Sandostatin-Octreotide Acetate

Patient Education Quick Reference Guide Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group Phone Number: 925-677-5041

Uses For This Medication
  • Octreotide acetate is used to treat patients with vasoactive intestinal peptide tumors (VIPomas) and carcinoid tumors.
  • Octreotide acetate is also used in the treatment of acromegaly.
  • This medication may also be given for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
  How This Medication Works Octreotide acetate works in a way that is similar to somatostatin, a natural hormone that is made by your body, which helps to regulate many functions in the body. Octreotide acetate stops the release of growth hormone. This is helpful in treating patients with acromegaly. Octreotide acetate also stops the release of other substances, including gastrin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, insulin, glucagons, secretin and motilin. By stopping the release of substances from the stomach and intestine, octreotide acetate slows the transit time of food and water through the intestines, which is helpful in treating the flushing and watery diarrhea that can occur in patients with VIPomas or carcinoid tumors. Benefits of This Medication When octreotide acetate is used to treat VIPomas, it helps to control the watery diarrhea that can occur with this condition. When octreotide acetate is used to treat carcinoid tumors, it helps to stop the severe diarrhea and flushing that may occur with this disease. In both instances, it is not known whether treatment with octreotide acetate reduces the tumor size, rate of growth, or whether it decreases the chances of the tumors spreading to other parts of the body (metastases). When octreotide acetate is used to treat acromegaly, it helps to reduce the blood levels of growth hormone and IGF-I (somatomedin C) to a normal range. Who Should Not Take This Medication You should not take this medication if you:
  • Are allergic to octreotide acetate or any of its components
  Precautions to be Aware of Before Taking This Medication

Blood related precautions

This medication can cause low or high blood sugar levels. In some patients, diabetes may develop. If you already have diabetes, the dose of your diabetes medications may need to be changed while you are receiving octreotide acetate. In addition, your doctor or healthcare provider will check your blood regularly while you are on this medication to monitor for this possible problem. Organ related precautions
  • Gallbladder problems (such as gallstones and biliary obstruction) have been reported in patients receiving octreotide acetate. Your doctor or healthcare provider will monitor you carefully while you are receiving octreotide acetate to make sure that you do not develop these problems.
  • This medication can cause hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid activity). If you have a history of thyroid problems, make sure you that you tell your doctor or healthcare provider. In addition, your doctor or healthcare provider may monitor your thyroid function through blood tests before and while you are receiving octreotide acetate.
  • This medication can cause your heart to have an abnormal rhythm (heart beat). Your doctor or healthcare provider will check your heart regularly while you are on this medication to make sure that your heart is working properly. In addition, you should let your doctor or healthcare provider know if you experience symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, or heart palpitations (fluttering).
  • Some patients have developed pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, while receiving octreotide acetate. Your doctor or healthcare provider will monitor you carefully while you are receiving this medication to make sure that you do not develop this problem.
 

Miscellaneous precautions

  • Octreotide acetate may change your body’s ability to absorb fat from your diet.
  • Your doctor or healthcare provider may monitor your vitamin B12 levels while you are receiving octreotide acetate since some patients on this medication have developed low vitamin B12 levels.
  • Do not receive any immunizations (vaccinations) while on this medication without your doctor or healthcare provider’s approval. This medication can increase your risk of infection. For certain immunizations, you may develop the infection that the immunization is intended to prevent.
 

Patient specific precautions

  • It is not known if this medication is safe and effective in children.
  Pregnancy and breastfeeding precautions It is not known whether or not this medication can cause fetal harm. Tell your doctor or healthcare provider right away if you or your spouse/partner becomes pregnant while on this medication. It is not known whether this medication is found or excreted in breast milk. Since many medications are excreted in breast milk and because this medication can cause serious harmful reactions in infants, breastfeeding should be avoided. Many anti-cancer therapies can cause sterility. Notify your doctor or healthcare provider if you want to have children in the future. Medication and Food Interactions Before using this medication, tell your doctor or healthcare provider of all prescription or over-the-counter products you are taking, including dietary supplements or vitamins, herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies. Do not start or stop any medication without your doctor or healthcare provider’s approval. Possible interactions can occur with octreotide acetate and the following foods or medications:
  • Amiodarone (Cordarone®)
  • Aprepitant (Emend®)
  • Atazanavir (Reyataz®)
  • Beta blockers
  • Bromocriptine
  • Carbamazepine
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin®)
  • Cyclosporine
  • Diuretics or water pill
  • Erythromycin
  • Fluconazole (Diflucan®)
  • Grapefruit or grapefruit juice
  • Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®)
  • Indinavir (Crixivan®)
  • Insulin
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox®)
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral®)
  • Nefazodone (Serzone®)
  • Nelfinavir (Viracept®)
  • Oral diabetes medications
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin®)
  • Phenobarbital
  • Rifampin (Rifadin®)
  • Rifabutin (Mycobutin®)
  • Ritonavir (Norvir®)
  • Saquinavir
  • St.John’s wort
  • Voriconazole (Vfend®)
  NOTE: This list may not include all medications that can have interactions with octreotide acetate. Side Effects
  • All medications can cause side effects. However, not all patients will experience these side effects. In addition, other side effects not listed can also occur in some patients. You should call your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns while you are on this medication.
  • You should contact your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any side effect(s) which don’t go away, worsen, are serious in nature, or are worrisome to you.
  • Side effects can occur when octreotide acetate is given alone or together with other chemotherapy medications.
The side effects listed below are those reported in patients who were treated with octreotide acetate.

More common side effects

  • Diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea
  • Pain at injection site
 

Less common side effects

  • Constipation
  • Decreased absorption of fat from intestines
  • Decreased appetite
  • Back pain, chest pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Thyroid problems (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
 

Rare side effects

This is not a complete list of the rare side effects reported with octreotide acetate. For a complete list, please talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about reviewing a copy of the package insert.
  • Anxiety
  • Joint or muscle aches
  • Rash
  • Swelling of feet
  • Facial flushing
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  • Gallbladder problems (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  • Changes in blood sugar levels (see Precautions To Be Aware Of Before Taking This Medication)
  How To Take This Medication
  • The route of octreotide acetate depends on what formulation of octreotide acetate you are receiving. If you are receiving octreotide acetate (Sandostatin®), then this is given either by an injection under the skin (subcutaneous or SC injection) or by injection into a vein (IV). This medication can be given in different doses depending on your type of condition. If you are receiving octreotide acetate (Sandostatin LAR®), then this is given by injection into a muscle (intramuscular, IM). This medication can be given in different doses depending on your type of condition.
  • If you or a family member are giving or receiving octreotide acetate injection at home, you should review the detailed information provided by the drug manufacturer on this subject. Read this information carefully and make sure that you understand how to prepare the injection, how to properly use the disposable syringes, and how to give the injection. If you have any questions about this information, check with your doctor or healthcare provider.
  • When this medication is given as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous), there are four common areas where injections may be given:
    • The outer area of your upper arms
    • The abdomen, except for the two inch area around your navel
    • The front of your middle thighs
    • The upper outer areas of your buttocks
It is best to rotate the areas where the injection is given to avoid soreness. It is best to avoid giving an injection in areas that are tender, red, bruised, hard, or that contain scars or stretch marks.
  • In the unlikely event of an overdose of this medication contact your doctor, your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222, or emergency services immediately.
  Proper Storage
  • It is unlikely that you will need to store this medication. However, in the event that you do, unopened containers should be stored in the refrigerator. Keep in original package to protect from light.
  • Keep this medication out of the reach of children or pets.
  • Ask your doctor or healthcare provider how to dispose of any medication that you no longer use.