Medically reviewed on Nov 15, 2018
(peg VI soe mant)
Excipient information presented when available (limited, particularly for generics); consult specific product labeling.
Solution Reconstituted, Subcutaneous:
Somavert: 10 mg (1 ea); 15 mg (1 ea); 20 mg (1 ea); 25 mg (1 ea); 30 mg (1 ea)
Brand Names: U.S.
- Growth Hormone Receptor Antagonist
An analogue of human growth hormone, pegvisomant selectively binds to growth hormone (GH) receptors, blocking the binding of endogenous GH, leading to decreased serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) and other GH-responsive proteins.
Time to Peak
Serum: 33 to 77 hours
~60 to 138 hours (~2.5 to 6 days)
Use: Labeled Indications
Acromegaly: Treatment of acromegaly in patients who have had an inadequate response to surgery or radiation therapy, or for whom these therapies are not appropriate.
The Endocrine Society suggests use of pegvisomant as an initial option for adjuvant therapy in patients with persistent, significant disease (ie, moderate to severe signs/symptoms of growth hormone excess and without local mass effects) postoperatively. Alternative agents are suggested for patients with mild disease postoperatively (Endocrine Society [Katznelson 2014]).
There are no contraindications listed in the US manufacturer's labeling.
Canadian labeling: Hypersensitivity to pegvisomant and any component of the formulation.
Acromegaly: SubQ: Initial loading dose: 40 mg; maintenance dose: 10 mg once daily beginning the day after the initial loading dose; doses may be adjusted by 5 mg increments or decrements in 4- to 6-week intervals based on IGF-I concentrations (recommended dosing range: 10 to 30 mg/day; maximum dose: 30 mg/day). Note: If clinical and/or biochemical response is inadequate at maximum dosage consider combination therapy with a somatostatin analog or a dopamine agonist (Endocrine Society [Katznelson 2014]).
Refer to adult dosing; use with caution.
Dosing: Renal Impairment
There are no dosage adjustments provided in the manufacturer’s labeling (has not been studied).
Dosing: Hepatic Impairment
At initiation of therapy:
Normal liver function test (LFT): Initiate therapy; monitor LFT monthly for first 6 months, quarterly for next 6 months, then biannually the following year.
Baseline LFT elevated but ≤3 x ULN: May initiate therapy with monthly evaluation of LFT for 1 year then biannually the following year.
Baseline LFT >3 times ULN: Do not initiate treatment without comprehensive work-up to determine cause; monitor closely if treatment is started.
With ongoing therapy:
LFT ≥3 x but <5 x ULN without signs/symptoms of hepatitis, hepatic injury, or increase in total bilirubin: Continue treatment, but monitor LFT weekly for further increases; perform comprehensive hepatic work-up to rule out alternative cause of hepatic dysfunction
LFT ≥5 x ULN or transaminase ≥3 x ULN associated with any increase in total bilirubin (with or without signs/symptoms of hepatitis or other liver injury): Discontinue immediately and perform comprehensive hepatic work-up. If LFTs return to normal, may cautiously consider restarting therapy with frequent LFT monitoring.
Signs or symptoms of hepatitis or hepatic injury: Perform comprehensive hepatic work-up; discontinue permanently if liver injury is confirmed.
Remove vial and diluent from refrigerator approximately 10 minutes prior to administration. Reconstitute each vial with 1 mL diluent. Aim diluent along glass wall of vial, do not inject diluent directly on powder. Gently swirl solution in order to dissolve powder; do not invert the vial or shake the solution. After reconstitution, each vial will contain 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 mg/mL of pegvisomant. Use only 1 dose per vial.
SubQ: For SubQ administration only; to minimize the risk for lipohypertrophy, rotate injection site daily; if 2 injections are required, select a different injection site for second injection; may administer in upper arm, upper thigh, abdomen, or buttocks; do not rub injection site. Do not use on area of skin with rash, lumps, bruising or on broken skin. The manufacturer recommends the initial dose be administered under the supervision of prescribing healthcare provider.
Store intact vials under refrigeration at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F); protect from freezing. Following reconstitution, use within 6 hours. Do not use reconstituted solution if cloudy or foaming.
