Somatuline Depot is a brand-name prescription drug. It’s FDA-approved to treat the following conditions:

Somatuline Depot is approved to treat these conditions in certain situations. For more information about how the drug is used, see the “Somatuline Depot uses” section below.

Drug details

Somatuline Depot contains the active drug lanreotide. Lanreotide is a synthetic (human-made) version of a natural hormone called somatostatin. Lanreotide works by acting like somatostatin in your body. For more information, see the “How Somatuline Depot works” section below.

Somatuline Depot comes as a liquid solution. It’s given as a deep subcutaneous injection (an injection into the fatty tissue under your skin) by your doctor or another healthcare provider. You’ll typically receive this injection at your doctor’s office once every 4 weeks.

Somatuline Depot vs. Somatuline Autogel

Somatuline Depot and Somatuline Autogel contain the same active ingredient. However, Somatuline Autogel is the brand-name version of the drug that’s used in countries outside of the United States.

The side effects of Somatuline Autogel are expected to be similar to those of Somatuline Depot. For more information on side effects, see the “Somatuline Depot side effects” section below.

The Somatuline Autogel dosing is also similar to Somatuline Depot. For more information, see the “Somatuline Depot dosage” section below.

If you have questions about how these products are alike and different, talk with your doctor.

Effectiveness

For information on the effectiveness of Somatuline Depot, see the “Somatuline Depot uses” section below.

Somatuline Depot is available only as a brand-name medication. It’s not currently available in generic form.

A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.

Somatuline Depot contains the active drug ingredient lanreotide.

You should receive Somatuline Depot according to your doctor’s or healthcare provider’s instructions.

Injection instructions

Somatuline Depot is given by deep subcutaneous injection. This means the drug is injected into the fatty tissue underneath your skin. Somatuline Depot should only be injected by your doctor or another healthcare provider. You can receive the injection at your doctor’s office.

The drug is typically given into your upper gluteal muscle (buttocks). With each dose, the injection site is alternated between your right and left buttock. For more information, visit the manufacturer’s site.

If you’re a healthcare provider, see the “Professional information for Somatuline Depot” section below.

When to take

Your doctor will determine the best time for you to receive your Somatuline Depot injection.

To help make sure you don’t miss an injection appointment, try setting a reminder on your phone.

Somatuline Depot can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Somatuline Depot. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.

For more information on the possible side effects of Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to deal with any side effects that may be bothersome.

Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Somatuline Depot, you can do so through MedWatch.

Mild side effects

Mild side effects of Somatuline Depot can vary depending on the condition being treated.*

Mild side effects can include:

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. But if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

* This is a partial list of mild side effects from Somatuline Depot. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Somatuline Depot’s Patient Information.
† For more information on these side effects, see “Side effect details” below.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects from Somatuline Depot aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects of Somatuline Depot can vary depending on the condition being treated

* For more information on these side effects, see “Side effect details” below.

Side effect details

You may wonder how often certain side effects occur with this drug. Here’s some detail on certain side effects this drug may cause.

Allergic reaction

As with most drugs, some people can have an allergic reaction after taking Somatuline Depot. However, it isn’t known how many adults may have had an allergic reaction to Somatuline Depot in clinical studies.

Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:

  • skin rash
  • itchiness
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin)
  • fainting, dizziness, or hypotension (low blood pressure)

A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:

  • swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
  • swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
  • trouble breathing

Call your doctor right away if you have a severe allergic reaction to Somatuline Depot. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

Dizziness

Dizziness is a possible side effect of Somatuline Depot. In clinical studies of adults:

  • 7% to 9% of adults using Somatuline Depot experienced dizziness (depending on the condition being treated)
  • 2% of adults using a placebo (a treatment with no active drug) experienced dizziness

It’s not known how long people experienced dizziness after taking either treatment.

Symptoms of dizziness may include losing your balance, a feeling of spinning or floating, and feeling lightheaded.

If you experience bothersome dizziness while taking this medication, talk with your doctor.

Diarrhea

Some people may have diarrhea while using Somatuline Depot.

