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).
This medication is usually given by injection under the skin, usually 2 to 3 times a day or as directed by your doctor. Depending on your condition, it may be given by injection into a vein by a health care professional.
If your doctor directs you to inject this medication under the skin yourself, learn all preparation and usage instructions from your health care professional. Learn how to store and discard needles and medical supplies safely. If you have questions, ask your health care professional.
Before using, check this product visually for particles or discoloration. If either is present, do not use the liquid. Before injecting each dose, clean the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the location of the injection site each time to avoid problem areas under the skin.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
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 improve or if it worsens.
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 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 immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: 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 infrequently 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 immediately 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, seek immediate medical attention 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 -
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).
This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
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 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 not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: beta-blockers (e.g., metoprolol, propranolol), calcium channel blockers (e.g., diltiazem, verapamil), cyclosporine, nutritional solutions given by vein (e.g., total parenteral nutrition-TPN), pegvisomant, "water pills" (diuretics such as furosemide, hydrochlorothiazide).
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
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.
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 and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store this medication in the refrigerator between 36-46 degrees F (2-8 degrees C) away from light. Allow the medication to come to room temperature before using. This medication is good for 2 weeks if stored at room temperature between 68-86 degrees F (20-30 degrees C) away from light. Multi-use vials should be discarded 2 weeks after opening. Ampules should be opened just before each dose, and any unused portion should be discarded. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines 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 for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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