Mitotane (Lysodren®, o’p’DDD) for Dogs


Overview of Mitotane for Dogs

  •  Mitotane, also known as Lysodren® or o’p’DDD, is prescribed for the medical treatment of canine hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease.
  • The adrenal glands, located near the kidneys, produce a number of important hormones. One of these is cortisol (cortisone). Produced in normal amounts, cortisol is responsible for a number of important cell functions. However, excessive production of this hormone can lead to hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease). This is a relatively common hormonal (endocrine) problem in dogs.
  • Mitotane is a cytotoxic drug. It has a predilection for killing cells in a particular zone of the adrenal gland, thereby reducing function of that part of the gland. This lowers the blood cortisol concentration.
  • Mitotane decreases the production of cortisol but at therapeutic doses has minimal effects on other adrenal tissues or hormones such as aldosterone.
  • Mitotane injury to the adrenal gland is generally considered permanent.
  • Mitotane is a prescription drug and can only be obtained from a veterinarian or by prescription from a veterinarian.
  • This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
  • Brand Names and Other Names of Mitotane

  • This drug is registered for use in humans only.
  • Human formulations: Lysodren® (Bristol-Myers); also called o’p’DDD.
  • Veterinary formulations: None
  • Uses of Mitotane for Dogs

  • Mitotane is prescribed for the medical treatment of canine hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease.
  • The drug also has been prescribed for the treatment of adrenal gland tumors including adrenal carcinoma and adrenal adenoma.
  • The duration of mitotane therapy is usually long-term and requires very careful monitoring.
  • Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, mitotane can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Mitotane should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • Because mitotane is a potent cytotoxic drug, extreme caution should be exercised when administering this drug. It must always be kept out of reach of children and other pets.
  • Excessive dosing can lead to injury in other zones of the adrenal gland, producing a disorder called hypoadrenocorticism or Addison’s disease.
  • Animals with liver disease need to be monitored very closely during treatment.
  • Mitotane may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with mitotane. Such drugs include insulin, barbiturates or the diuretic spironolactone.
  • Symptoms of adverse effects include loss of appetite, vomiting, depression, listlessness, diarrhea and weakness. Any of these signs should be reported to your veterinarian immediately.
  • Decreased water intake is often used as a therapeutic indicator of effective treatment, but marked reduction in water intake or urination should be reported to your veterinarian.
  • Mitotane may reduce the daily insulin requirements in diabetic dogs; these pets may become more susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • How Mitotane Is Supplied

  • Mitotane is available in 500 mg tablets.
  • Dosing Information of Mitotane for Dogs

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Induction therapy dosage for hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) is 12.5 mg per pound (25 mg/kg) twice daily for seven to eight days. The pet needs to be re-evaluated after seven days.
  • Maintenance therapy dosage for hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) is 12.5 mg per pound (25 mg/kg) every seven days divided over two or three doses. Dosing must be done under careful supervision of a veterinarian.
  • Dosage for adrenal carcinoma or adenomas is 25 to 35 mg per pound (50 to 75 mg/kg) for 10 to 14 days.
  • Animals receiving mitotane therapy should be reevaluated at least every one to three months.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.
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