Of adults using Somatuline Depot for acromegaly in clinical studies, 26% to 65% had diarrhea. (The percentage varied depending on the dose, condition being treated, and the treatment length.) No one using a placebo in these studies experienced diarrhea.

In a study of adults with neuroendocrine tumors:

  • 26% of adults using Somatuline Depot had diarrhea
  • 9% of adults who used a placebo had diarrhea

It isn’t known how long people in clinical studies experienced diarrhea while taking this drug.

It’s also not known how many adults using Somatuline Depot for carcinoid syndrome in clinical studies may have had diarrhea. However, it’s important to note that severe diarrhea is a symptom of carcinoid syndrome. So if people in the study had diarrhea when using Somatuline Depot, it wouldn’t be clear if the diarrhea was caused by the condition or the treatment.

Talk with your doctor if you have diarrhea while taking Somatuline Depot. They can suggest ways to help relieve this side effect, or they may recommend a different medication.

Gallstones

Gallstones are a common side effect of Somatuline Depot. Gallstones form when substances in your gallbladder have hardened into small stones. (Your gallbladder is an organ located on the right side of your belly.)

In clinical studies of adults with acromegaly, neuroendocrine tumors, or carcinoid syndrome:

  • 2% to 24% of people using Somatuline Depot had gallstones
  • 0% to 7% of people using a placebo had gallstones

The exact percentage of people with gallstones depended on the dose, condition being treated, and the amount of time people used either treatment. Experiencing gallstones during the studies also didn’t depend on age.

Severe gallstones were experienced by 1% of adults using Somatuline Depot for neuroendocrine tumors. No one using a placebo had severe gallstones. It’s not known how many people taking Somatuline Depot for acromegaly or carcinoid syndrome may have had severe gallstones in these studies.

Symptoms of gallstones can include:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • sweating
  • pain on the right side of your body
  • pain in your shoulder or between your shoulder blades
  • feeling restless

Your risk for having gallstones while using Somatuline Depot may increase over time as you continue using the drug. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any symptoms of gallstones while using Somatuline Depot. Your doctor may want to you to stop using Somatuline Depot until your gallstones have been treated.

The Somatuline Depot dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and severity of the condition you’re using Somatuline Depot to treat
  • your age
  • other medical conditions you may have

Typically, your doctor will start you on a low dosage. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.

The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.

Drug forms and strengths

Somatuline Depot comes as a liquid solution that’s given as a deep subcutaneous injection (an injection into the fatty tissue under your skin) into your buttocks. You’ll get the injection at your doctor’s office. Somatuline Depot is available in three strengths: 60 milligrams (mg), 90 mg, and 120 mg.

Dosage for acromegaly

When used to treat acromegaly,* the typical starting dose of Somatuline Depot is 90 mg every 4 weeks. After 3 months, the dose may either be reduced to 60 mg every 4 weeks, kept the same, or increased to 120 mg every 4 weeks. Once you’re on a steady dose, your doctor may continue giving you a dose every 4 weeks, or you may get injections less often.

Excessive growth hormone is what causes symptoms of acromegaly. To determine the right dosage, your doctor will typically track your growth hormone levels and symptoms. Your doctor may continue adjusting your dosage until your hormone levels are balanced and your symptoms improve. At that point, you’ll likely be prescribed a steady dose.

Your doctor may also change your dosage depending on several factors, including whether you have kidney disease or liver disease. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about the dosage that’s right for you.

* Acromegaly is a condition that causes extra growth of certain bones and tissues.

Dosage for neuroendocrine tumors

The typical dose of Somatuline Depot for treating neuroendocrine tumors is 120 mg every 4 weeks.

A neuroendocrine tumor is a type of rare cancer that grows around the pancreas and digestive tract. (Your digestive tract includes your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.)

Dosage for carcinoid syndrome

When treating carcinoid syndrome, the typical dose of Somatuline Depot is 120 mg every 4 weeks.

