Aminoglutethimide

Cytadren® (Other Names)

About This Drug

Aminoglutethimide is a drug that blocks the production of certain hormones in your body that are increased in some cancers. It is given orally (by mouth).

Possible Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Extreme tiredness or feeling sleepy
  • Rash

Note: Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • Effects on the adrenal glands. Some hormones will not be produced. Your doctor may prescribe replacement steroids.
  • Low blood pressure. Your doctor will check your blood pressure as needed.
  • Changes in your liver function - your liver function will be checked as needed.

Important Information

  • Do not drink alcohol while taking this drug.
  • This drug may impair your ability to drive or use machinery. Use caution and tell your nurse or doctor if you feel dizzy, very sleepy, and/or experience low blood pressure.

How to Take Your Medication

  • Swallow the medicine whole. Do not chew, break or crush it.
  • Missed dose: If you vomit or miss a dose, take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.
  • Storage: Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature. Discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.

Treating Side Effects

  • Manage tiredness by pacing your activities for the day. Be sure to include periods of rest between energy-draining activities.
  • To help with nausea and vomiting, eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals a day. Choose foods and drinks that are at room temperature. Ask your nurse or doctor about other helpful tips and medicine that is available to help or stop lessen these symptoms.
  • To help with decrease appetite, eat small, frequent meals.
  • Eat high caloric food such as pudding, ice cream, yogurt and milkshakes.
  • If you get a rash do not put anything on it unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry. Ask your doctor for medicine if your rash bothers you.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • There are no known interactions of aminoglutethimide with food.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines.
  • The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment.
  • Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. 

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Fatigue that interferes with your daily activities
  • Feeling that your heart is beating in a fast or not normal way (palpitations)
  • Nausea that stops you from eating or drinking and/or is not relieved by prescribed medicines
  • Throwing up more than 3 times a day
  • Signs of possible liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin
  • If you think you are pregnant or may have impregnated your partner

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn baby. For this reason, be sure to talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant while receiving this drug. Let your doctor know right away if you think you may be pregnant or may have impregnated your partner.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. For this reason, women should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of breast feeding during treatment with this drug because this drug may enter the breast milk and cause harm to a breast feeding baby.
  • Fertility warning: Human fertility studies have not been done with this drug. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.

Revised September 2017