Classifications: antineoplastic; hormone; anabolic steroid
Pregnancy Category: C
Controlled Substance: Schedule III


50 mg tablets


Chemotherapeutic agent with chemical configuration similar to certain androgens but devoid of androgenic activity (virilization) in therapeutic doses. Exact mechanism of antineoplastic action unknown.

Therapeutic Effects

In breast cancer, effect may result from depression of ovarian function by inhibition of synthesis of pituitary gonadotropin. Indicated by decrease in size of tumor; more than 50% of nonosseous lesions decrease in size even though all bone lesions remain static.


Adjunctive treatment in palliation of breast carcinoma in postmenopausal women when hormone therapy is indicated. Also effective in women diagnosed before menopause in whom ovarian function has been subsequently terminated.


Premenopausal women; breast cancer in males. Pregnancy (category C), lactation.

Cautious Use

Hypercalcemia; cardiorenal disease.

Route & Dosage

Adjunctive Therapy for Breast Cancer
Adult: PO 250 mg q.i.d.



Adverse Effects (1%)

CNS: Paresthesias. Endocrine: Deepening of the voice, acne, facial hair growth, clitoral enlargement. GI: Glossitis, anorexia; nausea, vomiting. CV: Hypertension, edema in extremities.

Diagnostic Test Interference

Urinary 17-OHCS determinations may be elevated.


Drug: May enhance hypoprothrombinemic effects of oral anticoagulants.


Absorption: Readily absorbed from GI tract. Metabolism: Metabolized in liver. Elimination: Excreted in urine.

Nursing Implications

Assessment & Drug Effects

Patient & Family Education

Common adverse effects in italic, life-threatening effects underlined; generic names in bold; classifications in SMALL CAPS; Canadian drug name; Prototype drug