Carcinoid syndrome refers to a group of symptoms caused by carcinoid tumors. A carcinoid tumor is a type of cancer that typically develops in the digestive tract.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss an appointment to get your Somatuline Depot injection, call your doctor as soon as possible to reschedule.

To help make sure you don’t miss an injection appointment, try setting a reminder on your phone.

Will I need to use this drug long term?

Somatuline Depot is meant to be used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Somatuline Depot is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Somatuline Depot to treat certain conditions.

Somatuline Depot for acromegaly

Somatuline Depot is FDA-approved to treat acromegaly in adults. It’s used for this purpose when other treatment options haven’t worked well enough.

About acromegaly

Acromegaly is a rare condition that causes extra growth of certain bones and tissues. This extra growth may happen over long periods of time. People who have acromegaly are typically diagnosed in middle age. However, symptoms can appear at any age after puberty.

Acromegaly usually happens because of a noncancerous tumor on the pituitary gland. (The pituitary gland is a small gland located near the bottom of your brain. This type of tumor is called a pituitary adenoma.)

A pituitary tumor can cause your body to make more growth hormone than it needs. (Growth hormone helps regulate your body’s growth and metabolism.) Too much growth hormone in adults can cause some bones, organs, and other body tissues to increase in size.

Symptoms of acromegaly may include:

  • increased size of your tongue, brow, nose, ears, hands, or feet
  • voice that sounds deeper than usual
  • sweating more often than usual
  • more body odor than usual
  • skin that’s more thick, oily, or rough than usual
  • larger gaps between your teeth
  • skin tags (small areas of hanging skin) that are larger or darker than usual

Other conditions related to growth hormone

In addition to the symptoms above, too much growth hormone can lead to other health problems. Growth hormone prompts your liver to release insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a hormone that affects how your body breaks down glucose (blood sugar) and lipids (fats).

Other health problems that may occur because of too much growth hormone and IGF-1 include:

Somatuline Depot lowers your levels of growth hormone and IGF-1. This can help reduce the symptoms of acromegaly.

Effectiveness for acromegaly

Somatuline Depot has been found to be effective for lowering blood levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 in adults with acromegaly.

In two clinical studies, adults were given either Somatuline Depot or a placebo (a treatment with no active drug). Improvements in hormone levels were recorded at certain time points after treatment with Somatuline Depot.

Most adults will have a growth hormone level that rises above 5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). A normal IGF-1 level in adults depends on a person’s age and sex.

In the studies, the following results were seen in adults using Somatuline Depot for 48 to 52 weeks.

  • Growth hormone levels:
    • 69% to 98% of adults had average growth hormone levels at or below 5 ng/mL
    • 51% to 86% of adults had average levels at or below 2.5 ng/mL
    • 16% to 44% of adults had average levels at or below 1 ng/mL
  • IGF-1 levels:
    • 43% to 58% of adults had a normal IGF-1 level

The percentage of people who experienced these results varied depending on the length of treatment. It’s important to note that longer treatment may not lead to better results.

The average levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 in people given a placebo in these studies isn’t known.

Somatuline Depot for neuroendocrine tumors

Somatuline Depot is FDA-approved to treat neuroendocrine tumors in adults. Neuroendocrine tumors are a type of cancer that grows around the pancreas and digestive tract. (Your digestive tract includes your stomach, small intestine, and large intestine.)

For treating neuroendocrine tumors, Somatuline Depot is used in the following situations:

  • The tumor is “well-differentiated”* or “moderately differentiated.”*
  • The tumor can’t be removed with surgery.
  • The cancer has spread to other tissues in the body.

Symptoms of neuroendocrine tumors may depend on the size of the tumor and its exact location. Possible symptoms include:

  • belly pain or cramping
  • flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin)
  • confusion
  • fatigue (lack of energy)
  • decreased appetite
  • unexplained weight loss
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • changes in glucose (blood sugar) levels

* These terms mean that the tumor cells look like healthy cells when viewed under a microscope. Most cancers are graded by how much the tumor cells are organized and look like healthy cells. The more disorganized the tumor cells look, the faster they can grow and spread. When the cells of a tumor don’t look like healthy cells, the tumor is called poorly differentiated.

