The period of discovery of a disease, in general, is not an easy one. When it is a rare disease, the process can be even more difficult.
This is the case of Acromegaly, a disease that affects adults and causes overgrowth of parts of the body such as the hands and feet.
For the treatment of the problem and relief of symptoms, there are medications like Sandostatin.
What is the drug Sandostatin?
Sandostatin is one of the trade names of the active ingredient octreotide acetate, a medicine used to treat acromegaly and relieve symptoms in cases of endocrine tumors that affect the pancreas and gastric system.
It is manufactured by Novartis – a pharmaceutical group – and can be administered intravenously, intramuscularly or subcutaneously.
It acts in the regulation of growth hormones and its use is adult.
What is the difference between Sandostatin and Sandostatin LAR?
In addition to the conventional Sandostatin, there is also the Sandostatin LAR version.
Although they have similar nomenclature and are produced by the same laboratory, they have some differences between them.
The first is in its form of administration. While Sandostatin is used subcutaneously or intravenously, Sandostatin LAR is applied intramuscularly.
Another difference is in relation to the indication of use. Both have the same treatment designations, however, Sandostatin LAR has one more indication: treatment of neuroendocrine tumors in the intestine – when neuroendocrine cells become tumors. That is, in addition to relieving symptoms, it fights the disease.
In addition, the frequency of administration of Sandostatin LAR is generally less than that of Sandostatin. This is because its dosage is higher.
What is the medicine Sandostatin for?
The drug Sandostatin is used to treat acromegaly, a disease in which a benign tumor causes the pituitary gland – the endocrine gland – to produce excess growth hormone in adults. The problem causes abnormal enlargement of extremities of the body such as the face, feet and hands.
In addition, the drug helps to relieve symptoms related to gastroenteropancreatic endocrine tumors (which affect the pancreas or gastrointestinal tract). Among them are: VIPomas, Glucagonomas, Gastrinomas, Insulinomas and GHRHomas.
In this case, it has no curative effect on the disease, only relief from discomfort.
Sandostatin LAR, in addition to treating the same diseases, acts to combat gastroenteropancreatic tumors aiming at their elimination, and not just the relief of symptoms, as the conventional Sandostatin.
How does the active ingredient Octreotide work?
Octreotide acetate is a synthetic substance derived from somatostatin, a natural hormone produced by the pancreas. It has similar action to this hormone, however, with prolonged action.
The drug works by inhibiting the increased secretion of some hormones produced by the endocrine system, such as growth hormone (GH), peptides and serotonin .
By inhibiting the excess of these hormones, the drug helps to control the overgrowth of acromegaly.
Is Sandostatin intravenous or subcutaneous (SC)?
The drug Sandostatin can be administered either intravenously – in the vein – or subcutaneously – under the skin. Sandostatin LAR is administered intramuscularly.
The form of application varies according to the patient’s clinical condition and indication of the responsible physician.
Is Sandostatin (Octreotide) chemotherapy?
No . Sandostatin is not a chemotherapy drug.
A treatment is classified as chemotherapy when the drug works to destroy the diseased cells that form a tumor.
Sandostatin does not have an anti-tumor therapeutic action, that is, it does not act in the destruction of tumors. It helps in relieving symptoms and helps to slow the growth of the tumor.
How to apply Sandostatin and Sandostatin LAR?
The administration of the medicines Sandostatin and Sandostatin LAR has some differences between them. They can be applied subcutaneously or intravenously, in the case of the first, and intramuscularly, in the second.
Find out about each one:
The application of Sandostatin can be made by subcutaneous injection – under the skin – or intravenous infusion – in the vein -, depending on the clinical picture and medical guidance.
If administration is done subcutaneously, to avoid skin irritation, a different location should be chosen for each application. They can be: thighs, arms or abdomen.
Follow the instructions of the responsible physician for self-application.
The application via intravenous infusion must be performed by a health professional in an appropriate environment.
The contents of the ampoule must be diluted and applied to (a) the patient by duly trained persons.
Sandostatin LAR is for intramuscular application and can only be done by a trained professional.
The drug should be injected into the muscle of the buttocks, alternating between right and left each session.
The steps for administration are: preparation of the dose and application.
