EAST HANOVER, NJNovartis Pharmaceuticals has received FDA
approval to market Sandostatin LAR Depot (octreotide acetate for
injectable suspension) for the treatment of acromegaly and to control
the symptoms of metastatic carcinoid tumors and the profuse watery
diarrhea associated with vasoactive intestinal peptide secreting
In all indications, it is recommended that patients respond to and
tolerate initial treatment with subcutaneous Sandostatin (octreotide
Sandostatin imitates the action of somatostatin, an inhibitor of
growth hormone and other substances, including insulin growth factor
(IGF-1). The depot agent uses a microsphere delivery system to
provide slow release of the drug.
Carcinoid syndrome occurs when a carcinoid tumor produces excess
hormones, leading to symptoms such as severe diarrhea, wheezing
attacks, and flushing of the face. VIPomas, neuroendocrine tumors
usually found in the pancreas, secrete VIP, a peptide that modulates
intestinal water and electrolyte flow.
The indication for carcinoid syndrome was based on one 6-month trial
comparing intragluteal injections of the depot agent (10, 20, or 30
mg every 28 days) with SC injections of Sandostatin three times
daily. The results showed that the long-acting agent effectively
controlled diarrhea and flushing in most patients.