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Octreotide is used to treat severe watery diarrhea and sudden reddening of the face and neck caused by certain types of tumors (such as carcinoid tumors, vasoactive intestinal peptide tumors) that are found usually in the intestines and pancreas. The symptoms occur when these tumors make too much of certain natural substances (hormones). This medication works by blocking the production of these hormones. By decreasing watery diarrhea, octreotide helps to reduce the loss of body fluids and minerals.
Octreotide is also used to treat a certain condition (acromegaly) that occurs when the body makes too much of a certain natural substance called growth hormone. Treating acromegaly helps reduce the risk of serious problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Octreotide works by decreasing the amount of growth hormone to normal levels.
This drug is not a cure for these conditions. This medication is usually used with other treatment (such as surgery, radiation, other drugs).
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using octreotide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional and the product package.
If the medication is stored in the refrigerator, remove the medication from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before you inject it to allow it to reach room temperature. Do not warm up this medication any other way such as by heating in the microwave or placing in hot water. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid.
Inject this medication under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 4 times a day.
Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the injection site each time to lessen injury under the skin. The new injection site should be at least 2 inches/5 centimeters away from the last injection site. Octreotide may be injected in the stomach area (except for a 2-inch/5-centimeter area around your belly button), the front of the middle thigh, or the back of the upper arm. Use only the pen needles provided with the pen. Also, use a new pen needle for each injection.
Do not share your pen device with another person, even if the needle is changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and lab tests.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse.
Nausea, vomiting, loose/oily stools, constipation, stomach upset, gas, bloating, dizziness, or headache may occur. Pain and irritation at the injection site may also occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: signs of gallbladder/liver problems (such as fever, stomach/abdominal pain, severe nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin, unexplained pain in the back/right shoulder), signs of underactive thyroid (such as unexplained weight gain, cold intolerance, slow heartbeat, severe constipation, unusual/extreme tiredness, growth/lump/swelling on the front of the neck), worsening heart condition symptoms (such as trouble breathing, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat), numbness/tingling of the arms/legs.
This medication may rarely cause changes in blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes. Symptoms of high blood sugar include increased thirst and urination. Symptoms of low blood sugar include nervousness, shakiness, sweating, fast heartbeat, and hunger. Follow your doctor's instructions to treat low blood sugar (for example, by eating a quick source of sugar such as glucose gel/tablets, table sugar, or honey, or drinking fruit juice or non-diet soda). Tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar while using this medication. Monitor your blood sugar levels as directed by your doctor. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medications.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using octreotide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease (such as cirrhosis), diabetes, thyroid problems, gallbladder problems (such as gallstones), heart problems (such as heart failure), nutrition problems (such as decreased fat absorption, vitamin B12 deficiency).
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If used for a long time (such as longer than 1 year), this medication may slow a child's growth rate. However, the growth rate catches up after treatment with the drug is stopped. Consult your doctor for more information.
This medication may restore the normal ability to become pregnant in females with acromegaly who have infertility. Females of childbearing age should discuss reliable forms of birth control with the doctor. During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store the unused pen in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. After opening it, store the used pen at room temperature. Discard the used pen after 28 days. Protect from light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as blood glucose tests, thyroid function tests, hormone levels, vitamin B12 levels) should be done before you start using this medication and while you are using it. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Consult your doctor for more details.
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