Lanreotide (Somatuline Depot): What You Need To Know

Lanreotide patient

Somatuline Depot (lanreotide) is the brand name of a prescription medication that is used to treat the following conditions:

  • Carcinoid syndrome
    Carcinoid syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that arise from carcinoid tumors, which are a type of slow-growing cancerous tumor that grows from neuroendocrine cells. Symptoms can include flushing and severe diarrhea. In most cases, carcinoid tumors will manifest themselves in the digestive tract.
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
    A neuroendocrine tumor is an extremely uncommon form of cancer that can develop close to the digestive system and the pancreas.
  • Acromegaly
    Acromegaly occurs when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone, resulting in the abnormal growth of certain bones and tissues. 

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Drug Information

Lanreotide is a synthetic version of somatostatin, an endogenously produced hormone. Somatostatin is a hormone that regulates the endocrine system. It affects neurotransmission and cell proliferation through interaction with G protein-coupled somatostatin receptors and by inhibiting the release of numerous secondary hormones. Lanreotide is an essential ingredient in Somatuline Depot. This medication is administered by a doctor or other medical professional via deep subcutaneous injection. Your physician will administer this injection every four weeks.

Lanreotide Uses

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go-ahead for certain conditions to be treated with Somatuline Depot. These conditions are discussed in detail below.

Lanreotide for Carcinoid Syndrome

The Food and Drug Administration has given Somatuline Depot the green light for treating carcinoid syndrome.

Carcinoid tumors frequently manifest in the gastrointestinal tract. Blood serotonin is a byproduct of carcinoid tumors. When serotonin is released, it causes the skin to flush, causing it to feel hot and appear red or swollen. It can also bring on severe diarrhea. Additional symptoms of carcinoid tumors include:

  • Spider veins on the upper lip or nose
  • Rectal bleeding or pain
  • Abdominal pain

Efficacy Against Carcinoid Syndrome

It has been determined that somatostatin analogs, such as  Somatuline Depot, inhibit the release of biogenic amines, which leads to the control of symptoms such as flushing and diarrhea.

Adults diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome participated in a clinical study that lasted for 16 weeks and included comparisons between a placebo and Somatuline Depot. The study showed that people on Somatuline Depot required rescue medication less frequently than those who were on a placebo.

Lanreotide for Neuroendocrine Tumors

Somatuline Depot has been approved by the FDA to be used in the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors in adults. Cancers of the neuroendocrine system are those that affect the pancreas and the digestive system, and are called gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

As a form of treatment for neuroendocrine tumors, Somatuline Depot is administered in the following circumstances:

  • When the cancer has already spread to other organs.
  • When surgical removal of the tumor is not an option.
  • When there is “well-differentiation” or “moderate differentiation” of the tumor.

It’s possible that the symptoms of neuroendocrine tumors will change depending on the size and location of the tumor. The following are examples of some of the possible symptoms:

  • Changes in blood glucose levels
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Flushing
  • Pain in the abdomen or cramping

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Efficacy Against Neuroendocrine Tumors

Studies conducted in clinical settings have demonstrated that Somatuline Depot is an effective treatment for neuroendocrine tumors.

In one study, adults who had neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas or the gastrointestinal tract were investigated. In this study, Somatuline Depot was evaluated in comparison to a placebo.

  • Less than half of those who took Somatuline Depot experienced a worsening of their cancer after 22 months of treatment. 
  • At least half of those who were given a placebo experienced the progression of their cancer after receiving treatment for 16.6 months.

Compared to those who were given a placebo, those who were given Somatuline Depot had a 53% lower risk of cancer spreading after treatment.

Lanreotide for Acromegaly

The use of Somatuline Depot to treat acromegaly in adults has been given approval by the FDA. Doctors may turn to Lanreotide when all other possible treatment options have been exhausted.

Efficacy Against Acromegaly

It has been determined that the use of Somatuline Depot is effective for lowering the levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 in the blood of adults who suffer from acromegaly.

Both Somatuline Depot and a placebo were given to adult participants in two separate clinical studies. After treatment with Somatuline Depot for a set period, researchers observed a decrease in certain hormone levels at various points in time.

Lanreotide (Somatuline Depot) and children

There is no evidence from clinical trials that lanreotide is safe or effective for use in children.

How Lanreotide Is Given

You must take Somatuline Depot exactly as directed by your attending physician or any other healthcare provider.

Injection Guidelines

Subcutaneous injections of Somatuline Depot are the preferred method of administration. Injections of Somatuline Depot should only be administered by a qualified medical professional, such as a licensed physician.

In most cases, the medication is administered via injection into the upper gluteal muscle (buttocks).

When To Take

Your doctor will decide the most convenient time for you to receive your Somatuline Depot injection.

Somatuline Depot Side Effects

The adverse effects caused by Somatuline Depot could be either mild or severe. These lists do not contain every potential side effect that could occur.

