Somatostatin analogues for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Somatostatin analogues (SSAs) are drugs that treat the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. They can help reduce flushing and diarrhoea, and can slow down the growth of tumours.

What are somatostatin analogues?

Somatostatin analogues are a type of drug that works by stopping the body making too many hormones. You may have this treatment to:

  • treat the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome, such as facial flushing and diarrhoea – these can happen if a neuroendocrine tumour releases certain types of hormones
  • control the growth of a neuroendocrine tumour (NET).

Octreotide and lanreotide

The most commonly used somatostatin analogues are:

  • octreotide (Sandostatin®, Sandostatin Lar®, Olatuton®)
  • lanreotide (Somatuline® LA, Somatuline Autogel®).

These drugs are given as an injection. How often you have your injection will depend on how your symptoms respond to the treatment. Most people will have the injection every 28 days. The injections are given under the skin (subcutaneously) or into a muscle.

These injections may be given in the hospital to begin with. Then you may be able to have them at home. Sometimes the nurse can show you, or a relative or friend, how to do the injections. This depends on the type of injections you are given.

Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can tell you more about what to expect from octreotide and lanreotide, and the side effects you might have.


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