Effectiveness for neuroendocrine tumors

Clinical studies have found Somatuline Depot to be effective for treating neuroendocrine tumors.

One study looked at adults who had neuroendocrine tumors in their pancreas or digestive tract. In this study, Somatuline Depot was compared with a placebo (a treatment with no active drug).

Researchers looked at the time it took for cancer to progress (get worse) in at least half of the people taking each treatment. People were given Somatuline Depot or a placebo until their cancer worsened or until they couldn’t tolerate the side effects of treatment.

After 22 months, cancer got worse in less than half of people taking Somatuline Depot. In comparison, at least half of the people taking a placebo had their cancer get worse after 16.6 months of treatment.

People who received Somatuline Depot had a 53% lower chance of their cancer spreading than people who received a placebo.

Somatuline Depot for carcinoid syndrome

Somatuline Depot is FDA-approved to treat carcinoid syndrome. Carcinoid syndrome refers to symptoms that are caused by a carcinoid tumor.

A carcinoid tumor is a type of cancer that occurs most often in the digestive tract. Carcinoid tumors release serotonin into your blood. (Serotonin is a chemical found in your body.) This release of serotonin causes flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin) and severe diarrhea. Other symptoms of a carcinoid tumor may include:

  • abdominal (belly) pain
  • rectal pain or bleeding (the rectum is the end portion of your large intestine)
  • spider veins on your nose or upper lip

Effectiveness for carcinoid syndrome

Somatuline Depot has been found to be effective for treating flushing and severe diarrhea caused by carcinoid tumors.

One 16-week clinical study compared Somatuline Depot and a placebo in adults with carcinoid syndrome. People in this study were told to give themselves a dose of octreotide (Sandostatin) as needed to treat their symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. Researchers wanted to see how octreotide use would compare in people who were given Somatuline Depot and those who were given a placebo.

The results showed that:

  • people who were given Somatuline Depot used octreotide on 34% of days during the study
  • people who were given a placebo used octreotide on 49% of days during the study

Researchers also recorded how often diarrhea and flushing occurred. On average, people who received Somatuline Depot had these side effects occur less often than people who received a placebo. Exactly how often these side effects happened in each treatment group isn’t known.

Somatuline Depot and children

Somatuline Depot isn’t approved for use in children. Clinical studies haven’t shown if the drug is safe or effective for children.

Other drugs are available that can treat your conditions. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.

Note: Some of the drugs listed here are used off-label to treat these specific conditions. Off-label use is when a drug that’s approved to treat one condition is used to treat a different condition.

Alternatives for acromegaly

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat acromegaly include:

  • cabergoline
  • octreotide (Sandostatin, Sandostatin LAR Depot)
  • pasireotide (Signifor, Signifor LAR)
  • pegvisomant (Somavert)

Alternatives for neuroendocrine tumors

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat neuroendocrine tumors in your pancreas or digestive tract include:

  • capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • doxorubicin (Adriamycin)
  • everolimus (Afinitor)
  • fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • lu-dotatate (Lutathera)
  • octreotide (Sandostatin, Sandostatin LAR Depot)
  • oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
  • sunitinib (Sutent)

Alternatives for carcinoid syndrome

Examples of other drugs that may be used to treat carcinoid syndrome include:

  • cholestyramine resin (Questran)
  • colesevelam (Welchol)
  • colestipol (Colestid)
  • cyproheptadine
  • diphenoxylate/atropine (Lomotil)
  • octreotide (Sandostatin, Sandostatin LAR Depot)
  • loperamide (Imodium A-D)
  • ondansetron (Zofran)
  • telotristat ethyl (Xermelo)
  • interferon alfa-2b (Intron A)

You may wonder how Somatuline Depot compares with other medications that are prescribed for similar uses. Here we look at how Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin are alike and different.

Ingredients

Somatuline Depot contains the active drug lanreotide. Sandostatin contains the active drug octreotide acetate. Both Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin belong to a group of drugs called somatostatin analogs.

