Side effect of octreotide

Introduction: Side effect of octreotide. Octreotide is a medicine that belongs to the class of drugs known as somatostatin analogs. It is primarily used to treat various medical conditions, most notably acromegaly, a disorder characterized by excessive growth hormone production and certain neuroendocrine tumors.

While Octreotide can be an effective treatment for these conditions, it has potential side effects like all medications. Octreotide is an injectable drug that treats high growth hormone levels caused by acromegaly.

Acromegaly affects the bones and tissues of your body and causes them to grow irregularly. This medicine can also reduce the flushing and diarrhea caused by cancer. These side effects can range from mild to severe, and it’s essential to understand them thoroughly when considering Octreotide treatment. 

In this article, we will explore Octreotide’s effects.

Side effect of octreotide
Side effect of octreotide 2

What is this medication?

OCTREOTIDE (ok TREE oh tide) is used to lower blood levels of growth hormone in patients with a condition called acromegaly. This medicine also lowers flushing and watery diarrhea caused by certain types of cancer.

This medicine can be used for other purposes. If you have questions, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Common Uses of Octreotide

Before diving into the side effects, it’s crucial to understand how Octreotide works and why it is prescribed. Octreotide is a synthetic version of the hormone somatostatin, which plays an essential role in regulating various processes in the body, including the secretion of growth hormone, insulin, and other hormones. By mimicking somatostatin’s actions, Octreotide exerts its therapeutic effects.

Octreotide is used to treat severe watery diarrhea and sudden flushing of the face and neck associated with certain types of tumors (such as carcinoid tumors and vasoactive intestinal peptide tumors) usually found in the intestines and pancreas.

Symptoms appear when these tumors make too much of certain natural substances (hormones). This medicine works by blocking the production of these hormones. By reducing watery diarrhea, Octreotide helps minimize the loss of body fluids and minerals.

Octreotide is also used to treat a condition (acromegaly) that occurs when the body makes too much of a particular natural substance called growth hormone. Treating acromegaly can help reduce the risk of serious problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

Octreotide works by reducing the amount of growth hormone to normal levels. This medicine is not a treatment for these conditions. This medicine is usually used with other treatments (such as surgery, radiation, and other medications).

Acromegaly: Acromegaly is a rare hormonal disorder in which the pituitary gland produces excessive growth hormone. Octreotide helps lower growth hormone levels, managing the symptoms and potential complications of acromegaly, such as enlarged hands, feet, and facial changes.

Neuroendocrine Tumors: Octreotide is also used to treat certain neuroendocrine tumours. These tumors are usually slow-growing and can occur in various body parts, including the pancreas and gastrointestinal tract. Octreotide can control the symptoms of these tumors, such as diarrhea and flushing, and slow their growth.

Bleeding Esophageal Varices: Octreotide may be used to control bleeding from esophageal varices swollen veins in the esophagus often associated with advanced liver disease.

Now that we understand Octreotide primary uses, let’s delve into its potential side effects. These can be categorized into two main groups: common side effects and less common but more severe side effects.

Common Side Effects of Octreotide

Contact your healthcare provider instantly if you experience any of the following:

Pain at the Injection Site: Octreotide is usually administered as an injection. Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site is a common and relatively minor side effect. It generally subsides within a quick period.

Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Octreotide can cause gastrointestinal side effects, including diarrhoea, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. These symptoms may occur initially but often improve with continued use. Adjusting the dose or taking anti-diarrheal medications can sometimes help manage these side effects.

Gallstones: Long-term use of Octreotide can increase the risk of developing gallstones. These are little, hard deposits that can form in the gallbladder. Gallstones may cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea.

Blood Sugar Abnormalities: Octreotide can affect blood sugar levels, potentially causing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). This is especially meaningful for individuals with diabetes. Blood sugar levels should be monitored, and adjustments to diabetes medication may be necessary.

Thyroid Function Abnormalities: Some individuals may experience changes in thyroid function while taking Octreotide. This can lead to symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, or cold intolerance. Monitoring thyroid function is essential in such cases.

