This medication is used to control high blood sugar in people who have a certain condition (Cushing's syndrome), and who have failed surgery or cannot have surgery to correct the condition. Cushing's syndrome is caused by the body producing too much of a certain hormone (cortisol) which can cause glucose intolerance or type 2 diabetes. Mifepristone works by blocking the effects of cortisol.
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Take this medication by mouth with a meal as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. Swallow the tablets whole. Do not crush, chew, or split the tablets.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.
Do not stop taking this medicine unless instructed by your doctor. If this medication is stopped, you may need to restart at a lower dose and gradually increase the dose again. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for instructions on restarting your medication if you have not taken it for several days.
Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while using this medication unless your doctor or pharmacist says you may do so safely. Grapefruit can increase the chance of side effects with this medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: swelling hands/ankles/feet, unusual vaginal bleeding, symptoms of low level of potassium in the blood (such as muscle cramps, weakness), signs of infection (such as sore throat that doesn't go away, fever, shortness of breath).
This medication can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Symptoms of low blood sugar include sudden sweating, shaking, fast heartbeat, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands/feet. It is a good habit to carry glucose tablets or gel to treat low blood sugar. If you don't have these reliable forms of glucose, rapidly raise your blood sugar by eating a quick source of sugar such as table sugar, honey, or candy, or drink fruit juice or non-diet soda. Tell your doctor right away about the reaction and the use of this product. To help prevent low blood sugar, eat meals on a regular schedule, and do not skip meals.
Symptoms of high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) include increased thirst/urination. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
Get medical help right away if you have any very serious side effects, including: fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
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.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Mifepristone may cause a loss of pregnancy. Before starting this medication, women of childbearing age must get a pregnancy test to confirm that they are not pregnant. Women must avoid becoming pregnant while taking this medication and for one month after stopping this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss using a reliable form of non-hormonal birth control (such as condoms, diaphragm with spermicide). If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away. If this medication is stopped for more than 14 days, women of childbearing age must get another pregnancy test to confirm that they are not pregnant before restarting the medication.
Before taking mifepristone, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease, liver disease, vaginal bleeding of unknown cause, problems with the lining of the uterus (endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial cancer), mineral imbalance (low level of potassium in the blood), heart disease (such as coronary artery disease), high blood pressure.
This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Mifepristone may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm (QT prolongation). QT prolongation can rarely cause serious (rarely fatal) fast/irregular heartbeat and other symptoms (such as severe dizziness, fainting) that need medical attention right away.
The risk of QT prolongation may be increased if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other drugs that may cause QT prolongation. Before using mifepristone, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take and if you have any of the following conditions: certain heart problems (heart failure, slow heartbeat, QT prolongation in the EKG), family history of certain heart problems (QT prolongation in the EKG, sudden cardiac death).
Low levels of potassium or magnesium in the blood may also increase your risk of QT prolongation. This risk may increase if you use certain drugs (such as diuretics/"water pills") or if you have conditions such as severe sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting. Talk to your doctor about using mifepristone safely.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).
Mifepristone must not be used during pregnancy. It may cause a loss of pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away. (See also Warning section.) Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: corticosteroids (such as prednisone).
Mifepristone can slow down the removal of other medications from your body, which may affect how they work. Examples of affected drugs include cyclosporine, ergot alkaloids (such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine), fentanyl, pimozide, quinidine, some statin drugs (such as fluvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin), sirolimus, tacrolimus, warfarin, among others.
Other medications can affect the removal of mifepristone from your body, which may affect how mifepristone works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole), macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin), nefazodone, HIV protease inhibitors (nelfinavir), ritonavir, telithromycin, among others.
This medication may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control such as pills, patch, or ring. This could cause pregnancy. Discuss with your doctor or pharmacist about non-hormonal birth control methods while using this medication. (See also Warning section.)
Beta-blocker medications (such as metoprolol, propranolol, glaucoma eye drops such as timolol) may prevent the fast/pounding heartbeat you would usually feel when your blood sugar falls too low (hypoglycemia). Other symptoms of low blood sugar, such as dizziness, hunger, or sweating, are unaffected by these drugs.
Many drugs can affect your blood sugar, making it harder to control. Before you start, stop, or change any medication, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how the medication may affect your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly as directed and share the results with your doctor. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of high or low blood sugar. (See also Side Effects section.) Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.