Lanreotide (Somatuline)

Lanreotide (also known as Somatuline) is a man made (synthetic) version of the natural hormone somatostatin. You pronounce it as lan-ree-oh-tide. It is also known as somatuline.

You might have it as a treatment:

  • to control the growth of some advanced neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) of the intestine and pancreas

  • for carcinoid syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome is a group of symptoms that some people get when they have a neuroendocrine tumour Open a glossary item (NET). The symptoms happen when the NET makes large amounts of hormones. It is more common in people with a NET that has spread to the liver.

How does lanreotide work?

Somatostatin is a hormone Open a glossary item made naturally in the body. It slows down or stops the production of a number of hormones such as insulin and gut hormones. It also controls the emptying of the stomach and bowel. 

Lanreotide is a synthetic version of somatostatin (a somatostatin analogue). It helps to control the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome and slow down the growth of the cancer.

Some of the symptoms you may have with carcinoid syndrome include flushing of the skin, diarrhoea, and tummy (abdominal) pain.

How do you have lanreotide?

You have lanreotide as an injection under the skin (subcutaneous) into your bottom or upper thigh.

Your nurse usually gives you the injections or they might show you how to do this yourself. They can also show a family member or friend how to give you the injections.

It is important that you change which side you have your injection in each time, to stop the area getting sore.

How often do you have lanreotide?

You usually start having lanreotide injections every 4 weeks. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor might change the amount (dose) or length of time between your injections. 

If you are having lanreotide to control the growth of your NET, you continue this for as long as it is working, and the side effects aren’t too bad.


You have blood tests before and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

What are the side effects of lanreotide?

Side effects can vary from person to person. They also depend on what other treatment you are having. 

When to contact your team

Your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist will go through the possible side effects. They will monitor you closely during treatment and check how you are at your appointments. Contact your advice line as soon as possible if:

  • you have severe side effects 

  • your side effects aren’t getting any better

  • your side effects are getting worse

Early treatment can help manage side effects better.

We haven't listed all the side effects here. Remember it is very unlikely that you will have all of these side effects, but you might have some of them at the same time.

Common side effects

These side effects happen in more than 10 in 100 people (more than 10%). You might have one or more of them. They include:


Contact your advice line if you have diarrhoea. For example, in one day you have 2 or more loose bowel movements than usual. If you have a stoma, you might have more output than normal. Your doctor may give you anti diarrhoea medicine to take home with you after treatment.

Try to eat small meals and snacks regularly. It’s best to try to have a healthy balanced diet if you can. You don’t necessarily need to stop eating foods that contain fibre. But if your diet is normally very high in fibre, it might help to cut back on high fibre foods such as beans, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, bran and raw vegetables. 

Drink plenty to try and replace the fluid lost. Aim for 8 to 10 glasses per day.

Tummy (abdominal) pain

This drug can cause tummy pain, or less often you might feel bloated and uncomfortable. Tell your healthcare team if you have this. They can check the cause and give you medicine to help.


Gallstones are hard lumps, like little rocks that form in the gallbladder. In most cases, they don’t cause symptoms and you don’t need to have treatment unless you have:

  • a high temperature
  • severe and sudden tummy (abdominal) pain
  • yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

Occasional side effects

These side effects happen in between 1 and 10 out of every 100 people (between 1 and 10%). You might have one or more of them. They include:

  • weight loss

  • weakness

  • a slow heartbeat

  • loss of appetite

  • poo (stool) that floats, looks pale and has a bad smell, or more rarely your poo may be a different colour

  • dizziness, tiredness and headaches, do not drive or operate machinery if you have any of these particular side effects

  • pain in your muscles and bones

  • hair loss or slower growth of hair on your body

  • problems with the injection site such as pain, hard skin and itching

  • liver changes that are unlikely to cause you problems

  • changes in blood sugar levels

  • feeling or being sick

  • constipation

  • heartburn and indigestion

  • wind (flatulence)

  • increase in the size of the tubes between your liver and the gallbladder (the bile ducts) which can cause jaundice, feeling sick and high temperature

Rare side effects

This side effects happens in fewer than 1 in 100 people (fewer than 1%). You might have one or more of them. They include:

  • hot flushes

  • difficulty sleeping

  • changes in the levels of minerals in your body

Other side effects

Some people may have an allergic reaction, but this is rare. There isn't enough information to know how often this might happen.

Allergic reaction

This can cause a rash, shortness of breath, redness or swelling of the face, and dizziness. Some allergic reactions can be life-threatening.

Alert your nurse or doctor straight away if you notice any of these symptoms and you are in the hospital or call 999 (emergency services) if you are at home.

Coping with side effects

We have more information about side effects and tips on how to cope with them.

What else do I need to know?

Other medicines, foods and drinks

Cancer drugs can interact with medicines, herbal products, and some food and drinks. We are unable to list all the possible interactions that may happen. An example is grapefruit or grapefruit juice which can increase the side effects of certain drugs.

Tell your healthcare team about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies. Also let them know about any other medical conditions or allergies you may have.

Loss of fertility

It is not known whether this treatment affects fertility Open a glossary item in people. Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you may want to have a baby in the future.

Contraception and pregnancy

This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to become pregnant or get someone pregnant while you're having treatment and for a few months afterwards.

Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment. Let them know straight away if you or your partner become pregnant while having treatment.


It is not known whether this drug comes through into the breast milk. Doctors usually advise that you don’t breastfeed during this treatment.

Treatment for other conditions

If you are having tests or treatment for anything else, always mention your cancer treatment. For example, if you are visiting your dentist.

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment and possible side effects go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website. You can find the patient information leaflet on this website.

You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

  • Electronic Medicines Compendium
    Accessed March 2024

  • Lanreotide
    British National Formulary
    Accessed March 2024

  • Consensus report on the use of somatostatin analogs for the management of neuroendocrine tumors of the gastroenteropancreatic system 
    K Oberg and others 
    Annals of Oncology, 2004. Volume 15. Pages 966-973 

  • Scottish Neuroendocrine Tumour Group - Consensus Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Neuroendocrine Tumours​
    NHS Scotland, 2015 (updated July 2021)

  • Somatostatin analogues in the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors: past, present and future
    A Stueven and others 
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2019. Volume 20, 3049 

Last reviewed: 
18 Mar 2024
Next review due: 
18 Mar 2027

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