Long-term effects of octreotide on pituitary gigantism: Its analgesic action on cluster headache

Fumio Otsuka, Satoshi Mizobuchi, Toshio Ogura, Kenji Sato, Masataka Yokoyama, Hirofumi Makino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We report the case of 19-year-old man with pituitary gigantism due to growth hormone-producing pituitary macroadenoma. The patient complained of recurrent headache and excessive growth spurt since age 15. Octreotide administration was initiated following transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy. Octreotide injection for 4 years efficaciously reduced the size of remnant adenoma as well as serum growth hormone levels. Notably, octreotide exhibited a potent analgesic effect on his intractable cluster headache that has continued even after reduction of the adenoma volume. The analgesic effect lasted 2 to 6 hours after each injection and no tachyphylaxis to octreotide appeared during 4-year treatment. To characterize the headache and the pain intensity, analgesic drugs including octreotide, lidocaine, morphine and thiopental were tested using a visual analogue scale (VAS) evaluation, with the result that octreotide exhibited a prompt and complete disappearance of the headache. Headache relief was in part reproduced by morphine injection (56% reduction) but not by lidocaine or thiopental. The present case suggests that the intractable headache associated with pituitary gigantism is possibly related to the endogenous opioid system. Thus, the headache control by octreotide is clinically helpful for continuation of the self-injection regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-452
Number of pages4
JournalEndocrine journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004


  • Headache
  • Octreotide
  • Opioid receptor
  • Pituitary gigantism
  • Visual analogue scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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