Uses

Here is a list of conditions that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin to treat.

  • Both Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin are FDA-approved to treat:
    • acromegaly (a condition that causes extra growth of certain bones and tissues)
  • Somatuline Depot is also FDA-approved to treat:
  • Sandostatin is also FDA-approved to treat:
    • profuse diarrhea related to vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) tumors

Drug forms and administration

Somatuline Depot comes as a liquid solution. It’s given as a deep subcutaneous injection (an injection into the fatty tissue under your skin). You’ll typically receive this injection at your doctor’s office once every 4 weeks.

Sandostatin comes in two forms:

  • Immediate-release Sandostatin injection. It’s given as a subcutaneous injection or as an intravenous injection (an injection into a vein). A healthcare provider can teach you how to give these injections at home.
  • Extended-release Sandostatin LAR Depot. It’s given as an intramuscular injection (an injection into the muscle). Sandostatin LAR Depot should only be given by a healthcare provider.

How often you use Sandostatin depends on the form you take and the condition it’s being used to treat.

Side effects and risks

Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin have some similar side effects and others that vary. Below are examples of these side effects.

Mild side effects

These lists contain up to 10 of the most common mild side effects that can occur with each drug, or with both Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin (when taken individually).

Serious side effects

These lists contain examples of serious side effects that can occur with Somatuline Depot, with Sandostatin, or with both drugs (when taken individually).

Effectiveness

Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin have different FDA-approved uses, but they’re both used to treat the following conditions:

  • acromegaly
  • carcinoid syndrome

These drugs haven’t been directly compared in clinical studies. However, studies have found both Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin or Sandostatin LAR Depot to be effective for treating these conditions.

Costs

According to estimates on WellRx.com, Somatuline Depot costs significantly more than Sandostatin and significantly less than Sandostatin LAR Depot. The actual price you’ll pay for any of these drugs depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

Somatuline Depot and Sandostatin LAR Depot are both brand-name drugs. There are currently no generic forms of either drug. Immediate-release Sandostatin is available in a generic form called octreotide acetate. Brand-name medications usually cost more than generics.

There aren’t any known interactions between Somatuline Depot and alcohol. However, drinking alcohol can cause flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin). Flushing is also a symptom of carcinoid syndrome. So if you have carcinoid syndrome, drinking alcohol can make your flushing even worse.

If you drink alcohol, talk with your doctor about the amount that’s safe for you to drink while using Somatuline Depot.

Somatuline Depot can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.

Different interactions can cause different effects. For instance, some interactions can interfere with how well a drug works. Other interactions can increase side effects or make them more severe.

Somatuline Depot and other medications

Below are some of the medications that can interact with Somatuline Depot. This section doesn’t contain all drugs that may interact with Somatuline Depot.

Before taking Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Somatuline Depot and cyclosporine

Taking Somatuline Depot with the drug cyclosporine (Gengraf, Sandimmune) may decrease the amount of cyclosporine that your body absorbs. This could make cyclosporine less effective.

Cyclosporine is used to treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. It’s also used to prevent organ rejection after a transplant.

Before starting Sandostatin, be sure to tell your doctor if you use cyclosporine. They may want to adjust your dosage of cyclosporine.

Somatuline Depot and bromocriptine

Taking Somatuline Depot with bromocriptine (Cycloset, Parlodel) can increase the amount of bromocriptine that your body absorbs. This could increase the levels of bromocriptine in your body, which raises your risk for side effects of the drug.

Bromocriptine is used to treat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other conditions.

Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using Somatuline Depot while taking bromocriptine. They may want to adjust your dosage of bromocriptine, or they may recommend a different treatment for your condition.

Somatuline Depot and medications that lower heart rate

Bradycardia (slow heart rate) is a possible side effect of Somatuline Depot. Using other medications that lower your heart rate, such as calcium channel blockers or beta-blockers, with Somatuline Depot may raise your risk for this side effect. (For more information, see the “Somatuline Depot side effects” section above.)

