Korlym

Korlym treats high blood sugar associated with Cushing's syndrome. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication.

Korlym Overview

Updated: 

Korlym is a prescription medication used to treat high blood sugar caused by high cortisol levels in the blood in adults with Cushing's syndrome and type 2 diabetes or glucose intolerance. Korlym belongs to a group of drugs called cortisol receptor blockers, which block the actions of cortisol to lower blood sugar levels.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with food.

Common side effects include nausea, fatigue, and headache. Do not drink grapefruit juice while taking Korlym.

 

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Korlym Cautionary Labels

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Uses of Korlym

Korlym is a prescription medicine used to treat high blood sugar caused by high cortisol levels in the blood in adults with Cushing's syndrome who have type 2 diabetes mellitus or glucose intolerance and have failed surgery or cannot have surgery.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

Manufacturer

Korlym Drug Class

Korlym is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Korlym

Korlym can cause serious side effects including:

  • See “Drug Precautions”
  • reduced effects of adrenal hormones (adrenal insufficiency). Korlym stops an adrenal hormone in your body called cortisol from working. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. Symptoms may include:
    • unusual tiredness or weakness
    • nausea
    • fatigue
    • low blood pressure (hypotension)
    • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • low blood potassium (hypokalemia). Your doctor should check the level of potassium in your blood before you start taking mifepristone and while you take it. Tell your doctor if you have any signs of low potassium. Signs may include:
    • muscle weakness, aches, or cramps
    • abnormal or irregular heartbeats (palpitations)
  • bleeding from the vagina. Korlym may cause the lining of your uterus to become thick and may cause your uterus to bleed. Tell your doctor right away about any bleeding from your vagina that is not normal for you.
  • problems with the electrical system of your heart (QT interval prolongation).
  • worsening of symptoms of other medical problems that are treated with corticosteroids when you take corticosteroids and Korlym at the same time.

The most common side effects of Korlym include:

  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • low potassium in your blood
  • pain in your arms and legs (arthralgia)
  • vomiting
  • swelling of your arms and legs (peripheral edema)
  • high blood pressure
  • dizziness
  • decreased appetite
  • thickening of the lining of the uterus (endometrial hypertrophy)

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Korlym. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Korlym Interactions

Do not take Korlym if you are taking:

  • simvastatin (Zocor, Vytorin, Juvisync, Simcor)
  • lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Advicor)
  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Restasis, Sandimmune)
  • dihydroergotamine (Migranal)
  • ergotamine (Ergomar, Migerot)
  • fentanyl (Abstral, Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora, Lazanda, Onsolis, Sublimaze Preservative Free, Sunsys)
  • pimozide (Orap)
  • quinidine (Neudexta)
  • sirolimus (Rapamune, Torisel)
  • tacrolimus (Prograf, Protopic)

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins,  and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • cortisone
  • dexamethasone
  • methylprednisolone
  • prednisolone
  • prednisone
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

This is not a complete list of Korlym drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Korlym Precautions

Korlym can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Loss of a pregnancy. Women who can become pregnant must:
    • have a negative pregnancy test before starting Korlym
    • have a negative pregnancy test before restarting Korlym if you stop taking it for more than 14 days
    • use a non-hormonal form of birth control while taking Korlym and for 1 month after stopping Korlym. Talk to your doctor about how to prevent pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you think you may be pregnant.

Do not take Korlym if you:

  • are pregnant
  • are taking certain medications (see "Drug Interactions")
    • must take corticosteroid medicines for other serious medical problems
  • are a woman who still has her uterus (womb) and have:
    • unexplained bleeding from your vagina
    • changes in the cells lining your uterus (endometrial hyperplasia) or cancer of the lining of your uterus (endometrial cancer)
  • are allergic to Korlym or any of the ingredients in Korlym. 

Talk to your doctor before taking Korlym if you have any of these conditions.

Korlym Food Interactions

You should not drink grapefruit juice while you take Korlym. Grapefruit juice may increase the amount of Korlym in your blood and increase your chance of having side effects.

Inform MD

Before taking Korlym, tell your doctor if you:

  • have low potassium in your blood (hypokalemia)
  • have or have had a bleeding problem or are taking medicines to thin your blood
  • have or have had heart problems
  • have had an organ transplant
  • have been taking medicines called corticosteroids (cortisone, dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone)
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Korlym passes into your breast milk and may harm your baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will take Korlym or breastfeed. You should not do both.

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

 

Korlym and Pregnancy

Do not take Korlym during pregnancy. See "Black Box Warning".

Korlym can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Loss of a pregnancy. Women who can become pregnant must:
    • have a negative pregnancy test before starting Korlym
    • have a negative pregnancy test before restarting Korlym if you stop taking it for more than 14 days
    • use a non-hormonal form of birth control while taking Korlym and for 1 month after stopping Korlym. Talk to your doctor about how to prevent pregnancy. Tell your doctor right away if you think you may be pregnant.

 

Korlym and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Korlym passes into your breast milk and may harm your baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will take Korlym or breastfeed. You should not do both.

Korlym Usage

  • Take Korlym exactly as your doctor tells you.
  • Your doctor may change your dose if needed.
  • Korlym is usually taken 1 time each day.
  • Take Korlym with food.
  • Swallow Korlym whole. Do not split, crush or chew Korlym tablets. If you cannot swallow Korlym tablets whole, tell your doctor.

Korlym Dosage

Take Korlym exactly as prescribed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The recommended starting dose is 300 mg, by mouth, once daily. The dose of Korlym may be increased to a maximum of 1200 mg once daily. The maximum dose is limited to 600 mg in kidney or liver impairment.

Korlym Overdose

If you take too much Korlym, call your local Poison Control Center or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

Store Korlym at room temperature, between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).

Keep Korlym and all medicines out of the reach of children.

 

Korlym FDA Warning

WARNING: TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY

Korlym is a potent antagonist of progesterone and cortisol via the progesterone and glucocorticoid (GR-II) receptors, respectively. The antiprogestational effects will result in the termination of pregnancy. Pregnancy must therefore be excluded before the initiation of treatment with Korlym and prevented during treatment and for one month after stopping treatment by the use of a non-hormonal medically acceptable method of contraception unless the patient has had a surgical sterilization, in which case no additional contraception is needed. Pregnancy must also be excluded if treatment is interrupted for more than 14 days in females of reproductive potential.