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Understanding Acromegaly Medications (cont.)

GH Inhibitors

Pegvisomant (Somavert)

  • How GH inhibitors work: These drugs decrease the effect of excessive growth hormone (GH) by blocking GH from binding to cell receptors.


  • Who should not use these medications: Individuals allergic to GH inhibitors should not take them.

  • Use: Pegvisomant is self-administered by daily subcutaneous (shallow injection under the skin) injections.

  • Drug or food interactions: Pegvisomant may decrease insulin or oral antidiabetic drug effects. Individuals who take narcotic analgesics, such as morphine or codeine, may require higher doses of pegvisomant.

  • Side effects: The drug container top contains latex. Pegvisomant may cause certain GH-secreting tumors to grow more readily. Additionally, this drug may induce GH deficiency and/or increase liver enzyme levels. GH levels must be monitored to help guide dose adjustments. Liver enzyme levels must also be monitored.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Acromegaly »

Increased and unregulated growth hormone (GH) production, usually caused by a GH-secreting pituitary tumor (somatotroph tumor), characterizes acromegaly.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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