Examples of calcium channel blockers include:

Examples of beta-blockers include:

Before you start using Somatuline Depot, tell your doctor about any other drugs you take. Your doctor can make sure your other medications are safe to take with Somatuline Depot.

Somatuline Depot and medications broken down by CYP3A4

Your body uses the CYP3A4 enzyme to break down many medications. Somatuline Depot can block this enzyme from working as well as usual. Blocking the CYP34A enzyme can increase your blood levels of certain other drugs you’re taking. This raises your risk for side effects from these other medications.

Quinidine is one example of a drug that’s broken down in your body by CYP3A4. This drug is used to treat or prevent an irregular heart rate or to treat malaria. If you take Somatuline Depot with quinidine, you may have a higher risk for side effects from quinidine.

Before starting Somatuline Depot, tell your doctor about any other medications you take. They may adjust your dosage or monitor your medications more closely.

Somatuline Depot and medications used to treat diabetes

Somatuline Depot hasn’t been reported to interact with any medications used to treat diabetes. However, Somatuline Depot may cause changes in your glucose (blood sugar) levels. So if you have diabetes and use Somatuline Depot, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage of certain diabetes medications. Your doctor may also monitor your blood sugar levels more closely.

Examples of medications used to treat diabetes include:

Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using Somatuline Depot while taking diabetes medications.

Somatuline Depot and herbs and supplements

There aren’t any herbs or supplements that have been specifically reported to interact with Somatuline Depot. However, you should still check with your doctor or pharmacist before using any of these products while taking Somatuline Depot.

Somatuline Depot and foods

There aren’t any foods that have been specifically reported to interact with Somatuline Depot. If you have any questions about eating certain foods with Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor.

As with all medications, the cost of Somatuline Depot can vary. To find current prices for Somatuline Depot injections in your area, check out WellRx.com.

The cost you find on WellRx.com is what you may pay without insurance. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.

It’s important to note that you’ll have to get Somatuline Depot at a specialty pharmacy. This type of pharmacy is authorized to carry specialty medications. These are drugs that may be expensive or may require help from healthcare professionals to be used safely and effectively.

Before approving coverage for Somatuline Depot, your insurance company may require you to get prior authorization. This means that your doctor and insurance company will need to communicate about your prescription before the insurance company will cover the drug. The insurance company will review the prior authorization request and decide if the drug will be covered.

If you’re not sure if you’ll need to get prior authorization for Somatuline Depot, contact your insurance company.

Financial and insurance assistance

If you need financial support to pay for Somatuline Depot, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.

Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals Inc., the manufacturer of Somatuline Depot, offers a program called IPSEN CARES. This program offers assistance in determining and possibly lowering the cost of Somatuline Depot. For more information and to find out if you’re eligible for support, call 866-435-5677 or visit the program website.

Generic version

Somatuline Depot is not available in a generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication. Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.

Somatuline Depot contains the active drug lanreotide. Lanreotide is a synthetic (human-made) form of a natural hormone called somatostatin. The somatostatin hormone is produced by different tissues in your body.

The main function of somatostatin is to help your body regulate certain hormones, such as insulin. It also stops your body from forming a group of cells that could become a tumor or cancer.

Somatuline Depot acts like somatostatin in your body to treat the following conditions:

  • In acromegaly, Somatuline Depot lowers your levels of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This decrease in hormone levels reduces the symptoms of acromegaly.
  • In carcinoid syndrome, Somatuline Depot lowers your levels of the chemical serotonin. This decrease in serotonin reduces the flushing (warmth, swelling, or redness in your skin) and severe diarrhea that can occur with carcinoid syndrome.
  • Somatuline Depot treats neuroendocrine tumors in your pancreas or digestive tract by stopping the tumor cells from growing.

How long does it take to work?

Somatuline Depot starts working right away to treat your conditions. However, it may take a couple of doses before you notice your symptoms improving.

Depending on the condition being treated, your doctor may perform lab tests to see if the drug is working for you. For more information, see “Will I need to have lab tests while I’m using Somatuline Depot?” under “Common questions about Somatuline Depot” below.

