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Home / Drugs / Starting with M / Mitotane

A derivative of the insecticide dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane that specifically inhibits cells of the adrenal cortex and their production of hormones. It is used to treat adrenocortical tumors and causes CNS damage, but no bone marrow depression. [PubChem]
Mitotanum [INN-Latin]
CategoriesAntineoplastic Agents
Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
ManufacturersBristol myers squibb
PackagersB&B Pharmaceuticals
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Mead Johnson and Co.


For treatment of inoperable adrenocortical tumours; Cushing's syndrome


Mitotane is an oral chemotherapeutic agent indicated in the treatment of inoperable adrenal cortical carcinoma of both functional and nonfunctional types. Mitotane can best be described as an adrenal cytotoxic agent, although it can cause adrenal inhibition, apparently without cellular destruction. The administration of Mitotane alters the extra-adrenal metabolism of cortisol in man; leading to a reduction in measurable 17-hydroxy corticosteroids, even though plasma levels of corticosteroids do not fall. The drug apparently causes increased formation of 6-B-hydroxyl cortisol.

mechanism of action

Its biochemical mechanism of action is unknown, although data are available to suggest that the drug modifies the peripheral metabolism of steroids as well as directly suppressing the adrenal cortex.


Hepatic and renal


About 40% oral Lysodren is absorbed

half life

18-159 days

route of elimination

A variable amount of metabolite (1%-17%) is excreted in the bile and the balance is apparently stored in the tissues.

drug interactions

Acenocoumarol: Mitotane may decrease the anticoagulant effect of acenocoumarol.

Anisindione: Mitotane may decrease the anticoagulant effect of anisindione.

Dicumarol: Mitotane may decrease the anticoagulant effect of dicumarol.

Spironolactone: Spironolactone antagonizes the effect of mitotane

Warfarin: Mitotane may decrease the anticoagulant effect of warfarin.