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Octreotide is used to reduce the amount of growth hormone in patients with acromegaly (abnormal growth of hands, feet, and face, caused by overproduction of growth hormone) inadequately controlled by surgery or radiotherapy, or in patients not fit or unwilling for radiotherapy. It is also used to treat symptoms associated with functional gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) endocrine tumors. It is used to prevent complications following pancreatic surgery (risk of complications such as abscess in the abdomen, inflammation of the pancreas gland). In patients with cirrhosis (chronic liver disease), octreotide is used to stop bleeding and to protect from re-bleeding due to gastro-esophageal varices. It is also used to treat pituitary tumors that produce too much thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

How it works

Octreotide belongs to class of medications called somatostatin analogue. Octreotide inhibits pathologically increased secretion of some natural chemicals in the body such as growth hormone, peptides and serotonin produced within the gastro-entero-pancreatic endocrine (GEP) system.

Common side effects

Nausea, Rash, Abdominal bloating, Abdominal pain, Biliary sludge (solids precipitated from bile), Bradycardia, Gall bladder inflammation, Bile duct stone, Constipation, Decreased thyroid stimulating hormone, Diarrhoea, Discolouration of stool, Dizziness, Shortness of breath, Fall in blood sugar level, Flatulence, Glucose intolerance, Hair loss, Headache, Increased bilirubin in the blood, Increased glucose level in blood, Indigestion, Injection site pain, Itching, Loss of appetite, Sticky stools, Vomiting, Weakness


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Expert advice

  • Seek medical attention if you experience disturbances in your line of vision.
  • Your thyroid function and liver function will be monitored during octreotide therapy.
  • Do not drive or operate machines while on octreotide treatment as it may cause blurred vision and headache.
  • Inform your doctor if you are taking a medicine to control your blood pressure or if you are a patient with diabetes.
  • If you are a woman of child bearing age, effective contraceptive method should be adopted during treatment with octreotide.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or planning to become pregnant or are breastfeeding.

Frequently asked questions


 Q. Is octreotide a chemo drug?
Yes, octreotide is a chemo drug, used in patients with gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) endocrine tumors and pituitary tumors.
Q. Is octreotide hormone/ protein?
No, octreotide is a peptide or a hormone analogue. It is a synthetic compound derived from somatostatin, a substance normally found in the human body.
Q. Is octreotide safe?
Octreotide is safe if used at prescribed doses for the prescribed duration as advised by your doctor.
Q. Is octreotide a proton pump inhibitor/ vasopressor?
No, octreotide is neither a proton pump inhibitor nor a vasopressor.
Q. Does octreotide cause hyperglycemia?
Yes, hyperglycemia is a common side effect of octreotide treatment.
Q. Does octreotide cause hair loss and weight gain?
Yes, hair loss is a common side effect of octreotide treatment. Octreotide may cause weight gain.
Q. Does octreotide make you tired?
Yes, octreotide may make you feel tired.

Content on this page was last updated on 30 September, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)