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- has been used widely in the treatment of acute bleeding oesophageal varices
drug is generally given by infusion - has a half-life of 2-3 minutes
a meta-analysis has collated trials published in English in which somatostatin
or octreotide were compared with other vasoactive drugs (vasopressin or terlipressin),
slerotherapy or balloon tamponade - the pooled results showed that somatostatin
and octreotide were more effective than the other vasoactive drugs in the initial
control of acute bleeding but neither appeared to reduce mortality rates (1)
evidence suggests that the combination of somatostatin or octreotide and endoscopic
therapy is more effective than either alone in controlling an initial oesophageal
variceal bleed (2)
- a meta-analysis however suggested that the use of somatostatin in acute
bleeding oesophageal varices produced an effect that corresponded to one half
unit of blood saved per patient (3). The authors suggested that it is doubtful
whether this effect is worthwhile
PC. Somatostatin or octreotide for acute bleeding oesophageal varices (Cochrane
Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2000. Oxford: Update Software.
and Therapeutics Bulletin 2000; 38 (5): 37-40.
PC, Hrobjartsson A. Somatostatin analogues for acute bleeding oesophageal varices.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2005; (1):CD000193
Last reviewed 01/2018