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Metyrapone (By mouth)

Metyrapone (me-TIR-a-pone)

Used in medical tests to diagnose pituitary gland problems.

Brand Name(s):

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not be given this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to metyrapone (Metopirone®), or if you have certain adrenal cortical problems.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed. You will be given this medicine several hours before you have your test.
  • You may be told to take this medicine with a snack or milk.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using corticosteroids, such as prednisolone, prednisone, dexamethasone, cortisone (Cortone®) or hydrocortisone (Cortef®, Hydrocortone®), or if you are also using phenytoin (Dilantin®). Make sure your doctor knows if you are using estrogens (Alora®, Estrace®, Climara®, Estraderm®, Delestrogen®, Valergen®, Permarin®). These medicines may affect the results of the metyrapone test, and you may need to stop using them before and during your test.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using acetaminophen (aspirin, Tylenol®) on a regular basis.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using insulin or antidiabetic medicines. These medicines include insulin lispro (Humalog®), glipizide (Glucotrol®), glimepiride (Amaryl®), glyburide/metformin (Glucovance®), metformin (Glucophage®), pioglitazone (Actos®), and rosiglitazone (Avandia®).

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have adrenal gland problems. Make sure your doctor knows if you have diabetes.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that may be dangerous if you are not alert.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Feeling unusually tired.
  • Headache.
  • Nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting.
  • Skin redness, or rash.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 5/1/2020

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