It isn’t known if Somatuline Depot is safe to use during pregnancy. Animal studies have shown that it may cause harm to the fetus when taken during pregnancy. However, animal studies don’t always predict what may happen in humans.

If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, talk with your doctor before starting Somatuline Depot.

Somatuline Depot and fertility

Based on animal studies, taking Somatuline Depot may lead to fertility problems (trouble getting pregnant) for some women. However, animal studies don’t always show how humans will react to the drug.

It’s important to note that acromegaly* (one of the conditions Somatuline Depot treats) can also lead to fertility problems.

If you have questions about your ability to become pregnant while using Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor.

* Acromegaly is a condition that causes extra growth of certain bones and tissues.

It’s not known if Somatuline Depot is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Somatuline Depot.

For more information about taking Somatuline Depot during pregnancy, see the “Somatuline Depot and pregnancy” section above.

Based on animal studies, Somatuline Depot may pass into breast milk. However, it isn’t known whether this happens in humans. Side effects from Somatuline Depot could occur in children who are breastfed. So it’s best not to breastfeed while using Somatuline Depot or for at least 6 months after taking your last dose. (For more information on side effects, see the “Somatuline Depot side effects” section above.)

If you’re concerned about breastfeeding while using Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor. They can discuss the risks and benefits of breastfeeding while using this drug.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Somatuline Depot.

Can I take Somatuline Depot if I have diabetes?

It may be possible to take Somatuline Depot if you have diabetes. However, Somatuline Depot can cause changes in your glucose (blood sugar) levels. These changes may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

If you have diabetes, your doctor may monitor your blood sugar levels more closely during your Somatuline Depot treatment. Your doctor may also need to adjust your dosage of diabetes medications while you’re using Somatuline Depot.

If you have questions about the risks and benefits of using Somatuline Depot while you have diabetes, talk with your doctor

Will I need to have lab tests while I’m using Somatuline Depot?

Yes, you may need to have lab tests while you’re using Somatuline Depot. If you’re using Somatuline Depot to treat acromegaly, your doctor may monitor your levels of certain hormones through lab tests.

  • Growth hormone. Acromegaly occurs when your pituitary gland (a small gland located near the bottom of your brain) releases too much growth hormone. Treatment with Somatuline Depot should decrease your growth hormone levels. The goal is to decrease your growth hormone levels to normal. Most adults will have a growth hormone level that rises above 5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
  • Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Growth hormone prompts your liver to release IGF-1. Somatuline Depot should also decrease your IGF-1 blood levels. The goal is to decrease your IGF-1 levels to normal. A normal IGF-1 level depends on your age and gender.

For more information, see the “Somatuline Depot uses” section above.

Somatuline Depot can cause changes in your glucose (blood sugar) levels. These changes may include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). If you have diabetes, your doctor may monitor your blood sugar levels more closely after you start using Somatuline Depot.

Somatuline Depot can also cause hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone). Your doctor may want to perform thyroid function tests while you’re using this drug.

To learn about symptoms of these conditions, see the “Somatuline Depot side effects” section above. And talk with your doctor if you have questions about lab tests you may have while using Somatuline Depot.

Does Somatuline Depot cure neuroendocrine tumors?

No, Somatuline Depot won’t cure neuroendocrine tumors. The only cure is to have surgery that completely removes these tumors. However, Somatuline Depot can increase the amount of time that a person lives without their neuroendocrine tumor getting worse. For more information, see the “Somatuline Depot uses” section above.

Talk with your doctor if you have questions about treatment options for curing your neuroendocrine tumor.

Is Somatuline Depot a chemotherapy drug?

No, Somatuline Depot isn’t a chemotherapy drug. Chemotherapy drugs work by killing all cells in your body that are rapidly growing, such as cancer cells. However, chemotherapy drugs can’t tell the difference between cancer cells and healthy cells that may be growing quickly. For this reason, chemotherapy damages some healthy cells and can cause many side effects.

