Lysodren may be prescribed by your doctor if you have been diagnosed with adrenal cortical cancer (ACC). This is a rare disease where cancer forms on the outer layer (cortex) of one or both of your adrenal glands. There are two types of adrenal gland tumors; cancerous and non-cancerous. If it is found that your adrenal gland cortex has a cancerous tumor, treatment may involve chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, or biologic therapy where your own immune system and body will fight to destroy the cancer.
Although it is not completely known how Lysodren works, it is believed to slow down your adrenal glands’ ability to produce adrenocorticoid hormones that can be helping your cancer to grow. Without these hormones, the cancer cells starve and their numbers decrease.
Your treatment may involve taking Lysodren and having surgery to remove the tumor depending on whether it is operable or not. If you have gone through testing such as a CT (computed tomography) scan, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), a biopsy, and lab tests, your doctor will advise you on the steps to be taken depending on whether the tumor is cancerous or not, or if it has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
You have two adrenal glands; one each sits just on top of your kidneys. Your adrenal cortex is responsible for making important hormones in order to keep your water and salt in balance, control your blood pressure, and help your body use energy, to name a few. An adrenal cortical functioning tumor can increase the production of several different hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, aldosterone, and cortisol which can result in different symptoms. If the tumor is non-functioning, there are no changes in hormone production.
Tumor removal may be performed before you start taking Lysodren to minimize your risk of the tumor hemorrhaging from the positive effect of the drug, unless it is considered inoperable. You should be using an effective form of birth control to prevent becoming pregnant while taking Lysodren and for a time specified by your oncologist after stopping it. Discuss other medical conditions you have and provide a list of any current over the counter and Rx drugs you are on, including herbal preparations and dietary or vitamin supplements so your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to take Lysodren.
If you experience any shock or trauma while taking Lysodren, your doctor will suspend the treatment and possibly begin treatment with steroids because your adrenal gland may not be able to produce enough of its own steroids while being suppressed to treat the tumor. Adrenaline and cortisol are important hormones your adrenal glands produce to help you cope with stressful situations.
Keep all medications out of children’s reach and sight and never share them with anyone else. Until you know how Lysodren will affect you, do not drive or participate in any activities that require you to be alert.