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Octreotide (long-acting injection)

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What does it do?

Octreotide is used to treat acromegaly, by reducing the amount of growth hormone in your body. It is also used to treat the symptoms of certain types of cancers or tumours, and sometimes other conditions.

How is it given?

Octreotide is given as an injection into a muscle.
The first long-acting injection may take a few weeks to start working. Your doctor will discuss whether you need extra doses of the short-acting octreotide during this time.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and inject your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, inject the missed dose as soon as possible. Do not inject two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Irregular heartbeat, fainting, lightheaded

Severe stomach pain, nausea

Tell your doctor immediately

Low blood sugar: symptoms may include sweating, trembling, feeling anxious or irritable

Peeing more often, feeling thirsty

Tell your doctor

Headache

Hair loss or thinning

Tiredness or weakness

Stomach upset, farting, oily bowel motions

Irritation or pain at injection site

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency, or gallstones.
  • You will need regular blood tests while taking octreotide to check if it is causing problems with your liver or thyroid.
  • Women should use reliable contraception while taking octreotide. If you plan to get pregnant, or find you are pregnant, contact your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding.
  • Store octreotide in the fridge. Keep it in the box to protect from light.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. September 2020

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed