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Lanreotide

(lan-ree-oh-tide)

Trade/other name(s): Somatuline Depot

Why would this drug be used?

Lanreotide is used to treat acromegaly, a condition in adults in which the pituitary gland makes too much growth hormone, most often because of a pituitary tumor. This leads to overgrowth of certain parts of the body, such as the face and hands. Lanreotide can be used for other purposes as well.

How does this drug work?

Lanreotide behaves like somatostatin, a natural hormone that helps control many functions in different parts of the body. One important effect is that it stops the pituitary gland from secreting growth hormone.

Before taking this medicine

Tell your doctor…

  • If you are allergic to anything, including medicines, dyes, additives, or foods.
  • If you have diabetes. This drug can affect blood glucose (sugar) levels. You and your doctor may need to watch your glucose levels closely while you are taking this drug, and your diabetes medicines may need to be adjusted (see “Precautions”).
  • If you have gallstones or gallbladder problems. This medicine increases the risk of gallstones (see “Precautions”).
  • If you have any type of thyroid problem. This drug might affect thyroid function (see “Precautions”).
  • If you have any type of heart disease or high blood pressure. This drug might affect your heart rate, which could make some heart conditions worse. It can also raise your blood pressure (see “Precautions”).
  • If you have any type of kidney disease or liver disease (including hepatitis). This drug is removed from the body by the kidneys and liver, so your dose might need to be adjusted (see “How is this drug taken or given?”).
  • If you have any other medical conditions such as gout or infections. These conditions may require more careful monitoring by your doctor.
  • If you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or if there is any chance of pregnancy. This drug might cause problems with the fetus if taken at the time of conception or during pregnancy (see “Precautions”).
  • If you are breastfeeding. While no studies have been done, this drug might pass into breast milk and affect the baby. Breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with this drug.
  • If you take any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins and herbs. In fact, keeping a list of each of these medicines (including the doses of each and when you take them) with you in case of emergency could help prevent complications if you get sick.

Interactions with other drugs

Lanreotide can reduce cyclosporine levels in the body, so if you are taking cyclosporine, your dose may need to be increased.

Bromocriptine levels may be higher if taken with lanreotide. If you are taking bromocriptine, your dose may need to be lowered.

Lanreotide may slow your heart rate. Certain medicines used for high blood pressure or congestive heart failure (such as beta blockers or calcium channel blockers) may also slow your heart rate. If you take one of these medicines, you dose may need to be adjusted while you are taking lanreotide.

The levels of some other drugs in the body may also be affected by taking lanreotide, and other medicines or supplements may affect blood levels of lanreotide. Make sure your doctor knows about all of the drugs and supplements you are taking. Do not start or stop taking any medicines or supplements without checking with your doctor first.

Check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for other medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements that can cause problems with this medicine.

Interactions with foods

No serious interactions with food are known at this time, but this does not necessarily mean that none exist. Check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if foods or alcohol may be a problem.

Tell all the doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists you visit that you are taking this drug.

How is this drug taken or given?

Lanreotide is injected deep under the skin in the buttock. The usual starting dose is 90 milligrams (mg), but the starting dose may be lower (60 mg) if you have liver or kidney problems.

Injections are typically given once every 4 weeks for 3 months, during which time your doctor will do blood tests to see how well the drug is working. After 3 months, your dose may be adjusted or the time between shots changed, based on the blood test results.

Precautions

Lanreotide might raise or lower your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will probably check your levels with blood tests during treatment. If you have diabetes, test your blood sugar levels as your doctor tells you to. Your dose of diabetes medicine (including insulin) might need to be changed while you are on this drug. Call your doctor if you have problems with your blood sugar, if you notice increased thirst and urination, or if you have shakiness, sweating, weakness, or chills.

This drug increases your risk of gallstones. Tell your doctor if you have sudden pain in the upper right part of your belly or right shoulder area, nausea, fever with chills, or yellowing of the skin or the whites of your eyes.

This drug can slow your heart rate, which might cause problems in people who already have heart diseases such as congestive heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have chest pain, increased coughing, trouble breathing (especially at night), rapid weight gain, dizziness, fainting, or swelling in your ankles or legs.

Lanreotide might cause high blood pressure or make it worse. Tell your doctor if you have ever had high blood pressure or are taking medicines for it. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly during treatment. If your blood pressure goes up, you may need to take medicine to help control it or your doctor might need to adjust your current medicine doses. Tell your doctor right away if you notice any possible symptoms of high blood pressure, including severe headache, confusion, feeling dizzy or light-headed, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

Rarely, lanreotide can affect your thyroid. Your doctor may check your thyroid function with blood tests during your treatment. Let your doctor know if you start feeling depressed, tired, or weak, or if you develop a husky or hoarse voice, swelling at the front of the neck, thinning hair, coarse dry skin, or weight gain.

This drug should not be taken if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This drug might cause problems with the fetus if taken at the time of conception or during pregnancy. Women who are taking this drug should use effective birth control during treatment. Check with your doctor about what kinds of birth control can be used with this medicine. This drug may also pass into breast milk, which could affect the baby.

Possible side effects

You will probably not have most of the following side effects, but if you do have any talk to your doctor or nurse. They can help you understand the side effects and cope with them.

Common

  • Diarrhea
  • Gallstones*

Less common

  • Abdominal (belly) pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence (abdominal gas)
  • Pain, itching, or a lump at the injection site
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure*
  • Changes in blood sugar levels*
  • Slowed heart rate*
  • Weight loss

Rare

  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Low thyroid function*

*See the “Precautions” section for more detailed information.

Other side effects not listed above can also occur in some patients. Tell your doctor or nurse if you develop these or any other problems.

FDA approval

Yes – first approved in 2007

Disclaimer: This information does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for talking with your doctor, who is familiar with your medical needs


Last Medical Review: 01/08/2013
Last Revised: 01/08/2013