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aminoglutethimide

Generic Name: aminoglutethimide (ah mee no glue TEH tha mide)
Brand Name: Cytadren

What is aminoglutethimide?

Aminoglutethimide is an anti-hormone medication. Aminoglutethimide interferes with the body's production of certain hormones.

Aminoglutethimide is used in the treatment of conditions which cause the body to make too much of certain hormones (Cushing's syndrome).

Aminoglutethimide may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about aminoglutethimide?

Aminoglutethimide should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced with its use and hazards. Treatment should usually begin in a hospital.

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Aminoglutethimide may cause drowsiness and dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase the effects of aminoglutethimide.

Aminoglutethimide may stop your body from responding to conditions of stress, such as surgery, injury, or sudden illness. Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects from treatment with aminoglutethimide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking aminoglutethimide?

Do not use aminoglutethimide without first talking to your doctor if you have recently had:

  • a serious injury;

  • surgery; or

  • a serious illness.

You may not be able to use aminoglutethimide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

Aminoglutethimide is in the FDA pregnancy category D. This means that it is known to be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use aminoglutethimide without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Discuss with your doctor the appropriate use of birth control during treatment.

It is not known whether aminoglutethimide passes into breast milk. Do not take aminoglutethimide without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

How should I use aminoglutethimide?

Aminoglutethimide should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider experienced with its use and hazards. Treatment should usually begin in a hospital.

Take each oral dose with a full glass of water.

Your doctor will determine the correct amount and frequency of treatment with aminoglutethimide depending upon your condition. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding the treatment schedule.

Your doctor will probably want you to have regularly scheduled blood tests and other medical evaluations during treatment with aminoglutethimide to monitor progress and side effects.

Store aminoglutethimide at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the dose you missed and take only the next dose as directed. Do not take a double dose. A double dose of this medication could be dangerous.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of a aminoglutethimide overdose may include decreased breathing, dizziness, fainting, sleepiness, poor coordination, weakness, coma, nausea, and vomiting.

What should I avoid while using aminoglutethimide?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Aminoglutethimide may cause drowsiness and dizziness. If you experience drowsiness or dizziness, avoid these activities.

Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase the effects of aminoglutethimide.

Aminoglutethimide side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects from aminoglutethimide, contact your doctor immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (including difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or

  • fainting or dizziness, especially when standing up.

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue taking aminoglutethimide and talk to your doctor if you experience:

  • dizziness, drowsiness, poor coordination, or weakness;

  • nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite;

  • headache; or

  • rash and itching.

Other side effects have also been reported. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that occurs during treatment with aminoglutethimide.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Aminoglutethimide dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Cushing's Syndrome:

250 mg orally every 6 hours. Adrenocortical response should be monitored carefully, preferably in a hospital setting, while initiating therapy. If cortical suppression is inadequate, the dose may be titrated in 250 mg increments every 1 to 2 weeks to a maximum daily dose of 2 g.

Usual Adult Dose for Breast Cancer:

250 mg orally twice a day. The dose may be increased after 2 weeks to 250 mg orally 4 times a day based on clinical response and patient tolerance of the drug. The typical dosage range is 250 to 1000 mg/day. Aminoglutethimide is usually used concomitantly with either hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate in this clinical setting to prevent ACTH reflex phenomenon.

Usual Adult Dose for Prostate Cancer:

250 mg orally twice a day. The dose may be increased after 2 weeks to 250 mg orally 4 times a day based on clinical response and patient tolerance of the drug. The typical dosage range is 250 to 1000 mg/day. Aminoglutethimide is usually used concomitantly with either hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate in this clinical setting to prevent ACTH reflex phenomenon.

What other drugs will affect aminoglutethimide?

Before using aminoglutethimide, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • dexamethasone (Adrenocot, Dalalone, Decadron, Decaject, De-Sone, Dexacorten, Dexacort-LA, Dexamethasone Intensol, Dexasone, Dexone, Hexadrol, Medidex, Primethasone, Solurex, others); or

  • warfarin (Coumadin, others).

You may not be able to take aminoglutethimide, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the drugs listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with aminoglutethimide. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including herbal products, during treatment with aminoglutethimide.

Further information

  • Your healthcare provider may have additional information about aminoglutethimide that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Aminoglutethimide is available with a prescription under the brand name Cytadren. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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