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Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond

Lanreotide

Generic name: Lanreotide
Trade name: Somatuline® Depot Injection

Drug Type:

Lanreotide is a somatostatin analog. (For more detail, see "How Lanreotide Works" section below).

What Lanreotide Is Used For:

  • The long-term treatment of acromegalic patients who have had an inadequate response to or cannot be treated with surgery and/or radiotherapy
  • The treatment of patients with unresectable, well- or moderately-differentiated, locally advanced or metastatic gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) to improve progression-free survival.

Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.

How Lanreotide Is Given:

  • Lanreotide is injected in the upper outer quadrant of the buttock. Injection sites should be rotated from side to side.
  • Lanreotide is given via a deep subcutaneous injection, under medical supervision. Skin should not be folded during administration. Lanreotide is generally given once every 4 weeks. The preferred site for injection is the hip, because it is painful given into the arm.
  • Lanreotide will be administered in the hospital or outpatient setting. You will not store it at home.
  • The amount of Lanreotide that you will receive depends on many factors, including your general health or other health problems, and the type of cancer or condition being treated. Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule; including when you should stop receiving lanreotide.

Side Effects:

Important things to remember about the side effects of lanreotide:

  • Most people do not experience all of the side effects listed.
  • Side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset and duration.
  • Side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after treatment is complete.
  • There are many options to help minimize or prevent side effects.
  • There is no relationship between the presence or severity of side effects and the effectiveness of the medication.

The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking lanreotide:

These side effects are less common side effects (occurring in about 10-29%) of patients receiving lanreotide :

Not all side effects are listed above. Some that are rare (occurring in less than 10% of patients) are not listed here. However, you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.

When to contact your doctor or health care provider:

The following symptoms require medical attention, but are not an emergency. Contact your health care provider within 24 hours of noticing any of the following:

  • Sudden pain in your upper right stomach area
  • Sudden pain in your right shoulder or between your shoulder blades
  • Yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
  • Fever with chills
  • Nausea (interferes with ability to eat and unrelieved with prescribed medication)
  • Vomiting (vomiting more than 4-5 times in a 24 hour period)
  • Diarrhea (4-6 episodes in a 24-hour period)
  • 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 provider may change your dose of diabetes medication especially when you first start receiving lanreotide or your dose of lanreotide changes.
  • Slow heart rate
  • High blood pressure

Always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Precautions:

  • Before starting lanreotide treatment, make sure you tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking (including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, herbal remedies, etc.).
  • You may experience drowsiness or dizziness; avoid driving or engaging in tasks that require alertness until your response to the drug is known.
  • Inform your health care professional if you are pregnant or may be pregnant prior to starting this treatment. Pregnancy category C (adverse events were observed in animal reproduction studies. Information related to the use of lanreotide in pregnancy is limited and it is recommended to discontinue therapy during pregnancy). For both men and women: Do not conceive a child (get pregnant) while taking lanreotide. Barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, are recommended. Discuss with your doctor when you may safely become pregnant or conceive a child after therapy.
  • Do not breast feed while taking lanreotide.

Self-Care Tips:

  • If you do not move your bowels after 2 days, notify your healthcare provider.
  • For flu-like symptoms, keep warm with blankets and drink plenty of liquids. There are medications that can help reduce the discomfort caused by chills.
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprophen may help relieve discomfort from fever, headache and/or generalized aches and pains. However, be sure to talk with your doctor before taking it.
  • Drink at least two to three quarts of fluid every 24 hours, unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • To reduce nausea, take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by your doctor, and eat small, frequent meals.
  • Avoid sun exposure. Wear SPF 30 (or higher) sunblock and protective clothing.
  • In general, drinking alcoholic beverages should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely. You should discuss this with your doctor.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Maintain good nutrition.

If you experience symptoms or side effects, be sure to discuss them with your health care team. They can prescribe medications and/or offer other suggestions that are effective in managing such problems.

Monitoring and Testing:

  • Your health care provider may want to do blood tests to see how well you are responding to lanreotide. Keep all appointments for tests, and office visits.
  • Your doctor may also monitor other types of blood work, to see if the medication is affecting other parts of your body.

How Lanreotide Works:

Lanreotide is similar to a natural chemical called somatostatin. Somatostatin is produced in the body by the hypothalamus. One of its functions is to "switch off" the secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland. Somatostatin also decreases splanchnic blood flow and inhibits the release of serotonin, gastrin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, secretin, motilin and pancreatic polypeptide. These actions are what help to control the symptoms of flushing and diarrhea in carcinoid tumors and Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) secreting adenomas.

Somatostatin is chemically unstable and broken down by the body within minutes of its release. Lanreotide, in contrast, is very stable and, therefore, much longer acting. It is for this reason that lanreotide is preferred for medicinal use.

Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.

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