Metyrapone (Oral route)
Diagnostic Agent, Pituitary Function
Uses of This Medicine:
Metyrapone is used in the diagnosis of certain problems of the adrenal glands. These glands are located near the kidneys. The adrenal glands produce a steroid chemical called cortisol (hydrocortisone) that helps the body respond to stress or illness. From the results of a metyrapone test, your doctor will be able to tell if your adrenal glands produce the correct amount of cortisol under stress or during illnesses.
How test is done: Metyrapone is taken by mouth in one or more doses the day before the testing is done. The next day, blood and/or urine samples are taken. A tube called a catheter may be placed in your bladder to help take the urine sample. The amount of hormones in your blood or urine is measured. Then the results of the test are studied.
Metyrapone may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Metyrapone is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although this use is not included in product labeling, metyrapone is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:
Since treatment for Cushing's syndrome may require longer therapy, side effects are more likely to occur.
Before Using This Medicine:
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
This medicine has been tested in children and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in children than it does in adults.
Although there is no specific information about the use of metyrapone in the elderly, it is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems—
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine:
Metyrapone may cause nausea and vomiting, especially if taken in larger doses. Taking each dose with food or milk or immediately after eating may lessen this effect.
Before you have any medical tests, tell the doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
If you are taking metyrapone for a test procedure and you miss a dose, contact your physician. Missing doses or taking them on the wrong schedule may cause false test results.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Precautions While Using This Medicine:
This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Even if taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert .
Side Effects of This Medicine:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Last Updated: 6/13/2013
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