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What is mitotane?

Mitotane (also called Lysodren®) is an anti-cancer medicine. Mitotane is taken by mouth. It is available as a 500 mg tablet.

How to take mitotane

  • Read the directions on the bottle carefully to make sure you take this medicine correctly.
  • You should take mitotane with high-fat foods (such as peanut butter or ice cream).
  • If you cannot swallow the tablets whole, they can be cut or crushed and mixed with milk (or a highfat food) right before taking the dose.

Possible side effects of mitotane


  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Headache


  • Confusion
  • Leg pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Double vision

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 901-595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for mitotane

  • Because mitotane may cause birth defects, do not take this medicine if you are pregnant. Both men and women who are taking mitotane should use effective birth control methods.
  • It is not known whether mitotane passes into breast milk. This medicine might cause serious harm to a nursing infant. Women who are taking mitotane should not breast-feed a baby.
  • Mitotane tablets should be stored at room temperature and kept dry.
  • Keep this and all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Always give a complete list of medicines you are taking to your doctor or pharmacist. Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new vitamins, herbals, or other medicine while you are taking mitotane.
  • If you miss a dose, follow these guidelines:
    • Take a missed dose right away, unless it is almost time for the next dose.
    • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule. Remember to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you skip a dose.
    • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.

Safe handling of mitotane

All chemotherapy drugs taken by mouth can pose a health hazard to caregivers and patients. You should be careful when handling this medicine and try to keep the drug from touching the skin. Taking precautions will ensure that both the patient and the caregiver are protected as well as possible.

  • Prepare a clean area where the drug can be handled safely (away from areas where food is prepared, out of the reach of children, and out from under any air vents or fans).
  • We suggest you or the caregiver wear gloves while handling this medicine. Wash your hands right away if your skin comes in contact with the medicine.
  • Carefully wash tablet cutters or crushers with warm soapy water after each use and allow to dry.
  • Completely clean up any spills in the area where the medicine is prepared.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).