Frequently Asked Questions
Sandostatin LAR Depot
About Sandostatin LAR Depot
Sandostatin LAR Depot is similar to somatostatin, a hormone that occurs naturally in the body. Both work to reduce excess hormone secretions that alter various metabolic activities important for your body. Sandostatin LAR Depot, however, remains active in the body much longer than somatostatin. It is formulated as a suspension in microspheres that slowly dissolve over the course of 4 weeks, so it can be administered as an intragluteal injection every 4 weeks.
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 treatment of the severe diarrhea and flushing episodes associated with metastatic carcinoid tumors (carcinoid syndrome)
- 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.
Sandostatin LAR Depot is not indicated for tumor shrinkage.
Sandostatin LAR Depot is a reformulation of immediate-release Sandostatin Injection. The active ingredient (octreotide acetate) is the same in both formulations. However, the reformulation allows patients to receive an injection in their gluteal muscle every 4 weeks, given by a health care provider, instead of daily injections.
Sandostatin LAR Depot is approved for patients for whom initial treatment with Sandostatin Injection has been shown to be effective and tolerated.
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 the severe diarrhea and flushing associated with carcinoid syndrome and VIPomas. 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.
You can call the Patient Support Line at 1-888-669-6682 from 8:30 AM through 5:00 PM ET if you have any questions.
Taking Sandostatin LAR Depot
Sandostatin LAR Depot is administered every 4 weeks via injection by your health care provider—your doctor, a nurse, nurse practitioner, or any other health care professional qualified to administer intramuscular injections. For eligible patients, injections may be given at your home or other location through the Mobile Administration Program (MAP).
No, Sandostatin LAR Depot should be administered only by a trained health care provider.
MAP is available for eligible patients with carcinoid syndrome who have commercial insurance coverage and are recommended by their physicians. It enables eligible patients to receive their therapy with Sandostatin LAR Depot every 4 weeks by trained registered nurses in locations convenient to the patient.
To be eligible, patients must be:
- Receiving Sandostatin LAR Depot
- Recommended by their physician
- Covered by commercial insurance. The program is not available for patients insured by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state program
- Patients cannot reside in Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, or Rhode Island
MAP does not replace your doctor’s care; you should still go to your regular doctor for checkups. MAP allows you to receive your injections at a time and location convenient for you. If you are new to Sandostatin LAR Depot, your first dose must be received in your doctor’s office.
To learn more about MAP, call 1-800-282-7630.
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 are not currently taking Sandostatin® (octreotide acetate) Immediate-Release Injection (the self-administered formulation) and think that Sandostatin® LAR Depot (octreotide acetate) for injectable suspension 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 and whether you are experiencing side effects. This will help your doctor determine the appropriate dose of Sandostatin LAR Depot.
If you miss your 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 are eligible for the Mobile Administration Program (MAP).
Sandostatin LAR Depot Safety and Side Effects
As with immediate-release Sandostatin Injection, the most frequently reported adverse events with Sandostatin LAR Depot were gallbladder disorders (62%), digestive disorders (14%-38%), and injection-site pain (20%-50%). Low blood sugar (4%), high blood sugar (27%), slow heart rate (19%), nerve signal abnormalities (9%), and irregular heartbeats (3%) have been reported.
See the full Prescribing Information for Sandostatin Immediate-Release Injection and the full Prescribing Information for Sandostatin LAR Depot.
Sandostatin 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 are on Sandostatin, please speak with your doctor to make sure you are taking the appropriate amount of your other medications. There may be other medications that interact with Sandostatin, so please speak to your 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.
I purchased Sandostatin LAR Depot from the pharmacy for administration by my doctor (or MAP nurse). How long can it remain unrefrigerated?
Sandostatin LAR Depot should remain refrigerated between 36ºF to 46ºF prior to administration. It should also be protected from light until the time of use. Sandostatin LAR Depot should remain at room temperature for at least 30 to 60 minutes before your health care professional prepares the drug suspension for administration. If the injection is not prepared/not used, you can rerefrigerate, but only within 24 hours of initially removing it from the refrigerator. For answers to specific questions about the storage of Sandostatin LAR Depot, call 1-888-NOW-NOVA1-888-NOW-NOVA (1-888-669-6682).
Financial Support and Resources
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 the Patient Assistance Now Oncology Hotline (1-800-282-7630) to be connected to a reimbursement specialist. Specialists are available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 8 PM ET. A specialist will help you find out more about your health plan's coverage for Sandostatin LAR Depot and whether you may be eligible for financial assistance. You can also visit our website at: Patient.NovartisOncology.com
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 the Patient Assistance Now Oncology Hotline (1-800-282-7630) to be connected to a Sandostatin LAR Depot reimbursement specialist. Reimbursement specialists are available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 8 PM ET. If a specialist is unavailable at the time of your call, you will be asked to leave your name and telephone number. All calls are returned within 1 business day.
You can also visit our website at: Patient.NovartisOncology.com
Novartis is committed to providing access to the treatments you need. With the Novartis Oncology Universal Co-pay Card, eligible, commercially insured patients may pay no more than $25 per Sandostatin LAR Depot prescription. To find out if you are eligible, visit CoPay.NovartisOncology.com or call 1-877-577-7756.
Through the Novartis Patient Assistance Fund, Inc. (NPAF), Novartis provides assistance to patients experiencing financial hardship or who have limited or no prescription coverage for their medicines. To learn more, call NPAF at 1-800-277-2254 or visit PAP.Novartis.com.
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.
These organizations and websites are independently operated and are not managed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Novartis assumes no responsibility for any information they may provide.
Get carcinoid syndrome resources and support group information.
RealSupport™ is an information and support program specifically designed to help patients diagnosed with severe diarrhea and flushing associated with carcinoid syndrome access the materials and tools they need to help manage their symptoms.