Functioning Adrenal Tumor Treatment

Treatment for patients with functioning tumors includes managing symptoms caused by increased hormone production.

Increased cortisol production (Cushing's syndrome) is often treated with aminoglutethimide or ketoconazole (Nizoral) to inhibit cortisol build-up (synthesis). They may be used alone, or in combination with chemotherapy. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Excess aldosterone production (Conn's syndrome) is usually treated using spironolactone (Aldactone). Spironolactone is an aldosterone antagonist (i.e., counteracts the action of aldosterone). Side effects include ulcers, abnormal breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia), fever, and headache.

Aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole (Arimidex®) and anti-androgens such as bicalutamide (Casodex) may be used to treat excessive androgen production.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 09 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 28 Aug 2015