Fatigue and Dizziness: Octreotide can cause fatigue and dizziness in some patients. These symptoms can affect daily activities, so individuals should be cautious when operating heavy machinery or driving until they know how the medication affects them.

Less Common but Severe Side Effects of Octreotide

This medication is usually given by injection under the skin as directed by your doctor, usually 2 to 3 times daily. Depending on your condition, it may be provided by a healthcare professional by injection into a vein. Dosage is established on your medical condition and response to treatment.

If your doctor instructs you to inject this medication under the skin, ask your healthcare professional for all instructions for preparation and use. Learn how to store and dispose of needles and medical supplies safely. If you have questions, ask your healthcare professional.

Before use, visually check this product for particles or contusions. If either is current, do not use the liquid. Before injecting each dose, wash the injection site with rubbing alcohol. Change the location of the injection site each time to detour problem areas under the skin.

Less Common but Severe Side Effects of Octreotide are:

Heart Rhythm Disturbances: In rare cases, Octreotide can lead to heart rhythm disturbances, such as bradycardia (slow heart rate) or arrhythmias. This can result in dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath. Patients with a history of heart conditions should be closely monitored.

Liver Function Abnormalities: Octreotide can affect liver function, potentially leading to liver enzyme elevations. Monitoring liver function through blood tests is essential, and discontinuing Octreotide may be necessary if severe liver problems occur.

Pancreatitis: Although uncommon, Octreotide can lead to acute pancreatitis, a painful pancreas inflammation. Symptoms may include intense abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. If pancreatitis is suspected, Octreotide treatment may need to be discontinued.

Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to Octreotide are rare but can occur. Signs of an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, and severe dizziness. If any of these symptoms occur, immediate medical attention is necessary.

Cholelithiasis and Biliary Sludge: Long-term use of Octreotide can lead to the formation of gallstones or biliary sludge, which can cause abdominal pain and other complications.

Reduced Vitamin B12 Absorption: Prolonged use of Octreotide may decrease the absorption of vitamin B12 in the gastrointestinal tract, potentially leading to a deficiency in this essential nutrient. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, and neurological problems.

How should I use this medicine?

This medicine is for injection under the skin or into a vein (in emergencies only). A healthcare professional usually gives it in a hospital or clinic setting. If you get this medicine at home, you will be taught how to prepare and give it.

Permit the injection solution to come to room temperature before use. Do not heat it artificially. Use exactly as directed. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more usually than directed.

You must keep your used needles and syringes in a special sharps container. Do not throw them in the trash. If you don’t have a sharps container, call your pharmacist or healthcare provider to get one. Talk to your pediatrician about using this medicine in children. It may require special care.

Overdose: Call a poison control center or emergency room at once if you think you have taken too much of this medicine.

Note: This medicine is for you only. Do not transfer this medicine with others.

How Octreotide Injection Works

Octreotide injection is a somatostatin analog. This means it acts like somatostatin, a hormone your body produces that inhibits the release of many other hormones.

This drug treats acromegaly, a condition where your body makes too much growth hormone (GH), by preventing your body from releasing too much GH.

It treats flushing and diarrhea caused by carcinoid tumors and diarrhea associated with VIPomas by blocking or reducing certain activities in your stomach, such as blood flow and bowel movements.

Conclusion: Side effect of octreotide

Octreotide is a valuable medication in managing various medical conditions, particularly acromegaly and neuroendocrine tumors. While it can be effective, it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects, both common and severe.

This medicine is for injection under the skin or into a vein (in emergencies only). A healthcare professional usually gives it in a hospital or clinic setting. Patients prescribed Octreotide should maintain open communication with their healthcare providers, report unusual symptoms, and undergo regular monitoring to manage and mitigate these side effects.

The decision to use Octreotide should always be based on carefully assessing the potential benefits and risks, considering the patient’s medical history and needs.

Also read: Side Effects of EpiPens; Xifanan side effects; Biktarvy side effects

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