Understanding Acromegaly Medications (cont.)
Octreotide (Sandostatin, Sandostatin LAR)
- How somatostatinlike drugs work: These drugs work by binding to somatostatin receptors, thus causing decreased response to the secretion of growth hormone (GH).
- Who should not use these medications: Individuals allergic to somatostatinlike drugs should not take them.
- Use: Octreotide is administered by daily or monthly injections.
- Drug or food interactions: Octreotide may reduce the effect of cyclosporine. Individuals taking insulin, oral antidiabetic drugs, beta-blockers, or calcium channel blockers may require dosage adjustments of these drugs. Octreotide must be used with caution when taking drugs that treat heart rhythm problems or drugs that may cause heart rhythm disturbances, such as those used to treat depression or schizophrenia.
- Side effects: Common side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and increased risk of gallstones. Increases or decreases in blood sugar levels or hypothyroidism may occur because of alteration in hormones. Octreotide may cause heart rhythm abnormalities. Lower doses are often required for individuals who are elderly or those with severe kidney disease.
Arthur B Chausmer, MD, PhD, FACP, FACE, FACN, CNS
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD