Octreotide (Generic Name)

Other Names: Sandostatin®, Sandostatin LAR®

About This Drug

This drug is used to control diarrhea and flushing in patients with metastatic carcinoid syndrome and treatment of diarrhea associated vasoactive intestinal peptide-secreting tumors (VIPomas).

It is also used to treat acromegaly, when the body produces too much growth hormone, and the hands, feet, face or head grow too large.

This drug is given by subcutaneous injection (under the skin) or IV (in the vein).

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Itching
  • Increased blood sugar
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Rash
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Cough
  • Sweating

These side effects are rare:

  • Flushing
  • Depression
  • Low blood sugar
  • Joint pain
  • Changes in your vision
  • Cold symptoms
  • Fluid build up in the abdomen
  • Fluid build up in the lungs

Reproduction Concerns

  • Pregnancy warning: It is not known if this drug is harmful to the unborn child. Speak to your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving this drug.
  • Genetic counseling is available to you to discuss the potential risks of problems in the fetus due to this medication if an exposure during pregnancy has occurred.
  • Breast-feeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women are advised to discuss with their doctor the risks and benefits of breast-feeding during treatment with this drug, because this drug may enter the breast milk and seriously harm a breast-feeding infant.

Treating Side Effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medication that is available to help prevent or lessen fever, rash, itching, cough, constipation, diarrhea, joint pain, and cold symptoms.
  • Do not put anything on your rash or skin irritation unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash or irritation clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medication if your rash or irritation is bothersome.
  • If you are constipated, check with your doctor or nurse before you use enemas, laxatives, or suppositories
  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids every day unless your doctor has told you to restrict your fluid intake due to another medical condition. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you vomit or have diarrhea, you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated.

Drug and Food Interactions

Octreotide may change the absorption of fat in your diet. This drug may interact with other medication. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's advice.

Other Instructions

  • Give injections between meals to lessen abdominal cramping and diarrhea.
  • Your doctor may have you monitor your blood glucose levels while you are receiving octreotide.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.5°F (38.0°C) or above
  • Increase in blood pressure if you are monitoring it at home.
  • Increase or decrease in blood sugar if you are monitoring your blood sugar.

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Rash, skin irritation, or itching unrelieved by prescribed medications
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • Joint pain unrelieved by prescribed medications
  • Ongoing pain at the injection site
  • Cough
  • Cold symptoms lasting more than 3 days
  • Abdominal cramping
  • No bowel movement in 3 days or when you feel uncomfortable.

New January 2013

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