The use of somatostatin analogues for the treatment of acromegaly is now well established. Recently long-acting preparations of octreotide and lanreotide have been introduced. In this study we have assessed the efficacy and tolerability of the long acting somatostatin analogue octreotide LAR in patients with acromegaly, and compared it with lanreotide SR. Five patients with active acromegaly were recruited; they were treated with lanreotide SR for 6 months and then, following a wash-out period, received octreotide LAR for 6 months. They were assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-months, by clinical score, GH and IGF1. Adverse effects were carefully monitored. Both treatments effectively reduced GH and IGF1 levels. Four of five patients achieved a mean GH level of < 2.5 ng/ml with both drugs; with octreotide LAR only, these patients also had GH < 1 ng/ml after oral glucose loading. The clinical symptoms score improved significantly with octreotide LAR, as did the ring size; the clinical score correlated significantly with GH. Blood glucose was not adversely affected. All patients experienced minor GI symptoms with lanreotide SR, but less frequently with octreotide LAR. Both drugs caused biliary stasis and had a tendency to form biliary sludge. Octreotide LAR proved effective for the treatment of acromegaly and was well tolerated. Octreotide LAR had some advantages over lanreotide SR, although the differences were not great.