Why is this medication prescribed?
Octreotide is used to treat acromegaly (condition in which the body produces too much growth hormone, causing enlargement of the hands, feet, and facial features; joint pain; and other symptoms) in people who have been treated successfully with octreotide injection (Sandostatin) or lanreotide injection (Somatuline). Octreotide is in a class of medications called octapeptides. It works by decreasing the amounts of certain natural substances produced by the body.
How should this medicine be used?
Octreotide comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken twice daily on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal, with a glass of water. Take octreotide at around the same times every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take octreotide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the capsules whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Gently push the capsules from the packaging to remove them. Do not use two thumbs to push a capsule or press the middle of the capsule through the packaging as it could damage the capsule. If the capsules are cracked or broken, discard them.
Octreotide may control your symptoms, but it will not cure your condition. Do not stop taking octreotide without talking to your doctor. If you stop taking octreotide, your symptoms may return.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking octreotide,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to octreotide, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in octreotide delayed-release capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antacids such as aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide (Maalox), calcium carbonate (Tums) or calcium carbonate and magnesium (Rolaids); beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal); bromocriptine (Cycloset, Parlodel); calcium channel blockers such as amlodipine (Norvasc), diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), nisoldipine (Sular), and verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); digoxin (Lanoxin), H2 blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid), and ranitidine (Zantac); insulin and oral medications for diabetes; levonorgestrel (Mirena, Skyla); lisinopril (Qbrelis, Zestril); proton-pump inhibitors such as lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), and pantoprazole (Protonix); and quinidine (in Nuedexta). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had low levels of vitamin B-12 in your body, high or low blood sugar, diabetes, or thyroid, heart, kidney, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You may be able to become pregnant during your treatment with octreotide even if you were not able to become pregnant before your treatment because you have acromegaly. Talk to your doctor about methods of birth control that will work for you. If you become pregnant while taking octreotide, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
This medication may cause changes in your blood sugar. You should know the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and what to do if you have these symptoms.
Octreotide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach discomfort, pain, or swelling
- joint or back pain
- swelling in hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach, center of the stomach, back, or shoulder; yellowing of skin or whites of eyes; fever with chills; or nausea
- fever, cough, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, pain during urination, or other infection symptoms
- sluggishness, sensitivity to cold pale, dry skin, and brittle fingernails and hair
- swelling of your tongue, throat, lips, eyes or face
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- feeling faint
- chest pain
- rapid heart beat
Octreotide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the unopened packages in the refrigerator; do not freeze. After first opening, store capsules in the container it came in at room temperature for up to 1 month.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- slowed or irregular heartbeat
- weight loss
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests before and during your treatment to check your body's response to octreotide.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.