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Frequently Asked Questions

Sandostatin® LAR Depot

Important Safety Information:

Warnings and Precautions: Treatment with Sandostatin LAR Depot may affect gallbladder function, sugar metabolism, thyroid and heart function, and nutritional absorption, which may require monitoring by your doctor.

Before taking Sandostatin LAR Depot: Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or are taking other medications, including: cyclosporine, insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, beta-blockers, and bromocriptine.

Common side effects: Most patients experience side effects at some time. Some common side effects you may experience include:

  • Acromegaly: diarrhea, gallstones, abdominal pain, and flatulence
  • Carcinoid tumors: back pain, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and dizziness

Other information: Patients with carcinoid tumors and VIPomas should adhere closely to their scheduled return visits for reinjection in order to minimize exacerbation of symptoms. Patients with acromegaly should adhere to their return visit schedule to help assure steady control of GH and IGF-1 levels.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Approved Use:

Sandostatin® LAR Depot (octreotide acetate for injectable suspension) is indicated for patients in whom initial treatment with immediate release Sandostatin® (octreotide acetate) Injection has been shown to be effective and tolerated for:

  • Long-term maintenance therapy in acromegalic patients who have had inadequate response to surgery and/or radiotherapy or for whom surgery and/or radiotherapy is not an option (the goal of treatment in acromegaly is to reduce GH and IGF-1 levels to normal)
  • Long-term treatment of the severe diarrhea and flushing episodes associated with metastatic carcinoid tumors
  • Long-term treatment of the profuse watery diarrhea associated with VIP-secreting tumors

In patients with carcinoid syndrome and VIPomas, the effect of Sandostatin Injection and Sandostatin LAR Depot on tumor size, rate of growth and development of metastases has not been determined.

Important Safety Information:

Warnings and Precautions: Treatment with Sandostatin LAR Depot may affect gallbladder function, sugar metabolism, thyroid and heart function, and nutritional absorption, which may require monitoring b

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Approved Use:

Sandostatin® LAR Depot (octreotide acetate for injectable suspension) is indicated for patients in whom initial treatment with immediate release Sandostatin® (octreotide acetate) Injection has been shown to be effective and tolerated for:

  • Long-term maintenance therapy in acromegalic pa
... See More

About Sandostatin LAR Depot

Sandostatin® LAR Depot is indicated for patients in whom initial treatment with immediate release Sandostatin® (octreotide acetate) Injection has been shown to be effective and tolerated for:

Long-term maintenance therapy in acromegalic patients who have had inadequate response to surgery and/or radiotherapy or for whom surgery and/or radiotherapy is not an option (the goal of treatment in acromegaly is to reduce GH and IGF-1 levels to normal).

Sandostatin® LAR Depot is not indicated for tumor shrinkage.

If you are not currently taking immediate-release Sandostatin® Injection (the self-administered formulation) and think that Sandostatin® LAR Depot may be right for you, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your options. If you both agree to proceed with therapy, for the first 2 weeks your treatment will begin with daily self-administered injections of immediate-release Sandostatin® Injection. This will allow you and your doctor to assess how well the active ingredient (octreotide acetate) is working, whether you are experiencing side effects.

How does Sandostatin LAR Depot Work?

Sandostatin® LAR Depot is similar to somatostatin, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. Both work in the same way to reduce excess hormones and other metabolic activities involved in acromegaly. Sandostatin® LAR Depot remains in the body much longer than somatostatin.

Each injection of Sandostatin® LAR Depot delivers multiple microspheres that contain the active ingredient (octreotide acetate) encapsulated in a polymer coating. Once injected, the polymer coating begins to dissolve, and slowly the octreotide acetate is gradually released over a 4 week period.

Taking Sandostatin LAR Depot

No, Sandostatin® LAR Depot should be administered only by a trained health care provider.

As a patient receiving Sandostatin® LAR Depot (octreotide acetate for injectable suspension) therapy, you know how important it is to keep to your regularly scheduled appointments and receive your injections exactly as prescribed. That's why the Mobile Administration Program (MAP) was developed—to make receiving therapy a little easier.

If your doctor recommends you as an appropriate patient to participate in the program and you're eligible, you'll be able to receive your injections at home, at work, or while you're traveling, administered by a MAP nurse who is specially trained in the mixing and administration of Sandostatin® LAR Depot. To take advantage of this convenient way to receive your injections:

  • Print the enrollment form and bring it to your doctor
  • Find out from your doctor if you're a candidate for MAP and check if you're eligible:
    • The Mobile Administration Program (MAP) is intended for all eligible patients for whom Sandostatin® LAR Depot has been prescribed. As of now, residents of all states except Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island can participate. Currently, reimbursement for home injections is provided to members of most commercial plans (such as HMO, PPO). Patients with government-provided medical insurance, such as Medicare Parts B and D, or Medicaid, are not covered. You can determine your eligibility by calling 1-877-503-3377 and speaking with a program representative.

