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Is Sandostatin a chemotherapy drug?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 22, 2021.

Official answer


Sandostatin is not a chemotherapy drug, it is a man-made hormone that has similar effects to somatostatin, a hormone produced naturally in our bodies by our hypothalamus and some other tissues such as the pancreas and the gastrointestinal tract. Sandostatin works by inhibiting the release of several other hormones and substances, such as growth hormone from the anterior pituitary, insulin and glucagon from the pancreas, gastrointestinal hormones, and reducing gastric acid and pancreatic secretion.

Sandostatin may be used to treat acromegaly (a condition where too much growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland causing abnormal growth of the hands, feet, and face). It may also be used to relieve symptoms associated with carcinoid tumors, for example:

  • Sandostatin can suppress or inhibit severe diarrhea and flushing associated with metastatic carcinoid tumors are a type of malignant (cancerous) neuroendocrine tumor that has already spread to other places throughout the body, such as the liver. Sandostatin works directly at the site of the metastatic carcinoid tumors to help decrease the production of hormones that lead to severe diarrhea and flushing of carcinoid syndrome
  • Sandostatin relieves profuse watery diarrhea associated with vasoactive intestinal peptide tumors (VIPomas) by reducing the secretion of gastrointestinal hormones and reducing gastric acid and pancreatic secretion.
  • Sandostatin (octreotide acetate) Updated 08/2021. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

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