctor will want you to have blood tests and/or other medical evaluations during treatment with pegvisomant to monitor progress and side effects. It is especially important to monitor liver function and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) with regularly scheduled blood tests.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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