Mitotane (Generic Name)

Other Names: Lysodren®

About this drug

Mitotane is used to treat some kinds of cancer that affect the adrenal cortex. It is given by mouth.

Possible side effects

  • Decreased appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and/or twitches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Rash, flushing, or redness of the skin
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Trouble breathing (rare)
  • Fever
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
  • Mood changes. You may experience changes in your moods, including depression. Mood changes are common in patients with cancer.

Treating side effects

  • If you are drowsy, do not drive a car or operate machinery. Avoid alcohol and medicines that may cause drowsiness, such as sedatives, unless prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you feel dizzy when you first stand up, sit upright for a few minutes before standing up from a reclining position.
  • Be careful when cooking, walking, and using sharp objects or hot liquids.
  • Ask your doctor or nurse about medicine that is available to help prevent or lessen nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Do not put anything on your rash unless your doctor or nurse says you may. Keep the area around the rash clean and dry.
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse if you feel you need help with your mood.

Other instructions

Do not store these pills in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp locations. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down.

This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than you are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or not alert.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and medicines that slow down the nervous system such as antihistamines, some pain medicines, and sedatives. Always check with your doctor or nurse before taking these.

Food and drug interactions

There are no known interactions of mitotane with food. This drug may interact with other medicine. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines 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.

When to call the doctor

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

  • Redness, pain, warmth, or swelling at the IV site
  • Temperature of 100.5 F (38 C) or above
  • Chills
  • Uncontrolled nausea that prevents you from eating or drinking
  • Vomiting more than 3 times in 1 day
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Trouble waking up
  • Shortness of breath
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Blood in your urine


Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea unrelieved by prescribed medicine
  • Extreme tiredness or drowsiness that interferes with normal activities
  • Persistent loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of 5 pounds in 1 week
  • Rash, flushing, or redness of skin
  • Diarrhea of 5 or 6 stools in 1 day or diarrhea with weakness
  • Muscle aching or twitching

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