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pegvisomant

Generic Name: pegvisomant (peg VIH so mant)
Brand Name: Somavert

What is pegvisomant?

Pegvisomant is a man-made protein that is similar to human growth hormone. Pegvisomant binds to the same receptor in the body as growth hormone, and blocks the effects of growth hormone.

Pegvisomant is used to treat acromegaly (a growth disorder caused by too much growth hormone).

Pegvisomant is usually given after other medications, surgery, or radiation have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Pegvisomant may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about pegvisomant?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Slideshow: Need to Know: GERD and Heartburn

What should I discuss with my health care provider before using pegvisomant?

You should not use pegvisomant if you are allergic to it.

To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • diabetes (pegvisomant can lower your blood sugar);

  • liver disease;

  • a latex allergy; or

  • a tumor that secretes growth hormone.

This medicine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

It is not known whether pegvisomant passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Pegvisomant is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take pegvisomant?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Pegvisomant is injected under the skin. You may be shown how to use injections at home. Do not self-inject this medicine if you do not understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Pegvisomant is a powder medicine that must be mixed with a liquid (diluent) before using it. If you are using the injections at home, be sure you understand how to properly mix and store the medicine.

Do not shake the medication bottle or you may ruin the medicine. Prepare your dose only when you are ready to give an injection. Do not use if the medicine has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject pegvisomant. Use a different place each time you give an injection. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

Use pegvisomant regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Each single-use vial (bottle) of this medicine is for one use only. Throw away after one use, even if there is still some medicine left in it after injecting your dose.

Use a disposable needle and syringe only once. Follow any state or local laws about throwing away used needles and syringes. Use a puncture-proof "sharps" disposal container (ask your pharmacist where to get one and how to throw it away). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

You will need frequent blood tests to check your liver function.

Store the powder medicine in a refrigerator. Do not freeze.

After mixing pegvisomant powder with a diluent, store at room temperature and use within 6 hours after mixing.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include feeling very tired.

What should I avoid while taking pegvisomant?

Follow your doctor's instructions about any restrictions on food, beverages, or activity.

Pegvisomant side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; wheezing, difficult breathing; feeling like you might pass out; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using pegvisomant and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • thickening of the skin or a hard lump where you injected the medicine;

  • easy bruising; or

  • liver problems--nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • pain;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • nausea, diarrhea;

  • abnormal liver function tests; or

  • pain or irritation where the medicine was injected.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Pegvisomant dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Acromegaly:

Initial dose: 40 mg by subcutaneous injection.
Maintenance dose: 10 to 30 mg by subcutaneous injection daily.

What other drugs will affect pegvisomant?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • insulin or oral diabetes medication; or

  • narcotic medicine such as fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Lazanda, Onsolis), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), methadone, morphine, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), and many others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with pegvisomant, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about pegvisomant.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.02. Revision Date: 2015-01-27, 8:43:48 AM.

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