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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 man-made protein that is similar to human growth hormone. Pegvisomant binds to the same receptor in the body as growth hormone, and blocks the effects of growth hormone.

Pegvisomant is used to treat acromegaly (a growth disorder caused by too much growth hormone).

Pegvisomant is usually given after other medications, surgery, or radiation have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Pegvisomant may also be used for purposes not listed here.

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

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; feeling like you might pass out; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using pegvisomant and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or
  • itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • pain;
  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • mild nausea, diarrhea;
  • changes in the shape or location of body fat; or
  • pain, swelling, burning, or irritation where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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

You should not use pegvisomant if you are allergic to it.

Before using pegvisomant, tell your doctor if you have diabetes, liver disease, a latex allergy, or a tumor that secretes growth hormone.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, you may need blood tests and CT scans or other radiologic (x-ray) examinations during treatment. Visit your doctor regularly.

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially insulin or oral diabetes medication, or any narcotic medication.

Stop using pegvisomant and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, swelling, rapid weight gain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

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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