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Understanding acromegaly


With acromegaly, the body makes too many hormones that affect growth. Usually, acromegaly is caused by a noncancerous tumor (an adenoma) that grows in the pituitary gland. The tumor causes too much growth hormone, or GH, to be released into the bloodstream.

As GH travels throughout the body, it tells the liver to make more hormone insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 works together with GH to help control the growth of many tissues in the body. In acromegaly, there is too much IGF-1 and GH, which causes abnormal growth of bones, cartilage, and other body tissues.

What are the common signs of acromegaly?

Signs and symptoms of acromegaly tend to happen slowly, so you and your family members may not notice them at first.

Common signs of acromegaly may include:



  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness


  • Headaches
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Enlarged brow or lower jaw, increased gap between teeth
  • Impaired vision
  • Enlarged lips, nose, and tongue
  • Sleep apnea (breaks in breathing during sleep)


  • Thickened, coarse, or oily skin
  • Excessive sweating or skin color
  • Increased skin tags

Extremities and joints

  • Swelling of the hands or feet (leading to bigger ring or shoe size)
  • Reduced joint mobility
  • Pain or stiffness in:
    • Elbows
    • Knees
    • Shoulders
    • Ankles
    • Wrists
    • Hips

Reproductive and sexual health

  • Abnormal period
  • Breast discharge
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in sex drive or desire

Think you may be experiencing acromegaly symptoms? Track them in the guide to discuss with your doctor.

Doctor discussion guide

How is acromegaly diagnosed?

The first steps a doctor typically takes toward diagnosing acromegaly are to record your complete medical history and conduct a thorough physical exam.

Based on the findings of your medical history and exam, your doctor may then recommend:

  • Blood tests to measure your GH and IGF-1 levels
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to find the pituitary tumor and see its size

Because acromegaly is often difficult to diagnose, some people may live with the condition for years before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

Know you’re not alone

Discover patient organizations where people with acromegaly share the latest information and support.

Acromegaly treatment goals

The goal of treatment for acromegaly is to reduce GH and IGF-1 levels to normal

Working with your doctor to find a treatment that’s best for you is very important in helping to manage your acromegaly. Although acromegaly cannot always be cured with surgery or radiotherapy, it can often be managed with medication. Your doctor may regularly evaluate your GH and IGF-1 levels and ask you about your symptoms related to acromegaly.


Do not take SOMATULINE DEPOT if you are allergic to lanreotide.

SOMATULINE DEPOT may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Gallstones
  • Changes to your blood sugar (high or low blood sugar),
  • Slow heart rate,
  • High blood pressure, and
  • Changes in thyroid function in acromegaly patients.

Tell your healthcare provider (HCP) if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Symptoms of gallstones may include sudden pain in your upper right stomach area (abdomen), sudden pain in your right shoulder or between your shoulder blades, yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes, fever with chills, and nausea.
  • Symptoms of high blood sugar may include increased thirst, increased appetite, nausea, weakness or tiredness, urinating more than normal, and fruity smelling breath.
  • Symptoms of low blood sugar may include dizziness or lightheadedness, sweating, confusion, headache, blurred vision, slurred speech, shakiness, fast heartbeat, irritability or mood changes, and hunger.
  • Symptoms of slow heart rate may include dizziness or lightheadedness, fainting or near-fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, confusion or memory problems, and weakness or extreme tiredness.
  • SOMATULINE DEPOT can cause the thyroid gland to not make enough thyroid hormone in people with acromegaly. Symptoms of low thyroid levels may include fatigue, weight gain, puffy face, being cold all the time, constipation, dry skin, thinning or dry hair, decreased sweating, and depression.

The most common side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT in people with acromegaly include diarrhea; stomach (abdominal) pain; nausea; and pain, itching, or a lump at the injection site.

SOMATULINE DEPOT may cause dizziness. If this happens, do not drive a car or operate machinery.

Tell your HCP right away if you have signs of an allergic reaction after receiving SOMATULINE DEPOT, including swelling of your face, lips or tongue; breathing problems; fainting, dizziness or feeling lightheaded (low blood pressure); itching; skin flushing or redness; rash; or hives.

Before taking SOMATULINE DEPOT, tell your HCP about all your medical conditions including if you: 
have diabetes; have gallbladder, heart, thyroid, kidney or liver problems; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; or are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SOMATULINE DEPOT will harm your unborn baby or pass into breast milk. You should not breastfeed if you receive SOMATULINE DEPOT and for 6 months after your last dose. SOMATULINE DEPOT may affect your ability to become pregnant.

Tell your HCP about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. SOMATULINE DEPOT and other medicines may affect each other, causing side effects. SOMATULINE DEPOT may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how SOMATULINE DEPOT works. Your dose of SOMATULINE DEPOT or your other medications may need to be changed. If you have diabetes, your HCP may change your dose of diabetes medication when you first start receiving SOMATULINE DEPOT or if your dose of SOMATULINE DEPOT is changed.

Especially tell your HCP if you take:

  • Insulin or other diabetes medicines,
  • A cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, or Sandimmune), or
  • Medicines that lower your heart rate, such as beta blockers.

Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your HCP when you get a new medicine.

Tell your HCP if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of SOMATULINE DEPOT. For more information, ask your HCP.

What is SOMATULINE® DEPOT (lanreotide) Injection?

SOMATULINE DEPOT is a prescription medicine used in adults for the long-term treatment of people with acromegaly when surgery or radiotherapy have not worked well enough or a patient is unable to have surgery or radiotherapy.

It is not known if SOMATULINE DEPOT is safe and effective in children.

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. at 1-855-463-5127 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program.

Please click here for the full Prescribing Information and Patient Information.