The main function of aminoglutethimide is to reduce the amount of hormones made by the body, as excessive hormones can result in adverse medical conditions. This medication is typically given in the hospital to treat Cushing's syndrome, metastatic breast cancer, or prostate cancer. In most cases, this medication comes in the form of tablets, and doses vary depending on the condition being treated. Most side effects that have been reported by patients taking aminoglutethimide are rather minor, such as headaches, weakness, or nausea.
In most cases, aminoglutethimide is given in a hospital under a doctor's care, as frequent blood tests are usually required to monitor the effects of this medication on the body. The dose for treating Cushing's syndrome is usually one tablet about every six hours, though the patient's doctor may increase it gradually if necessary. When treating breast or prostate cancer, the pill is taken two times per day, with a possible increase to four times daily after a few weeks of good results. It is usually best to take this pill with a glass of water.
Patients who have recently been seriously ill or injured should let their doctor know before taking aminoglutethimide, as should those who have had recent surgery. This is because such patients may not be candidates to take this medication, or may at least need dosage adjustments or extra monitoring. Those taking certain other drugs, such as warfarin or dexamethasone, need to talk to a doctor since aminoglutethimide may interfere or interact negatively with such medications. Additionally, this drug is in pregnancy category D, which means that it can harm an unborn baby and is not recommended during pregnancy. Its effects on a breastfeeding baby are unknown, so nursing mothers should talk to their doctor before being considered candidates for this treatment.
Some patients notice mild side effects when taking aminoglutethimide as prescribed. The most common ones include dizziness, skin rash, drowsiness, nausea, and loss of appetite, though vomiting, headaches, itchiness of the skin, and a feeling of weakness may also be noted. Less common side effects include fever, anemia, hypothyroidism, excessive hairiness, and tachycardia. Despite the fact that most of these are both quite mild and expected in some patients, they should still be mentioned to a doctor. The good news is that most of these side effects typically disappear with time, which means that the aminoglutethimide treatment does not usually need to be stopped.