Considering options for
treating acromegaly

Surgically removing or reducing the pituitary tumor

In many cases, surgical treatment is the first option recommended for patients with acromegaly. While the idea of surgery can be frightening, removing or reducing the size of the pituitary tumor can be an important step toward managing the disease.

However, depending on the size and location of the tumor, its complete or partial removal isn’t always possible. For patients who cannot have surgery—and even for many patients who do—additional treatment is often needed to help normalize growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels.

Surgically removing or reducing the pituitary tumor

Radiation therapy is sometimes used when tumor cells remain after surgery or if the tumor extends into the structures next to the pituitary. Radiation therapy destroys the remaining tumor cells and slowly reduces GH levels. However, it may take years for this treatment to noticeably improve acromegaly symptoms.

Surgically removing or reducing the pituitary tumor

Many patients with acromegaly—including some who have had surgery—need to take medication throughout their lives in order to control their GH and IGF-1 levels. Currently, there are 3 types of medications commonly used for treating acromegaly.

Patients respond differently to each medication, and the side effects they experience may also vary. It’s important to discuss your medication options and the potential side effects of each medication with your doctor before beginning any treatment.

Somatostatin analog (SSA)

This type of drug works at the source of acromegaly—the pituitary tumor—to control the amount of GH that is released into the bloodstream. After surgery or for patients who are not candidates for surgery, SSAs are the first type of medication doctors use to treat acromegaly.

SSAs act by reducing the flow of GH from the pituitary gland, which can reduce IGF-1 production. Typically, the long-acting versions of these medications require an injection every 4 weeks. Somatuline Depot is an SSA treatment option for patients with acromegaly.

Growth hormone receptor antagonist (GHRA)

A GHRA does not work directly at the site of pituitary tumors and doesn’t directly reduce excessive GH production. This type of medication reduces the effects of GH once it is in the bloodstream to help lower IGF-1 levels. Currently, there is only one GHRA available for prescription for the treatment of acromegaly. It requires daily injections.

Dopamine agonist (DA)

This type of drug works on dopamine receptors, which are located within pituitary tumors. While DAs are used less frequently than the other drugs in managing GH and IGF-1 levels, they can be helpful to some patients. They may be used in people with tumors that secrete both GH and prolactin. In general, they are taken orally once daily.

What is Somatuline® Depot (lanreotide) Injection?

Somatuline Depot is a prescription medicine used for the long-term treatment of acromegaly when surgery or radiotherapy has not worked well enough or the patient is not able to have surgery or radiotherapy.

It is not known if Somatuline Depot is safe and effective in children.

Important Safety Information

Who should not take Somatuline Depot?

Do not take Somatuline Depot if you are allergic to lanreotide.

What are the possible side effects of Somatuline Depot?

Somatuline Depot may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Gallstones. Tell your healthcare professional if you get any of these symptoms:
    • sudden pain in your upper right stomach area (abdomen)
    • sudden pain in your right shoulder or between your shoulder blades
    • yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
    • fever with chills
    • nausea
  • Changes in your blood sugar (high blood sugar or low blood sugar). If you have diabetes, test your blood sugar as your healthcare professional tells you to. Your healthcare professional may change your dose of diabetes medicine
  • Slow heart rate
  • High blood pressure

The most common side effects of Somatuline Depot in people with acromegaly include diarrhea, stomach area (abdominal) pain, nausea, and pain, itching, or a lump at the injection site.

Somatuline Depot may cause dizziness. If this happens, do not drive a car or operate machinery.

What should I tell my healthcare professional before receiving Somatuline Depot?

  • Tell your healthcare professional if you have diabetes or gallbladder, thyroid, heart, kidney, or liver problems
  • Tell your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant as Somatuline Depot may harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare professional if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Somatuline Depot passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare professional should decide if you will take Somatuline Depot or breastfeed. You should not do both
  • Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Somatuline Depot and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. Somatuline Depot may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Somatuline Depot works
  • Especially tell your healthcare professional if you take insulin or other diabetes medicines, a cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, or Sandimmune), a medicine called bromocriptine (Parlodel, Cycloset), or medicines that lower your heart rate, such as beta blockers

Tell your healthcare professional if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of Somatuline Depot. For more information ask your healthcare professional.

You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
at 1-888-980-2889.

Click here for Patient Information and full Prescribing Information.

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