Blood Glucose Lowering Agents: Pegvisomant may enhance the hypoglycemic effect of Blood Glucose Lowering Agents. Monitor therapy
Macimorelin: Growth Hormone Products may diminish the diagnostic effect of Macimorelin. Avoid combination
Opioid Analgesics: May diminish the therapeutic effect of Pegvisomant. Monitor therapy
Pegloticase: May diminish the therapeutic effect of PEGylated Drug Products. Monitor therapy
Pegvaliase-pqpz: PEGylated Drug Products may enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Pegvaliase-pqpz. Specifically, the risk of anaphylaxis or hypersensitivity reactions may be increased. Monitor therapy
Somatostatin Analogs: May enhance the adverse/toxic effect of Pegvisomant. Specifically, this combination may increase the risk for significant elevations of liver enzymes. Monitor therapy
Interferes with measurement of serum GH concentrations by available GH assays; commercially available GH assays will overestimate true GH levels
Central nervous system: Pain (8% to 14%)
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea (≤14%), nausea (≤14%)
Hepatic: Abnormal hepatic function tests (4% to 12%; >10 x ULN: ≤1%; ≤15 times ULN: <2%)
Immunologic: Antibody development (17%; non-neutralizing anti-GH antibodies; relevance unknown)
Infection: Infection (≤23%)
Local: Injection site reaction (4% to 11%)
Respiratory: Flu-like symptoms (4% to 12%)
1% to 10%:
Cardiovascular: Chest pain (≤8%), hypertension (≤8%), peripheral edema (≤8%)
Central nervous system: Dizziness (≤8%), paresthesia (≤7%)
Endocrine & metabolic: Lipohypertrophy (1%)
Neuromuscular & skeletal: Back pain (≤8%)
Respiratory: Sinusitis (≤8%)
Miscellaneous: Accidental injury (≤8%)
<1%, postmarketing, and/or case reports: Anaphylactoid reaction, anaphylaxis, angioedema, erythema, hypersensitivity reaction, increased serum alkaline phosphatase, laryngospasm, pruritus, skin rash, tumor growth, urticaria, weight gain
Concerns related to adverse effects:
• Hepatic effects: May increase liver function tests; transient but marked elevations (≤15 x upper limit of normal [ULN]) in transaminase levels, usually without accompanying hyperbilirubinemia, have been reported with use; transaminase levels often normalized following interruption of therapy; use with caution in patients with hepatic impairment; monitor hepatic function periodically during therapy; discontinue use immediately with confirmed liver injury.
• Hypersensitivity: Systemic hypersensitivity reactions (eg, anaphylactic reactions, angioedema, laryngospasm, rash, erythema, pruritus, urticaria) have been reported; re-challenge with pegvisomant has been successful in some patients. Monitor closely for signs/symptoms of hypersensitivity if attempting re-initiation of therapy.
• Lipohypertrophy: May occur following administration; daily rotation of injection site may prevent or reduce incidence.
• Diabetes: May improve glucose tolerance in some patients. Monitor closely to prevent hypoglycemia; dosage adjustments of antidiabetic therapy may be necessary.
• Administration: The manufacturer recommends the initial dose be administered under the supervision of prescribing health care provider.
• Monitoring: Interferes with commercially available GH assays; do not make dose adjustments based on serum GH concentrations reported from assays; use insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels to adjust therapy.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess GH-secreting tumor size 6 and 12 months after initiation of therapy then yearly based on tumor size (Endocrine Society [Katznelson 2014]), serum glucose in diabetic patients, serum IGF-I (every 4 to 6 weeks after initial dose and dosage change, every 6 months when normalized, and when multiple injections are converted to single daily injections); signs/symptoms of hepatic dysfunction
Liver function tests (ALT, AST, total bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase levels):
Normal: Monthly for first 6 months, quarterly for next 6 months, biannually for the next year
Elevated, but ≤3 x ULN: Monitor monthly for at least 1 year, then biannually for the next year
>3 x ULN: Withhold treatment; perform comprehensive liver function evaluation (rule out cholelithiasis or choledocholithiasis); if appropriate for treatment, closely monitor hepatic function and clinical status.
≥3 x but <5 x ULN without signs/symptoms of hepatitis, hepatic injury or increase in total bilirubin: Monitor weekly for further increases; perform comprehensive hepatic work-up to rule out alternative cause of dysfunction
≥5 x ULN or transaminase ≥3 x ULN associated with any increase in total bilirubin (with or without signs/symptoms of hepatitis or other liver injury): Discontinue treatment immediately; perform comprehensive hepatic work-up. If hepatic function normalizes (regardless of source of dysfunction) may consider resuming therapy with frequent monitoring of hepatic function
Pregnancy Risk Factor
Data concerning use in pregnancy is limited (Brian 2007; Qureshi 2006).
Use of pegvisomant during pregnancy is not recommended. If treatment for acromegaly is required during pregnancy for worsening symptoms (eg, headaches or evidence of tumor growth), alternative agents are recommended. Monitoring of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and/or growth hormone (GH) is not recommended during pregnancy, as an active placental GH variant present in maternal blood limits the usefulness of the results (Endocrine Society [Katznelson 2014]).
Because normalization of IGF-1 and GH may restore fertility in women with acromegaly, women of childbearing potential should use adequate contraception during treatment. The Endocrine Society suggests discontinuing pegvisomant approximately 2 months before attempts to conceive; short-acting octreotide may be used until conception if needed (Endocrine Society [Katznelson 2014]).
• Discuss specific use of drug and side effects with patient as it relates to treatment. (HCAHPS: During this hospital stay, were you given any medicine that you had not taken before? Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff tell you what the medicine was for? How often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand?)
• Patient may experience diarrhea, common cold symptoms, injection site irritation, flu-like symptoms, back pain, nausea, rhinorrhea, or rhinitis. Have patient report immediately to prescriber signs of liver problems (dark urine, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, light-colored stools, vomiting, or jaundice), dizziness, passing out, angina, severe headache, bruising, bleeding, swelling of arms or legs, or skin changes (HCAHPS).
• Educate patient about signs of a significant reaction (eg, wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat). Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all side effects. Patient should consult prescriber for additional questions.
Intended Use and Disclaimer: Should not be printed and given to patients. This information is intended to serve as a concise initial reference for health care professionals to use when discussing medications with a patient. You must ultimately rely on your own discretion, experience, and judgment in diagnosing, treating, and advising patients.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about pegvisomant
- Pegvisomant Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- En Español
- 1 Review
- Drug class: growth hormone receptor blockers
Other brands: Somavert