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

What is Somavert?

Somavert (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.

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

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

Somavert may also be used for purposes not listed here.

Important information

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

Before using Somavert, tell your doctor if you have diabetes, liver disease, a latex allergy, or a tumor that secretes growth hormone.

To be sure Somavert is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, you may need blood tests and CT scans or other radiologic (x-ray) examinations during treatment. Visit your doctor regularly.

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Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially insulin or oral diabetes medication, or any narcotic medication.

Stop using Somavert and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, swelling, rapid weight gain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Before taking this medicine

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

To make sure you can safely use Somavert, tell your doctor if you have other medical conditions, especially:

  • diabetes;

  • liver disease;

  • a latex allergy; or

  • a tumor that secretes growth hormone.

FDA pregnancy category B. Somavert is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

It is not known whether pegvisomant passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to anyone under 18 years old without medical advice.

How should I take Somavert?

Use Somavert exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Use Somavert regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Somavert 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 fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of used needles and syringes.

Somavert 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 in a syringe only when you are ready to give yourself an injection. Do not use the medication if it has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your doctor for a new prescription.

Use a different place on your stomach, thigh, buttocks, or upper arm each time you give the Somavert injection. Your care provider will show you the best places on your body to inject the medication. Do not inject into the same place two times in a row.

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 only once. Throw away used needles in a puncture-proof container (ask your pharmacist where you can get one and how to dispose of it). Keep this container out of the reach of children and pets.

To be sure Somavert is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, you may need blood tests and CT scans or other radiologic (x-ray) examinations during treatment. Visit your doctor regularly.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Somavert.

Store Somavert in the refrigerator, do not freeze.

You may store mixed medicine at room temperature, but you must use it 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?

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

Somavert side effects

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

Stop using Somavert and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite;

  • swelling, rapid weight gain; or

  • itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious Somavert side effects may include:

  • pain;

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat;

  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

  • mild nausea, diarrhea;

  • changes in the shape or location of body fat; or

  • pain, swelling, burning, 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)

What other drugs will affect Somavert?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • insulin or oral diabetes medication; or

  • a narcotic medication such as codeine (Tylenol #3), fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic, Lazanda, Onsolis), hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, Vicoprofen), hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Palladone), methadone (Methadose, Dolophine), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Oramorph), oxycodone (OxyContin, Combunox, Roxicodone, Percocet), and many others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Somavert. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about Somavert.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Somavert 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 1996-2015 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.01. Revision Date: 2012-09-12, 6:28:36 PM.