According to the package insert, the steps for preparing the dose are:
- Remove the injection kit from the refrigeration and allow it to reach room temperature for at least 30 minutes;
- After that time, remove the plastic cap from the bottle;
- Remove the film from the holder containing the bottle adapter;
- Holding the holder, position the adapter on top of the bottle and fit until you hear a “click”;
- After that, remove the adapter;
- Remove the cap from the syringe containing the diluent and attach it to the bottle adapter;
- Push the plunger all the way to transfer all the diluent to the bottle;
- Let the bottle rest for 5 minutes.
For application to the patient, the recommendations are:
- Keeping the plunger pressed, shake the bottle moderately for 30 seconds;
- Clean the application site with an alcohol swab;
- Hold the syringe and vial in an upright position and pull the plunger, transmitting the entire contents to the syringe;
- Remove the syringe from the bottle adapter;
- Attach the needle to the syringe and remove its protective cap;
- Tap the syringe gently to remove possible bubbles;
- Insert the needle deeply into the patient’s buttock, at a 90º angle of the skin;
- Apply pressure to the plunger until the syringe is emptied;
- Remove the needle and activate the safety guard.
The vial and syringe must be disposed of in an appropriate place.
What are the side effects of Sandostatin?
Like other medicines, Sandostatin can cause side effects in some people.
Very common side effects include:
- Gallstones (gallbladder stone);
- Increased blood sugar levels.
Common reactions are:
- Slow heartbeat;
- Swelling in the front of the neck;
- Reduction of blood sugar levels;
- Change in glucose tolerance;
- Inflammation of the gallbladder.
The unusual reactions, but that can happen:
- Low urine production;
- Dry skin;
- Change in skin color;
- Change in urine color;
- Fast heartbeat.
Other more serious effects that can occur are:
- Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis);
- Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis);
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Low level of platelets in the blood.
If you experience any of these reactions, consult a doctor.
In addition, there are some symptoms that can occur, but in general, disappear during the course of treatment. They are:
Very common :
- Abdominal pain;
- Pain at the injection site.
- Dyspepsia (indigestion);
- Feeling of satiety;
- Fatty stools;
- Change in stool color;
- Loss of appetite;
- Hair loss;
- Lack of air;
It is worth remembering that each organism reacts in a different way to the medication, thus, not necessarily all patients will suffer from all side effects.
If the symptoms are persistent, consult the doctor in charge.
Value: what is the price of Sandostatin and where to buy cheaper?
The price of Sandostatin may vary according to the geographic region and establishment of purchase.
It can be found in physical pharmacies and online.
In general, its value is approximately:
- Sandostatin 0,05mg/mL — R$221,15;
- Sandostatin 0,1mg/mL — R$376,90;
- Sandostatin 0,5mg/mL — R$1428.
The Sandostatin LAR price is, in general:
- Sandostatin LAR 10mg — R$3985;
- Sandostatin LAR 20mg — R$6190;
- Sandostatin LAR 30mg — R$7571.
If the patient wanted to make a price comparison, it is possible to use the Consult Remedies website , which indicates the values in several pharmacies in each region.
There is also the possibility to purchase directly from the platform, thus choosing the most economical option.
Are you generic?
No . The active ingredient Octreotide does not have any generic options available yet.
Generic drugs are those that do not have a commercial name and are sold with the nomenclature of their active ingredient.
Does Sandostatin have SUS?
-Yeah . The active ingredient Octreotide is part of the National List of Essential Medicines, that is, the list of drugs supplied directly by SUS.
However, if the SUS cannot, for some reason, supply the medication, there is the possibility of going to court, requesting coverage by the State.
For this, it is necessary to file a lawsuit and submit some documents such as the medical report and the drug budget in 3 different pharmacies.
Is it approved by ANVISA?
-Yeah . Sandostatin was registered with the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) in 1995.
Its registration is valid until August 2025.
How to budget Sandostatin?
For cases in which SUS does not provide medication, there is the possibility to request treatment coverage by the State, through a lawsuit.
In that case, it is necessary to present some documents. Between them:
- Medical report;
- Standard requirement;
- Budget in 3 different pharmacies.
For the realization of the budget, it is possible to obtain assistance in advising on the quotation of high-cost medications, which makes a personalized quotation simply and quickly. Just access the link and fill in the necessary data.
Acromegaly is a very rare condition. In Brazil, there are less than 15 thousand cases per year.
For the treatment and alleviation of symptoms of this type of disease, there are medications such as Sandostatin.
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