Aminoglutethimide (Generic Name)

Cytadren®, Elipten® (Other Names)

About This Drug

Aminoglutethimide is a drug that blocks the production of certain hormones in your body. This drug is given orally.

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Rash
  • Tiredness
  • Mild nausea
  • Low blood pressure. This may cause light-headedness when going from lying to sitting or sitting to standing position.
  • Effects on the adrenal glands. Some hormones will not be produced. Your doctor may prescribe replacement steroids.
  • Problems with coordinating some body movements

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Facial and chest hair growth in women
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches

Sexual and Reproductive Concerns

  • Sexual problems and reproduction concerns may occur. In men and women both, this drug may temporarily or permanently affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your therapy. Speak with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children. Ask for information on sperm or egg banking.
  • In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm, but it should not change your ability to have sexual relations.
  • In women, menstrual bleeding may become irregular or stop while you are receiving this drug. Do not assume that you cannot become pregnant if you do not have a menstrual period.
  • Women may experience signs of menopause like vaginal dryness or itching. Vaginal lubricants can be used to lessen vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual relations.
  • Genetic counseling is available to you to discuss the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. In addition, a genetic counselor can review the potential risks of problems in the fetus due to this medication if an exposure during pregnancy has occurred.
  • Pregnancy Warning: This drug may have harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used by both men and women during your cancer treatment and for at least 3 months after treatment.
  • Breast feeding warning :Women are advised not to breast feed during treatment because this drug could enter the breast milk and seriously harm the breastfeeding infant.

Treating Side Effects

  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medication that is available to help you prevent or lessen nausea and muscle aches.
  • Do not put anything on your rash unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.
  • If you are dizzy, rise slowly and gradually after sitting or lying.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of aminoglutethimide with food. This drug may interact with other medication. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medication and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are currently taking. The safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often unknown. Using these might unexpectedly 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 advice

Special Instructions

  • Do not drink alcohol while taking this drug.
  • Take this drug the same time each day either one hour before or two to three hours after meals.Take this drug with a small, starchy snack like a cracker to decrease stomach upset. Drink a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Facial flushing or swelling
Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Rash and muscle aches unrelieved by prescribed medication
  • Uncontrolled nausea that keeps you from eating or drinking
  • Extreme tiredness that interferes with daily activities

Revised January 2013

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