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This medication is a long-acting form of octreotide. Octreotide is used to treat severe watery diarrhea and sudden reddening of the face and neck caused by certain types of tumors (e.g., 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 (e.g., surgery, radiation, other drugs).
You must respond well to the short-acting form of octreotide before switching to this medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.
This medication is given by injection into your buttock muscle as directed by your doctor, usually once every 4 weeks. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
To reduce irritation, change the location of the injection site in the buttocks with each dose. Avoid giving this medication into the muscles of the arm. Doing so causes more pain and irritation.
If you are giving this medication to yourself at home, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Learn how to store and discard medical supplies safely. Take this medication out of the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before mixing.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. It may help to mark your calendar with a reminder (such as every 4 weeks).
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Nausea, vomiting, loose/oily stools, constipation, stomach upset, or gas may occur. Pain and irritation at the injection site may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, 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 (e.g., fever, stomach/abdominal pain, severe nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin, unexplained pain in the back/right shoulder), signs of underactive thyroid (e.g., 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 (e.g., 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 (e.g., eat a quick source of sugar such as glucose gel/tablets, table sugar, or honey, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda). Tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of high or low blood sugar while taking 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.
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 (e.g., cirrhosis), diabetes, thyroid problems, gallbladder problems (e.g., gallstones), nutrition problems (e.g., decreased fat absorption, vitamin B12 deficiency).
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
Caution is advised when using this drug in children. Use of this medication for long periods (e.g., longer than 1 year) may slow a child's growth rate. However, the growth rate catches up after treatment with the drug is stopped. Consult the 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 not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Store in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not freeze. Discard any unused portion of the vial or syringe. 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.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: beta blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol), nutritional solutions given by vein (e.g., total parenteral nutrition-TPN), pegvisomant.
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.
For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist right away to establish a new dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood glucose tests, thyroid function tests, hormone levels, vitamin B12 levels) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.