Mild Side Effects

The mild side effects of Somatuline Depot can vary widely from patient to patient and from condition to condition.

The following are examples of mild side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Injection site reactions, like pain, itching, or a bump at the injection site
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain

Most of these adverse effects might disappear after a few days or a few weeks. However, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they persist or worsen.

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Serious Side Effects

Serious adverse reactions to Somatuline Depot are unusual but can occur for some people. If you experience severe side effects, you should contact your physician as soon as possible or call 911 immediately. The severity of the adverse effects caused by Somatuline Depot will vary depending on the condition that is being treated. Serious side effects include:

  • Gallstones
  • Allergic reaction
  • Hypothyroidism. Some of the symptoms include:
    • Less sweating 
    • Weight gain
    • Tiredness
    • Thinning hair
    • Pain in the muscles or joints
    • Goiter
    • Forgetfulness
    • Feeling more cold than usual
    • Depression
    • Constipation
    • Dry skin
  • Hypertension. It is possible that you will not experience any symptoms of hypertension unless the condition is very severe. Some of the possible symptoms of severe hypertension are:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Headache
    • Confusion
    • Chest pain
    • Blurry vision or loss of vision
  • Bradycardia. Some of the symptoms include:
    • Weakness
    • Tiredness
    • Fainting
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Chest pain
    • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in blood glucose levels. The symptoms can be quite different depending on whether you have hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. The following are examples of possible signs and symptoms:
    • More frequent urination
    • Increased thirst
    • Weakness
    • Sweating
    • Shaking
    • Hunger
    • Fast or irregular heart rate
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Blurry vision

Lanreotide Dosage

The dosage of Somatuline Depot that your doctor recommends for you will be based on the nature and severity of the condition you are seeking treatment for, as well as your age and any other preexisting medical conditions you may have.

Lanreotide Strengths and Forms

Somatuline Depot is injected subcutaneously into the buttocks as a liquid. The injection goes into the skin’s fatty tissue, and your doctor will administer the injection. Somatuline Depot is available in doses of 60, 90, and 120 mg.

Lanreotide Dosage for Acromegaly

Acromegaly treatment usually begins with 90 mg of Somatuline Depot every four weeks. After three months, the doctor may either lower the dose to 60 mg every four weeks, maintain the current dose, or increase it to 120 mg based on clinical response, growth hormone (GH) levels, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) levels. When you reach a stable dosage, your doctor may continue giving you injections every four weeks or reduce the frequency.

Lanreotide Dosage for Neuroendocrine Tumors

Neuroendocrine tumors are treated with 120 mg of Somatuline Depot once every four weeks.

Lanreotide Dosage for Carcinoid Syndrome

The recommended amount of Somatuline Depot to take once every four weeks for the treatment of carcinoid syndrome is 120 mg.

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What Happens If I Forget a Dose?

If you are going to be late for your scheduled injection of Somatuline Depot, you should get in touch with your healthcare provider as soon as you can to reschedule.

Lanreotide Cost

Somatuline Depot costs vary, and your insurance, pharmacy, and location can affect the cost.

Specialty pharmacies sell Somatuline Depot, and this medication requires medical supervision to use safely and effectively.

Somatuline Depot may require prior authorization from your insurer. This means the insurance company may need to discuss your prescription with your doctor before covering the cost. 

If you’re unsure if Somatuline Depot needs prior authorization, contact your insurer.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available for Somatuline Depot through IPSEN CARES, a program offered by Somatuline Depot’s manufacturer, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Visit the website for more information. You can also explore copay assistance programs by contacting AmeriPharma™. 


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  12. Zahr R, Fleseriu M. Updates in Diagnosis and Treatment of Acromegaly. Eur Endocrinol. 2018 Sep;14(2):57-61. doi: 10.17925/EE.2018.14.2.57. Epub 2018 Sep 10. PMID: 30349595; PMCID: PMC6182922.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about your medical condition prior to starting any new treatment. AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care assumes no liability whatsoever for the information provided or for any diagnosis or treatment made as a result, nor is it responsible for the reliability of the content. AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care does not operate all the websites/organizations listed here, nor is it responsible for the availability or reliability of their content. These listings do not imply or constitute an endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation by AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care. This webpage may contain references to brand-name prescription drugs that are trademarks or registered trademarks of pharmaceutical manufacturers not affiliated with AmeriPharma™ Specialty Care.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY Dr. Abdelaziz Alsamarah, PharmD, MSPS, BCSCP

Dr. Alsamarah received his PharmD degree from the University of Jordan in 2011. In pursuit of higher education, he joined Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA in 2014 and received a masters in pharmaceutical sciences with major in Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD). He has authored and co-authored several publications in major scientific journals. After graduation, Dr. Alsamarah worked in various pharmacy settings before he found his passion in managing patients on IV infusions. His specialty areas include: Infectious diseases, nutrition support, and monoclonal antibodies. In his free time, he likes boxing, biking, and painting with his three kids.

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