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Gastrointest Cancer Res. 2013 May;6(3):81-5.

Above-Label Doses of Octreotide-LAR in Patients With Metastatic Small Intestinal Carcinoid Tumors.

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Department of GI Oncology Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute Tampa, FL.



Octreotide LAR is indicated for treatment of malignant carcinoid syndrome and has been studied at doses of 10 to 30 mg intramuscularly every 4 weeks. In clinical practice, higher doses are often prescribed for patients who experience refractory carcinoid syndrome (flushing and/or diarrhea) or tumor growth while on the maximum label-recommended dose.


We performed a retrospective, longitudinal review of octreotide LAR administration at a tertiary institution to determine the frequency of above-label dosing and outcomes.


Three hundred thirty-eight patients were considered evaluable, among whom 100 (30%) underwent at least 1 increase in dose or frequency of octreotide-LAR above the standard label dose. The most common maximum doses were 40 mg every 4 weeks (n = 37 patients), 60 mg every 4 weeks (n = 34), and 30 mg every 3 weeks (n = 18). The indications for dose increase were worsening carcinoid syndrome (n = 60), radiographic progression (n = 33), and rising urine 5-HIAA (n = 6). Of the patients whose doses were increased for refractory carcinoid syndrome, 62% (n = 34) experienced improvement in diarrhea, and 56% (n = 28) experienced improvement in flushing.


In conclusion, octreotide LAR is commonly prescribed in doses or schedules above the recommended dose and frequency. Patients with refractory carcinoid syndrome appear to experience a clinical benefit from this change. Prospective data may be used to further evaluate this strategy.

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