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What is Lysodren (Mitotane) prescribed for?

Adrenal Cancer is a rare form of cancer that beings in one or both of the small triangular glands, which are located on the top of your kidney’s.  Adrenal Glands produce hormones that give instructions to every organ and tissue within your body. This cancer can occur at any age.

This medication is used to treat cancer of the adrenal glands, which are endocrine glands that produce a variety of hormones, which include adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol. The adrenal glands are generally found above the kidneys. Each gland has an outer cortex, which is responsible for producing steroid hormones and a inner medulla.

Mitotane, the active ingredient in Lysodren works by slowing the growth of the adrenal glands, or by killing the gland cells. Therefore, it also decreases the amount of hormones made by the adrenal glands.

This medication is to be taken by mouth, with or without food. And it is generally taken 3 to 4 times a day. Remember the dosage given to you is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment.

In order to gain the most benefit, use this medication on a regular basis. Do not increase your dose or take this medication longer then what has been prescribed to you. Doing so will not make your condition improve any faster, and it is more than likely to put you at risk of side effects.


Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Mitotane; or to sunscreens; or to any other medications or allergies in general.

Also it is best to notify your doctor of your medical history. Inform you doctor if you have had any serious health issues in the past, such as; liver disease.

Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets.

Side Effects

Some of these side effects may occur when taking this medication; they are as follows; Dizziness, drowsiness, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weakness may occur. However if any of these effects persist or worsen, contact your doctor right away.

Stop using this product and tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual/rapid weight loss, mental/mood changes (such as depression, confusion), vision changes (such as blurred vision, double vision), change in skin color, fainting, easy bleeding/bruising, bloody urine, signs of an ovarian cyst (such as unusual vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain).

This medication can commonly cause a rash, although it is not considered serious.  However, you may not be able to tell the different between the common rashes this medication causes against something a bit more serious. Therefore if you do obtain a rash while taking this medication, it is best to consult your doctor right away.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.


What happens if I suddenly stop taking this medication?

There may be a relapse in symptoms as well as side effects. You should speak your doctor before stop taking this medication.


 What is the best dosage to take?

The diagnosis with your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage for your treatment. Work with your doctor closely for dosage and dosing schedules.


 What happens if I miss a dose?

You should take the missed dose as soon you realize you have forgotten. If the forgotten dose is closer to your next scheduled dose, take the next schedule dose to avoid overlapping in dose.


 What is the best way to store this medication?

This medication is stored at room temperature, and should be kept away from children and pets. Do not throw away this medication in the wastebasket. If you are uncertain how to dispose of this medication speak with your pharmacist for help in safely disposing of this medication.

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