Aminoglutethimide, also known by the brand name Cytadren, is a cancer drug which inhibits the formation of hormones like adrenal glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, estrogen, androgens, and aldosterone.
Aminoglutethimide is used clinically to reduce the amount of the hormones that can sometimes cause tumors to grow more quickly or are necessary for the survival of the tumor. For example, estrogen is important for the growth of some breast tumors. Lowering estrogen production by the administration of aminoglutethimide might reduce tumor growth or contribute to the destruction of the tumor.
Aminoglutethimide is given orally and dosages vary from patient to patient based on a number of factors, including the underlying disease process.
Because some corticosteroid is necessary for normal function, patients should receive steroid replacement in
addition to aminoglutethimide. Patients may require more corticosteroid when undergoing surgery, illness, or other conditions that cause stress. Hormones that affect the balance of sodium in the body may also be affected by aminoglutethimide and might have to be replaced as a result. If they are not replaced, patients may experience constant low blood pressure or low blood pressure upon standing.
Pregnant women should be warned that aminoglutethimide administration could cause fetal abnormalities. Pregnant patients should consult their physician about the current state of knowledge regarding risks and alternatives before beginning administration of aminoglutethimide. Female patients of childbearing age should attempt to avoid pregnancy while taking this drug. Mothers who are nursing should discontinue nursing while taking this drug.
Michael Zuck Ph.D., The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,