Octreotide (Sandostatin)

Octreotide (Sandostatin) is an approved drug that is used to treat two rare forms of intestinal cancer. It is a synthetic peptide, which mimics the action of the naturally occurring hormone somatostatin.

Octreotide enhances the absorption of water and electrolytes in the intestines by reducing the activity of the gut wall.1 It can reduce the number and volume of bowel movements in people with HIV-related diarrhoea that is unresponsive to other treatments.2 It has also shown some promise as an experimental treatment for cryptosporidiosis.3 4 5 6

Octreotide comes as a liquid for injection into a vein or under the skin. Side-effects can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and bloating, flatulence and liver abnormalities. These may be reduced by injecting the drug between meals. Cases of inflammation of the pancreas have also been reported in patients taking octreotide.7

Octreotide is manufactured by Sandoz.


  1. Neild PJ et al. Effect of octreotide on small intestinal motility in HIV-infected patients with chronic refractory diarrhea. Dig Dis Sci 46: 2636-2642, 2001
  2. Garcia Compean D et al. Octreotide therapy of large-volume refractory AIDS-associated diarrhea: a randomized controlled trial. AIDS 8: 1563-1567, 1994
  3. Moroni M et al. Treatment of AIDS-related refractory diarrhoea with octreotide. Digestion 54: S30-S32, 1993
  4. Liberti A et al. Octreotide treatment in secretory and cryptosporidial diarrhea in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS): clinical evaluation. J Chemother 4: 303-305, 1992
  5. Romeu et al. Efficacy of octreotide in the management of chronic diarrhoea in AIDS. AIDS 5: 1495-1499, 1991
  6. Simon D et al. Resolution of Cryptosporidium infection in an AIDS patient after improvement of nutritional and immune status with octreotide. Am J Gastroenterol 86: 615-618, 1991
  7. Gradon JD et al. Octreotide-induced acute pancreatitis in a patient with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. South Med J 84: 1410-1411, 1991

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.