|Type of medicine||Endocrine system medicine|
|Used for||To diagnose and treat Cushing's syndrome
To treat water retention associated with some kidney, liver and heart conditions
Metyrapone is a medicine which is used to treat Cushing's syndrome. Cushing's syndrome is a condition where your body produces too much of a substance called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone which helps your body react in a normal way to stress. It also helps regulate your blood pressure, your immune system, and your blood sugar levels. Your body normally keeps the level of cortisol within a certain range so that there is neither too much nor too little. When you produce too much cortisol, a number of symptoms can develop over time although these can be fairly nonspecific, such as putting on weight, muscle weakness, and bruising easily. Metyrapone helps prevent the over-production of cortisol and this will help to control your symptoms.
Metyrapone is also used to treat some types of water retention caused by an increased amount of a hormone called aldosterone. Water retention is when there is a build-up of fluid in your body, which can make your feet or face swollen and puffy. This type of water retention may occur if you have a kidney problem, liver cirrhosis, or heart failure.
Before taking metyrapone
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking metyrapone it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have been told that you have underactive thyroid, pituitary, or adrenal glands.
- If you have any liver problems.
- If you have porphyria (this is a rare inherited blood disorder).
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
How to take metyrapone
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about metyrapone, and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
- Metyrapone will be prescribed for you by a specialist doctor in a hospital. Your dose will depend upon the reason why you are taking it and your doctor will tell you how many capsules to take and when to take them. This dose will also be printed on the label of the pack to remind you. Take the capsules exactly as your doctor tells you to.
- Swallow the capsules whole - do not chew them before you swallow.
- Take the capsules with a drink of milk or just after eating a meal. This will help prevent you from feeling sick after taking your doses.
- Try to get into a habit of taking your doses at the same times of day each day. This will help you to remember to take them.
- If you do forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time to take your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so your doctor can check on your progress.
- Metyrapone may make you feel dizzy or sleepy. Do not drive or use tools or machines if this happens.
- If you are having an operation or dental treatment, it is important that you tell the person carrying out the treatment that you are taking metyrapone.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with metyrapone.
Can metyrapone cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common metyrapone side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Feeling dizzy, tired, or sleepy||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines|
|Feeling or being sick||Stick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy meals|
|Feeling dizzy or light-headed particularly when you stand up||Try getting up and moving more slowly. If you begin to feel faint, sit down for a few minutes to allow the feeling to pass|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store metyrapone
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Metopirone® 250 mg; HRA Pharma UK and Ireland Limited, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated May 2012.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Adrian Bonsall|
|Last Checked: 13/08/2012||Document ID: 3578 Version: 22||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.