Acromegaly is a rare disease characterized by excess secretion of growth hormone (GH) and increased circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentrations. The disease is associated with increased morbidity and premature mortality, but these effects can be reduced if GH levels are decreased to <2.5 μg/l and IGF-1 levels are normalized. Therapy for acromegaly is targeted at decreasing GH and IGF-1 levels, ameliorating patients' symptoms and decreasing any local compressive effects of the pituitary adenoma. The therapeutic options for acromegaly include surgery, radiotherapy and medical therapies, such as dopamine agonists, somatostatin receptor ligands and the GH receptor antagonist pegvisomant. Medical therapy is currently most widely used as secondary treatment for persistent or recurrent acromegaly following noncurative surgery, although it is increasingly used as primary therapy. This Review provides an overview of current and future pharmacological therapies for patients with acromegaly.