Hyperglucagonemia (Glucagonoma Syndrome) Medication

Updated: Feb 18, 2019
  • Author: George T Griffing, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.


Somatostatin analogues

Class Summary

Octreotide inhibits the secretion and action of glucagon.

Octreotide acetate (Sandostatin)

Long-acting, cyclic somatostatin analogue that has a half-life of about 2-3 h, with a biologic effect of 1 mo. Short-acting somatostatin must be injected bid-tid to maintain continuous 24-h activity. Both bind with high affinity to somatostatin receptors. Octreotide inhibits the release of GH, glucagon, insulin, gastrin, 5-HT, VIP, secretin, motilin, and pancreatic polypeptide. It suppresses the secretion of TSH and leads to a decreased response of LH to GnRH stimulation.

Octreotide is currently approved for use in acromegaly, carcinoid syndrome, VIPomas, congenital hyperinsulinism (nesidioblastosis), and the treatment of hyperglucagonemia in glucagonoma syndrome. Worsening of diabetes is possible because octreotide also may inhibit insulin release.