Somatuline Depot contains the active drug lanreotide. Lanreotide is a synthetic (human-made) version of a natural hormone called somatostatin. Lanreotide works by acting like somatostatin in your body. For more information, see the “How Somatuline Depot works” section above.

Before taking Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor about your health history. Somatuline Depot may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. These include:

  • Diabetes. Somatuline Depot may cause your glucose levels to increase or decrease. If you have diabetes and take diabetes medications, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage during your Somatuline Depot treatment. Your doctor may also monitor your blood sugar levels more closely. Before starting Somatuline Depot, be sure to tell your doctor if you have diabetes.
  • Heart problems. Somatuline Depot may cause new or worsening heart problems, such bradycardia and hypertension. If you have heart disease, using Somatuline Depot may cause a certain type of slow heart rate called sinus bradycardia. Before starting Somatuline Depot, talk with your doctor about any heart problems you may have.
  • Thyroid problems. Somatuline Depot may cause new or worsening thyroid problems. Somatuline Depot can cause hypothyroidism. If you have thyroid problems and use thyroid medications, your doctor may need to adjust your dosage during your Somatuline Depot treatment. Your doctor may also perform thyroid function tests while you’re using this drug. Before starting Somatuline Depot, tell your doctor about any thyroid problems you may have.
  • Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Somatuline Depot or any of its ingredients, you shouldn’t take Somatuline Depot. Ask your doctor about other medications that may be better options for you.
  • Pregnancy. Somatuline Depot may not be safe to use during pregnancy. For more information, see the “Somatuline Depot and pregnancy” section above.
  • Breastfeeding. It isn’t recommended to breastfeed while using Somatuline Depot. For more information, see the “Somatuline Depot and breastfeeding” section above.

Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Somatuline Depot, see the “Somatuline Depot side effects” section above.

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.

Indications

Somatuline Depot is FDA-approved to treat the following conditions in adults:

  • acromegaly caused by a pituitary adenoma that cannot be treated with surgery or radiation, or that has not improved after surgery or radiation therapy
  • locally advanced or metastatic gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) that are well- or moderately differentiated and cannot be treated with surgery
  • carcinoid syndrome for the purpose of reducing short-acting somatostatin analog rescue therapy

Administration

Somatuline Depot is administered by deep subcutaneous injection into the upper outer quadrant of the buttock. The drug should only be administered by a healthcare professional. Injection sites should be alternated between the right and left sides for each injection.

Somatuline Depot can be warmed to room temperature (68°F to 77°F/20°C to 25°C) within 30 minutes before use. It should be kept in its sealed packaging until time for use.

For more information, visit the manufacturer’s site.

Mechanism of action

Somatuline Depot contains the active drug lanreotide. Lanreotide is a synthetic somatostatin analog that mimics the activity of somatostatin in the body.

When treating acromegaly, Somatuline Depot works to lower blood levels of growth hormone and IGF-1. Somatuline Depot also inhibits the response of serotonin, thereby reducing symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. It also prohibits tumor cell growth in the treatment of GEP-NETs.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Somatuline Depot reaches maximum drug concentrations from 4.3 ng/mL to 8.4 ng/mL on the first day of dosing. Its half-life is estimated at 23 to 30 days, with mean serum concentrations above 0.9 ng/mL achieved for all dosing regimens. Less than 5% of lanreotide is excreted into the urine; less than 0.5% is excreted into the feces.

Contraindications

Somatuline Depot is contraindicated in people with a history of allergic reaction to lanreotide.

Storage

Somatuline Depot should be stored at refrigerated temperatures of 36°F to 46°F (2°C to 8°C). It should be kept in its original packaging to be protected from light.

Somatuline Depot can be warmed to a room temperature of 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C) within 30 minutes before use. It should be kept in its sealed packaging until time for use. Somatuline Depot should only be warmed to room temperature before use. However, the drug remains stable at temperatures up to 104°F (40°C) for up to 24 hours if left in its sealed packaging. If this happens, the drug can be returned to refrigerated temperatures and be used at a later time.

Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.