No. Sandostatin® LAR Depot is a suspension of microspheres that must be administered via intragluteal (into the muscle of the buttocks) injection. It should not be administered subcutaneously or intravenously.

If you miss your monthly appointment for your injection, you should call your doctor's office immediately to reschedule your visit. If keeping office appointments is difficult for you, find out if you qualify for the Mobile Administration Program (MAP). Through MAP, your nurse will help you to schedule/reschedule your appointment for your next injection.

Only after consulting with your doctor. It is most likely that you feel better because of the action of Sandostatin® LAR Depot, but the underlying problem still exists. Stopping the drug might cause the symptoms to reappear.

Safety and Side Effects

Sandostatin® LAR Depot has been associated with alterations in nutrient absorption, so it may have an effect on the absorption of orally administered drugs. Patients receiving insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, beta-blockers, cyclosporine, or bromocriptine may require dose adjustments of these therapeutic agents. Administration with cyclosporine may decrease blood levels of cyclosporine and result in transplant rejection. If you are taking any other drugs and on Sandostatin® LAR Depot, please speak with your doctor to make sure you are taking the appropriate amount of your other medications. There may be other medications that may interact with Sandostatin® LAR Depot so please speak to your physician.

The decision as to which medications are best for each patient should be made by an individual's physician.

There are no adequate, well-controlled studies of the use of Sandostatin® LAR Depot in women who are pregnant or nursing, and therefore it should be used by these patients only when there is a clear medical need to do so. Please consult your physician for additional information if you are pregnant or nursing.

Storing Sandostatin LAR Depot

Sandostatin® LAR Depot should remain refrigerated between 36°F to 46°F prior to administration. It should also be protected from light until the time of use. Sandostatin® LAR Depot should remain at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before your health care professional prepares the drug suspension for administration.

Cost of Treatment

How much the drug will cost depends on the local pharmacy where it is dispensed and what your individual insurance plan may cover. This amount can vary. If you have insurance questions about Sandostatin® LAR Depot, call PEAK (1-877-503-3377) to be connected to a reimbursement specialist. He or she will help you find out more about your health plan's coverage for Sandostatin® LAR Depot and whether you would be eligible for other kinds of assistance.

Many health plans provide full or partial coverage for Sandostatin® LAR Depot through either the medical or pharmacy benefit. To find out more about your plan's coverage, call PEAK (1-877-503-3377) to be connected to a Sandostatin® LAR Depot reimbursement specialist. Reimbursement specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 7 PM EST. If a specialist is not available when you call, you will be asked to leave your name and telephone number. All calls are returned within 1 business day.

For financial assistance information, please call 1-877-503-3377.

Yes. With the co-pay card, an eligible acromegaly patient pays $25 for the co-pay of their Sandostatin® LAR Depot prescriptions. Novartis will pay the remaining co-pay, up to $15,000 per calendar year.

Candidates for Removal

Clearly, your health care provider is the best source of information about your individual medical needs—but when patients and families wish to reach out to others, the Internet can be a good source of information and support.

Get acromegaly resources and support group information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Important Safety Information:

Warnings and Precautions: Treatment with Sandostatin LAR Depot may affect gallbladder function, sugar metabolism, thyroid and heart function, and nutritional absorption, which may require monitoring by your doctor.

Before taking Sandostatin LAR Depot: Tell your doctor if you have a history of heart disease or are taking other medications, including: cyclosporine, insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, beta-blockers, and bromocriptine.

Common side effects: Most patients experience side effects at some time. Some common side effects you may experience include:

  • Acromegaly: diarrhea, gallstones, abdominal pain, and flatulence
  • Carcinoid tumors: back pain, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and dizziness

Other information: Patients with carcinoid tumors and VIPomas should adhere closely to their scheduled return visits for reinjection in order to minimize exacerbation of symptoms. Patients with acromegaly should adhere to their return visit schedule to help assure steady control of GH and IGF-1 levels.

Please see full Prescribing Information.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Approved Use:

Sandostatin® LAR Depot (octreotide acetate for injectable suspension) is indicated for patients in whom initial treatment with immediate release Sandostatin® (octreotide acetate) Injection has been shown to be effective and tolerated for:

  • Long-term maintenance therapy in acromegalic patients who have had inadequate response to surgery and/or radiotherapy or for whom surgery and/or radiotherapy is not an option (the goal of treatment in acromegaly is to reduce GH and IGF-1 levels to normal)
  • Long-term treatment of the severe diarrhea and flushing episodes associated with metastatic carcinoid tumors
  • Long-term treatment of the profuse watery diarrhea associated with VIP-secreting tumors

In patients with carcinoid syndrome and VIPomas, the effect of Sandostatin Injection and Sandostatin LAR Depot on tumor size, rate of growth and development of metastases has not been determined.