Posted on April 28th, 2009 by
Class: Hormonal Therapy
Generic Name: aminoglutethimide (uh-MEE-noe-gloo-TETH-I-mide)
Trade Name: Cytadren®
For which conditions is this drug approved? Aminoglutethimide is indicated for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome.
What is the mechanism of action? Aminoglutethimide is classified as an adrenal steroid inhibitor. Aminoglutethimide produces its effects by suppressing hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands. Normally, the hormones produced by adrenal glands stimulate the production of other hormones in the body, including estrogen, androgens, and corticosteroids. Cancer of the adrenal glands may be associated with excess steroid production in the body, which may ultimately cause Cushing’s syndrome. Aminoglutethimide suppresses the production of the steroids, resulting in a decrease in symptoms. Furthermore, estrogens and androgens may play a role in the growth of some types of cancer cells. Inhibiting their production may reduce the growth of cancers such as hormone responsive advanced breast and prostate cancers.
How is aminoglutethimide typically given (administered)? Aminoglutethimide is given orally in the form of a tablet. Some patients may also receive steroids while they are taking aminoglutethimide to replace the steroids normally produced by the body.
How are patients typically monitored?Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with aminoglutethimide. Patients will typically have blood tests to monitor hormones and steroid levels in their body. Patients may also be monitored for specific signs that indicate a hormone or steroid deficiency, such as nausea, vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, dizziness, diarrhea and weakness. Patients should contact their healthcare provider if they are experiencing these symptoms.
What are the common (occur in 30% or more of patients) side effects of treatment with aminoglutethimide?
What are the less common (occur in 10% to 29% of patients) side effects of treatment with aminoglutethimide?
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
When should patients notify their physician?
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Last updated on 09/16.
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