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Treatment Endocrinology


The principal treatment for acromegaly is transsphenoidal surgery to remove the pituitary tumor. Because the condition can develop very slowly, tumors are often large and can invade surrounding tissue by the time symptoms emerge. If the tumor has spread beyond the pituitary gland, radiation therapy or medication may be part of the treatment.

Medication is prescribed to normalize growth hormone levels. The drug octreotide inhibits growth hormone release. Long-term treatment can result in normal levels of growth hormone and IGF-1 in more than half of patients with the condition. A newer drug, called pegvisomant, binds to growth hormone receptors and can normalize IGF-1 levels in 90 percent of patients. A class of drugs called dopamine agonists has also been used, although they normalize growth hormone levels in just 15 to 30 percent of patients.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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