Last updated on RxList: 3/30/2017
Cytadren Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 4/8/2016

Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) is an anti-hormone medication used in the treatment of conditions which cause the body to make too much of certain hormones (Cushing's syndrome). The brand name Cytadren is discontinued, but generic versions may be available. Common side effects of Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) include:

Treatment with Cytadren should be instituted in a hospital until a stable dosage regimen is achieved. Therapy should be initiated with 250 mg orally four times daily, preferably at 6-hour intervals. Cytadren may interact with dexamethasone, or warfarin. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. Cytadren is known to be harmful to a fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment. Discuss use of birth control during treatment. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Our Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Untoward effects have been reported in about 2 out of 3 patients with Cushing's syndrome who were treated for 4 or more weeks with Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) as the only adrenocortical suppressant.

The most frequent and reversible side effects were drowsiness (approximately 1 in 3 patients), morbilliform skin rash (1 in 6 patients), nausea and anorexia (each approximately 1 in 8 patients), and dizziness (about 1 in 20 patients). The dizziness was possibly caused by lowered vascular resistance or orthostasis. These reactions often disappear spontaneously with continued therapy.

Other Effects Observed

Hematologic: Single instances of neutropenia, leukopenia (patient received concomitant o,p'-DDD), pancytopenia (patient received concomitant 5-fluorouracil), and agranulocytosis occurred in 4 of 27 patients with Cushing's syndrome caused by adrenal carcinoma who were treated for at least 4 weeks. In 1 patient with adrenal hyperplasia, hemoglobin levels and hematocrit decreased during the course of treatment with Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) . From the earlier experience with the drug used as an anticonvulsant in 1,214 patients, transient leukopenia was the only hematologic effect and was reported once; Coombs'-negative hemolytic anemia also occurred once. In approximately 300 patients with nonadrenal malignancy, 1 in 25 showed some degree of anemia, and 1 in 150 developed pancytopenia during treatment with Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) .

Endocrine: Adrenal insufficiency occurred in about 1 in 30 patients with Cushing's syndrome who were treated with Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) for 4 or more weeks. This insufficiency tended to involve glucocorticoids as well as mineralocorticoids. Hypothyroidism is occasionally associated with thyroid enlargement and may be detected or confirmed by measuring plasma levels of the thyroid hormone. Masculinization and hirsutism have occasionally occurred in females, as has precocious sexual development in males.

Central Nervous System: Headache was reported in about 1 in 20 patients.

Cardiovascular: Hypotension, occasionally orthostatic, occurred in 1 in 30 patients receiving Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) . Tachycardia occurred in 1 in 40 patients.

Gastrointestinal and Liver: Vomiting occurred in 1 in 30 patients. Isolated instances of abnormal findings on liver function tests were reported. Suspected hepatotoxicity occurred in less than 1 in 1000 patients.

Skin: In addition to rash (1 in 6 patients, and often reversible with continued therapy), pruritus was reported in 1 in 20 patients. These may be allergic or hypersensitive reactions. Urticaria has occurred rarely.

Miscellaneous: Fever was reported in several patients who were treated with Cytadren (aminoglutethimide) for less than 4 weeks; some of these patients also received other drugs. Myalgia occurred in 1 in 30 patients. Pulmonary hypersensitivity, including allergic alveolitis and interstitial alveolar infiltrates, has occurred rarely.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Cytadren (Aminoglutethimide)


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© Cytadren Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Cytadren Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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