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Lysodren Side Effects

Generic name: mitotane

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Sep 18, 2022.

Note: This document contains side effect information about mitotane. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Lysodren.


Common side effects of Lysodren include: lethargy and vertigo. Continue reading for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

Applies to mitotane: oral tablet.


Oral route (Tablet)

In patients taking mitotane, adrenal crisis occurs in the setting of shock or severe trauma and response to shock is impaired. Administer hydrocortisone, monitor for escalating signs of shock and discontinue mitotane until recovery.

Serious side effects of Lysodren

Along with its needed effects, mitotane (the active ingredient contained in Lysodren) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking mitotane:

More common

Less common

  • Blood in the urine
  • blurred vision
  • double vision

Incidence not known

  • Bloating
  • chills
  • cloudy urine
  • cold sweats
  • confusion
  • dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • feeling of warmth
  • fever
  • frequent urination
  • headache
  • pelvic cramping, discomfort, pain, or heaviness
  • nervousness
  • painful urination
  • pounding in the ears
  • redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
  • slow or fast heartbeat
  • vaginal bleeding
  • vision changes
  • white area over the eye

Other side effects of Lysodren

Some side effects of mitotane may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • indigestion
  • passing of gas
  • sensation of spinning
  • sleepiness

Less common

  • Aching muscles
  • flushing or redness of the skin
  • muscle twitching

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to mitotane: oral tablet.


Very common (10% or more): Adrenal insufficiency, gynecomastia

Frequency not reported: Thyroid impairment, lowered protein-bound iodine (PBI)

Postmarketing reports: Growth retardation, hypothyroidism[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): CNS effects (up to 40%; primarily depression as manifested by lethargy and somnolence 25%, and dizziness or vertigo 15%), ataxia, paresthesia, sleepiness

Common (1% to 10%): Mental impairment, polyneuropathy, movement disorder, headache

Frequency not reported: Balance disorders, dysgeusia, memory defects, central vestibular syndrome, Parkinson's syndrome, encephalopathy

Postmarketing reports: Neuropsychological disturbance, dysarthria[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Prolonged bleeding time (up to 90%), leukopenia/neutropenia (up to 12%)

Common (1% to 10%): Anemia, thrombocytopenia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Elevated liver enzymes (gamma-GT, aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase)

Common (1% to 10%): Autoimmune hepatitis

Frequency not reported: Liver damage

Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): GI disturbances (up to 80%; anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), mucositis, epigastric discomfort

Frequency not reported: Salivary hypersecretion, dyspepsia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hypertension, orthostatic hypotension, flushing[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Skin toxicity/skin rash (up to 25%)[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Hematuria, hemorrhagic cystitis, albuminuria, proteinuria[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Increased plasma cholesterol/hypercholesterolemia, increased plasma triglycerides/hypertriglyceridemia

Postmarketing reports: Decreased blood uric acid/hypouricemia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Myasthenia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Blurred vision, diplopia, lens opacity, toxic retinopathy, visual impairment

Postmarketing reports: Maculopathy[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Asthenia

Frequency not reported: Generalized aching, hyperpyrexia, opportunistic mycosis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Confusion

Frequency not reported: Aggressiveness[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Lysodren (mitotane)." Bristol-Myers Squibb (2001):

Further information

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

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.