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Octreotide (By injection)

Lowers levels of growth hormone in acromegaly. Also treats diarrhea associated with certain types of tumors.

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

Octreotide injection is used to treat severe diarrhea and other symptoms that occur with certain intestinal tumors or metastatic carcinoid tumors (tumors that has already spread in the body). It does not cure the tumor but it helps the patient feel more comfortable. Octreotide injection is also used to treat a condition called acromegaly, which is caused by too much growth hormone in the body.… Read more
Brand names include
PremierPro Rx octreotide acetate
Drug classes About this
Antidote, Endocrine-Metabolic Agent

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Octreotide for treatment of chylothorax in newborns

Collection of lymphatic fluid in the chest cavity is called chylothorax. Routine management of this condition involves treatment of the underlying condition, draining of fluid, putting a tube in the chest wall until all the fluid is drained and rarely surgery. Octreotide is a drug that may reduce the production and accumulation of fluid and allow babies to recover faster. No trials have evaluated the safety and efficacy of this drug in babies and only case reports are available. Future studies are needed.

Efficacy of midodrine plus octreotide in hepatorenal syndrome: a meta-analysis

Bibliographic details: Hiremath SB, Lokikere SD, Madalageri NK.  Efficacy of midodrine plus octreotide in hepatorenal syndrome: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy 2012; 3(4): 576-581 Available from: http://www.ijrap.net/admin/php/uploads/855_pdf.pdf

Efficacy and safety of China-made acetic octreotide in the treatment of bleeding from esophageal varices: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Yang Z, Li XJ, Guo JH, Chen JM, Rong C, Zhang X.  Efficacy and safety of China-made acetic octreotide in the treatment of bleeding from esophageal varices: a systematic review. World Chinese Journal of Digestology 2010; 18(22): 2365-2369

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Summaries for consumers

Octreotide for treatment of chylothorax in newborns

Collection of lymphatic fluid in the chest cavity is called chylothorax. Routine management of this condition involves treatment of the underlying condition, draining of fluid, putting a tube in the chest wall until all the fluid is drained and rarely surgery. Octreotide is a drug that may reduce the production and accumulation of fluid and allow babies to recover faster. No trials have evaluated the safety and efficacy of this drug in babies and only case reports are available. Future studies are needed.

Somatostatin analogues for acute bleeding oesophageal varices

Cirrhosis of the liver is a chronic, progressing disease that is most commonly caused by excessive use of alcohol or by hepatitis C infection. The liver tissue is replaced by connective tissue, which leads to loss of liver function. People with cirrhosis of the liver may develop varicose veins (enlarged blood vessels or varices) in the gullet. Bleeding varices can be life‐threatening. The hormone somatostatin, or similar drugs like octreotide and vapreotide, can be used to try to stop the bleeding. The review of 21 trials (2588 patients) found that the tested drugs did not reduce deaths. There was a small reduction in the need for blood transfusions, corresponding to one half unit of blood saved per patient. It is doubtful whether this effect is worthwhile.

Somatostatin analogues for reducing complications following pancreatic surgery

Pancreatic resections are associated with high morbidity (30% to 60%) and mortality (5%). It is not clear whether routine, preventive use of synthetic analogues of somatostatin (a hormone that inhibits pancreatic secretions) could reduce complications following pancreatic surgery. We included 21 randomised clinical trials in this review. All trials had high risk of bias ('systematic error'). A total of 2348 people were randomised either to somatostatin analogues or a control in the 21 trials. The overall number of people with postoperative complications was lower by 30% in the somatostatin analogues group but there was no difference in postoperative mortality, re‐operation rate or overall length of hospital stay between the groups. Pancreatic fistula is drainage of pancreatic juice secreted by the remaining pancreas to the exterior. This was lower in the intervention group by 34%. The proportion of these fistulas that resulted in change to the treatment given to the participants is not clear. When we included trials that clearly distinguished fistulas that required change to the treatment given to the participants, there was no difference between the two groups. Participant quality of life was not reported in any of the trials. In conclusion, somatostatin analogues reduce the incidence of pancreatic fistula. Further trials with sufficient participant numbers and a low risk of bias are necessary. Based on the current available evidence, somatostatin and its analogues are recommended for routine use in people undergoing pancreatic resection.

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