Lanreotide (Somatuline® Depot)
About: Lanreotide (Somatuline® Depot)
Lanreotide is similar to somatostatin, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. It is used to treat carcinoid syndrome, which can occur in patients with carcinoid or neuroendocrine tumors. These tumors cause the body to overproduce certain hormones, and these hormones in turn can lead to symptoms, such as flushing, racing heart, and diarrhea. The combination of these symptoms are known as “carcinoid syndrome."
How to Take Lanreotide
Lanreotide is a long-acting formula, which allows the medication to be slowly released into the body over a 4-week period. The patient typically receives one injection a month at their doctor's office, with the medication lasting all month in the body. This injection is given into the buttocks muscle.
This medication can interact with other medications, including cyclosporine, insulin, bromocriptine and beta blocker medications used to lower your heat rate. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you take.
Possible Side Effects of Lanreotide
There are a number of things you can do to manage the side effects of lanreotide. Talk to your care team about these recommendations. They can help you decide what will work best for you. These are some of the most common or important side effects:
Pain at the Injection Site
Pain, itching or a lump may occur at the injection site. This will resolve. The injection site should be alternated between your left and right buttocks from month to month. The medication should be removed from the refrigerator by your provider 30 minutes prior to administration.
Abdominal Side Effects
Side effects such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain were reported in studies. It is difficult to tell if these are related to the medication or the disease, so discuss them with your doctor or nurse. If these occur, they typically stop within 1-4 days of the injection and decrease with long-term treatment.
Nausea and/or Vomiting
Talk to your doctor or nurse so they can prescribe medications to help you manage nausea and vomiting. In addition, dietary changes may help. Avoid things that may worsen the symptoms, such as heavy or greasy/fatty, spicy or acidic foods (lemons, tomatoes, oranges). Try antacids, (e.g. milk of magnesia, calcium tablets such as Tums), saltines, or ginger ale to lessen symptoms.
Call your doctor or nurse if you are unable to keep fluids down for more than 12 hours or if you feel lightheaded or dizzy at any time.
This medication may cause a lower than normal heart rate (called sinus bradycardia), abnormal heartbeats or high blood pressure. Notify your healthcare provider right away if you feel abnormal heartbeats, you feel dizzy or faint, or if you experience headaches.
Blood Sugar Changes
This medication can cause lowered or elevated blood sugar levels in patients with and without diabetes. Your healthcare team will monitor your blood sugar. If you develop shakiness, nervousness, anxiety, sweating, chills, clamminess, rapid/fast heartbeat or headaches (symptoms of low blood sugar) or develop increased thirst, urination or hunger, blurry vision, headaches, or your breath smells like fruit (symptoms of high blood sugar), notify your healthcare team. Diabetics should monitor their blood sugar closely and report any changes to the healthcare team.
Muscle or Joint Pain/Aches and Headache
Your doctor or nurse can recommend medication and other strategies to relieve pain.
This medication can affect your gall bladder and cause gallstones or biliary abnormalities (including jaundice) in patients who use it over a long period of time. Report any symptoms of sudden abdominal pain, fever, nausea/vomiting, tea colored urine, light colored stools or yellowing of the eyes or skin to your health care provider.
This medication can cause a decrease in your thyroid function. Your healthcare provider will perform blood tests to check the function of your thyroid and treat this side effect if it develops. Symptoms of decreased thyroid function include tiredness, feeling cold, changes in your voice, weight gain, hair loss and muscle cramps. Report any of these symptoms to your healthcare team.
It is not known if exposure of an unborn child to this medication could cause birth defects, so you should speak to your care provider if you want to become pregnant or father a child. You should also first consult your care provider before breast feeding while taking this medication.