Moving Forward
11/18/2013

Talking to Your Doctor about Acromegaly

Talking to your doctor about acrogemalyIf you’ve been diagnosed with acromegaly, you might have some basic questions for your doctor. Go ahead and ask them! 

For example, you might want to ask about the pituitary gland and exactly what causes acromegaly. If you feel any discomfort or if you’re tired all the time, you can ask about these issues or any other symptoms you have. 

It’s important for you to get answers to all of your questions. Your primary doctor may be able to answer them. But he or she may not be an expert on acromegaly. If your doctor can’t answer all of your questions, you can ask for a referral to a specialist. The specialist will know more about your disease. Your doctor might refer you to an endocrinologist or a neurosurgeon. 

How Do You Feel About Your Disorder?

It’s important to learn the facts about acromegaly, but it’s also important to talk about how you feel about it. Your doctor might ask you to take the AcroQoL questionnaire. This is a series of 22 questions that can help doctors measure how patients feel about their condition. It covers a range of topics, from how you feel when you look in the mirror to what might happen to your sexual relationships. 

Whether or not you take the questionnaire, it’s important to discuss your feelings. Talking to your doctor, a family member, or a friend can really help. There are also many support groups available, so you can connect with someone else who has acromegaly. 

Keep the Conversation Going

If you’ve been living with acromegaly for a while, what you know and how you feel about it may have changed over time. If your appearance has changed, maybe you've learned to accept it more, or maybe you've learned to cope with headaches and tiredness. You may have also made some lifestyle changes to help make each day with the disease a little bit easier. These could include changing your diet, exercising, or getting emotional support from friends.

These are positive steps, but your journey will continue. Talk to your doctor about what the future holds in the short term and the long term. Remember, he or she may have treated other patients like you and can help you find the answers to new issues that arise. Keep the conversation going with your doctor and others to get the support you need throughout your journey.

 

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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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