Octreotide is an artificially produced lon- acting somatostatin hormone whose main function in the body is to block the actions of growth hormone. The function of growth hormone (or somatotropin) is to help in growth, cell regeneration and cell multiplication in our body, the actions of which are opposed by somatostatin.
Uses of Octreotide
- Acromegaly (a condition in which growth hormone is produced in excess) Signs include big
- hands, feet, face, large bones and disproportionate increase in height
- Relief of symptoms in slow growing cancers (carcinoid tumors eg cancerous growths in the gut
- –appendix, small intestine, colon)
- To stop and prevent bleeding from dilated veins of the esophagus in severe liver disease
- (gastroesophageal varices)
- Cancer of Thyroid hormone secreting gland (pituitary adenomas) – cause increased thyroid
- levels in the body
Contraindications of Octreotide
When should one not use Octreotide
Allergy to Octreotide or any of its components
Side effects of Octreotide
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Sudden back pain (due to gall stones)
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) or very low sugar (hypoglycemia) – poor control over
- blood sugars
- Decreased thyroid hormones (due to decreased activity of thyroid gland)
- Irritation/inflammation of the gall bladder (cholecystitis)
- Irregular heartbeats (slow or fast)
- Feeling thirsty, low urine output, dark urine, dry and reddened skin
- Allergic reactions (skin rashes, itching, swelling, breathing difficulty etc)
- Irritation of the Pancreas (sudden pain in the stomach, vomiting, diarrhea)
- Liver damage
- Decreased platelet count
Precautions and Warnings of Octreotide
Can I take Octreotide during pregnancy?
Available data suggests that Octreotide can harm your unborn baby and hence is advisable to avoid it during pregnancy
Can I take Octreotide while breastfeeding?
It is not known whether Octreotide is secreted into breast milk and is recommended to be avoided in females breastfeeding their babies
Can I drive if I have consumed Octreotide?
Octreotide has no direct effects on your driving ability But caution is advised. If you experience any symptoms such as dizziness, headache, fatigue
Can I consume alcohol with Octreotide?
Alcohol interacts with Octreotide and may worsen the side effects of this medicine. It is best to avoid alcohol while taking this medicine Occasional drinking may be permissible
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- If you suffering from or have a history of Gall stone disease
- If you are a diabetic (octreotide can increase blood sugar levels)
- If you have vitamin B12 deficiency
- Caution is advised when using this in children Use of this medication for long periods (eg, longer
- than 1 year) may slow a child's growth rate However, the growth rate catches up Octreotide is
- stopped. Consult your doctor for more information
Mode of Action of Octreotide
How Does It Work?
- Octereotide works by blocking the secretion of growth hormone in whom it is produced in
- excess due to various conditions (hormonal disorders, tumors etc)
- Both the growth hormone and somatostatin are naturally produced by the body Octreotide is an
- artificial form of somatostatin , which is similar in structure and function (synthetic analogue) to
Interactions of Octreotide
Interactions with other medicines
- Cyclosporine (medicine that suppresses the immune system)
- High blood pressure medications of the class “Calcium channel blockers” (verapamil,
- diltiazem, amlodipine, nifedipine etc)
- Certain medicines used to treat heart disease (beta blockers – atenolol, metoprolol,
- propranolol etc)
- Antidiabetic medicines like insulin injection and tablets,
- Bromocriptine (to treat high prolactin levels)
- Exercise caution and inform your doctor of all medications that you are currently taking
Interactions with food items
It is better to take Octreotide between meals or just before bed time Allow some time between taking the medicine and having food
Dosage of Octreotide
Accidental overdose with Octreotide may not be life-threatening Inform your doctor if you experience any symptoms like low blood pressure (dizziness, light-headed) or irregular heartbeats Extreme over dosage may cause symptoms may include severe pain in the stomach, loose motions, muscle pain or weakness, slow heart rate and breathing, weak pulse, fainting, and can be fatal as the breathing may stop completely. Seek emergency medical attention immediately
Missed a Dose
Take the missed dose immediately if you remember 2-3 hours later. Otherwise, skip the missed dose and continue with the next dose. Do not take 2 doses together
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Does Octreotide cure cancers? Is it an anti-cancer agent?
A: Octreotide will provide relief from the symptoms of certain cancers and may sometimes reduce the size of cancer by blocking the effects of growth hormone. But it is not an anti-cancer medicine and is not used to treat cancers
Q: Is there anything else I should know about Octreotide?
- Do not self-medicate or self-adjust the dose of Octreotide. If you stop taking the
- medicine on your own, it may lead to reappearance of symptoms and may lead
- to unnecessary complications, because of the conditions for which Octreotide is
- Hence it is advised to consult your doctor if you stop taking the medicine or change the
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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