Somavert (pegvisomant) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat acromegaly. The drug is given once daily as a subcutaneous injection by you or your caregiver.

Somavert is used to treat acromegaly in adults. It may be prescribed if surgery or radiation hasn’t worked well enough or if those treatments aren’t an option.

The active ingredient in Somavert is pegvisomant. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) Somavert belongs to a group of drugs called growth hormone receptor antagonists.

This article describes the dosage of Somavert, as well as its strengths and how to use it. To learn more about Somavert, see this in-depth article.

The table below highlights the basics of Somavert’s dosage. All dosages are listed in milligrams (mg).

First dose (loading dose)Recommended maintenance dosageMaximum maintenance dosage
40 mg 10–30 mg once daily30 mg once daily

What is Somavert’s form?

Somavert is available as a powder in a single-dose vial. It comes with a vial of sterile water. The powder and sterile water are mixed together to make a liquid solution that’s given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under your skin).

What strengths does Somavert come in?

Somavert comes in five strengths:

  • 10 mg
  • 15 mg
  • 20 mg
  • 25 mg
  • 30 mg

What are the usual dosages of Somavert?

The information below describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes. They’ll likely adjust your dosage over time to reach the right amount for you.

Dosage for acromegaly

Typically, the first dose of Somavert is a loading dose of 40 mg. (A loading dose is a higher dose of medication that helps the drug start working quickly.) A healthcare professional will administer the loading dose at your doctor’s office. And they’ll show you or a caregiver how to prepare and give Somavert injections at home.

The next day, you’ll start giving yourself one 10-mg injection of Somavert daily.

Then, every 4 to 6 weeks while you’re using Somavert, your doctor will likely order a blood test to check your level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a hormone that works with growth hormone to regulate the growth and development of the body. If your IGF-1 level is too high, your doctor may increase your dose of Somavert. If your IGF-1 level is too low, they may reduce your dose.

Below is further information on Somavert dosage:

  • The recommended maintenance (ongoing) dosage of Somavert is 10 to 30 mg once daily. The maximum dose is 30 mg.
  • Somavert is usually given as one injection per dose. For example, if your dose is 30 mg, you’ll use one 30-mg injection. It’s important to note that giving this dose as two 15-mg injections may not provide the same effect as one 30-mg injection. Because of this, using multiple injections may require extra blood tests, dose adjustments, or both. If you have questions about this, your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more.
  • In some cases, one dose of Somavert needs to be given using two injections. Your doctor will let you know if you need two injections. If you do, you’ll need two packages of Somavert to prepare two separate vials of the drug.
  • Somavert dosage isn’t adjusted based on your blood levels of growth hormone or the symptoms of your condition. Instead, your dosage of Somavert is adjusted over time depending on your blood levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

Is Somavert used long term?

Yes, Somavert is typically used as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely use it long term.

The dosage of Somavert you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:

  • your age
  • your level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), measured using blood tests

Your IGF-1 levels may be affected by certain medications. This, in turn, may affect your dosage. Be sure to tell your doctor about any other medications you take during Somavert treatment.

Somavert is available as a powder in a single-dose vial. It comes with a vial of sterile water. The powder and sterile water are mixed together to make a liquid solution. Then it’s given as a subcutaneous injection (an injection under your skin).

You’ll receive your first dose at your doctor’s office. After that, your doctor will teach you or a caregiver how to give the injections at home. Somavert is injected into the upper arm, upper thigh, buttocks, or abdomen.

For details on how to administer Somavert, you can explore the instructional video on the drugmaker’s website. You can also find written step-by-step instructions in the Patient Information section of Somavert’s prescribing information.

Keep in mind that Somavert doesn’t come with needles or syringes. You can get them at a pharmacy. Your doctor or pharmacist can provide details about the size and type you’ll need.

For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Somavert, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Accessible drug containers and labels

Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:

  • have large print
  • use braille
  • feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio

Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.

If you miss a dose of Somavert, you should skip it and then take your next dose at its usual time. You can talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about a missed dose.

If you need help remembering to take your dose of Somavert on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.

Do not use more Somavert than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, using more than prescribed can lead to harmful effects.

What to do in case you use too much Somavert

Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve injected too much Somavert. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Somavert’s dosage.

Is Somavert’s dosage similar to the dosage of Somatuline Depot?

These medications are both given as injections under the skin, but their forms and dosing schedules are different. Compared with Somavert, Somatuline Depot injections are generally easier to prepare, and the doses are given less often.

Somavert is available as a powder in a single-dose vial. It comes with a vial of sterile water. The powder and sterile water are mixed to make a liquid solution. In contrast, Somatuline Depot comes as a liquid solution in prefilled syringes.

Somavert is given once daily. Somatuline Depot is given once every 4 weeks for the first 3 months. After that, it’s given every 4, 6, or 8 weeks.

To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.

How long does it take for Somavert to start working?

Somavert starts to work soon after your first dose. However, it will be 4 to 6 weeks before your doctor can check how well the medication is working by doing blood tests.

Throughout your Somavert treatment, your doctor will order these blood tests every 4 to 6 weeks. These tests measure the level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in your blood. The results of these tests tell your doctor how well Somavert is working. They also help your doctor determine any dose adjustments that may be needed.

If you have questions about what to expect from your Somavert treatment, talk with your doctor.

The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by Somavert’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends this drug, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.

Remember, you should not change your dosage of Somavert without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Somavert exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage.

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • Does the risk of side effects increase with a higher dose of Somavert?
  • Will my dosage of Somavert need to change if I take a pain medication short term?
  • How often will I need to get blood tests and liver function tests during Somavert treatment?

To learn more about Somavert, see these articles:

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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.