Korlym

1 What is Korlym?

Brand: Korlym, Mifeprex

Generic: Mifepristone

Korlym is a drug used for inducing abortion in pregnancies 7 weeks old or less, along with other medicines. 

It is also used to treat high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) in adults with type 2 diabetes and glucose intolerance. Doctors also use Korlym for certain cases of breast cancers that progress due to effects of the progesterone in the body. 

Korlym is a synthetic steroid that blocks effects of progesterone. Korlym also works for Cushing’ s syndrome as it blocks the effects of the hormone cortisol, which is responsible for Cushing’s syndrome’s symptoms.

For inducing abortion, Mifepristone must be used with prostaglandin analog drugs such as Misoprostol or Gemeprost. 

Korlym requires a prescription in purchasing. Korlym must be used only according to doctor’s instructions. Korlym can cause serious side effects such as heavy bleeding in the vagina, bacterial infection, or can cause serious defects to the baby. 

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Korlym, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Korlym can cause termination of pregnancy, miscarriage or serious harm to the baby when used in pregnant patients. Usually, the doctor will order a pregnancy test first before prescribing Korlym to women within childbearing age.

Do not take Mifepristone if you have unexplained vaginal bleeding. The safety of Mifepristone in children and patients below 17 years old is not fully understood.  Tell all your health problems to the doctor before receiving Mifepristone.

The doctor needs to know if you have the following health conditions before prescribing Korlym:

  • Endometrial hyperplasia 
  • Uterine cancer
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you take steroid medicines for any serious illness. Steroid medications include Prednisone, Prednisolone, Dexamethasone, Betamethasone, Beclomethasone, Fludocortisone, Aldosterone and Triamcinolone. 
  • Have low potassium levels in the blood
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Problems with the thyroid gland
  • Problems with the adrenal glands

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythrematosus (SLE) or psoriasis

Note that Mifepristone may make birth control pills less effective. You need to use a barrier birth control device such as a condom with spermicide when having sex when receiving Mifepristone and continue to do so for at least one month after ending treatment. 

Do not breastfeed when receiving Mifepristone. It is not yet known if Mifepristone is expressed in breast milk.

Food may increase levels of Mifepristone in the bloodstream. If you take Mifepristone for several times, take it with food at the same time every day. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice are contraindicated with Mifepristone.

Mifepristone can interact with several medicines and cause undesirable effects. You need to mention all medicines you take, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and even herbal preparations because some of them may interact with Mifepristone.

Tell your doctor if you take the following medications before receiving Mifepristone:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Abarelix
  • Adenosine
  • Albuterol
  • Alfuzosin
  • Amiodarone
  • Amitryptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Amoxicillin
  • Amprenavir
  • Anagrelide
  • Isoprotenerol
  • Anisindione
  • Apixaban
  • Apomorphine
  • Adreparin
  • Argetroban
  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Lumefrantine
  • Asenapine
  • Propoxyphene
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Astemizole
  • Atanazavir
  • Atomoxetine
  • Avanafil
  • Azithromycin
  • Beclomethasone
  • Bedaquiline
  • Ergotamine
  • Bepidril
  • Betamethasone
  • Bivalirudin
  • Boceprevir
  • Brexpiprazole
  • Brompheniramine
  • Budesonide
  • Bupivacaine
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cangrelor
  • Ceritinib
  • Chloroquine
  • Chlorpromazine 
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Cisapride
  • Citaprolam
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clompramine
  • Clopidogrel
  • Clozapine
  • Cobicistat
  • Cobimetinib
  • Promethazine
  • Colchicine
  • Conivaptan
  • Corticorelin
  • Corticotropin
  • Cortisone
  • Cosyntropin
  • Crizotinib
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dabigatran
  • Dalteparin
  • Danaparoid
  • Dasabuvir / Ombitasvir / Paritaprevir / Ritonavir
  • Dasatinib
  • Daunorubicin
  • Daunorubicin Liposomal
  • Defibrotide
  • Degarelix
  • Delavirdine
  • Desipramine
  • Desirudin
  • Dexamethasone
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Dicumarol
  • Dihydroergotamine
  • Dinoprostone Topical
  • Disopyramide
  • Dofetilide
  • Dolasetron
  • Doxepin
  • Doxepin Topical
  • Doxorubicin
  • Doxorubicin Liposomal
  • Dronedarone
  • Droperidol
  • Edoxaban
  • Eliglustat
  • Tenofovir
  • Enoxaparin
  • Hydroxyzine 
  • Epirubicin
  • Ergonovine
  • Ergotamine
  • Eribulin
  • Erythromycin
  • Escitalopram
  • Everolimus
  • Simvastatin
  • Ezogabine
  • Fentanyl
  • Fingolimod
  • Flecainide
  • Flibanserin
  • Fluconazole
  • Fludrocortisone
  • Flunisolide
  • Fluoxetine
  • Fluphenazine
  • Fluticasone
  • Fondaparinux
  • Mometasone
  • Fosamprenavir
  • Gatifloxacin
  • Gemifloxacin
  • Goserelin
  • Granisetron
  • Grepafloxacin
  • Guaifenesin
  • Halofantrine
  • Haloperidol
  • Halothane
  • Heparin
  • Histrelin
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Oxycodone
  • Ibutilide
  • Idarubicin
  • Idelalisib
  • Iloperidone
  • Imipramine
  • Indinavir
  • Isoproterenol
  • Itraconazole
  • Ivabradine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lapatinib
  • Lenvatinib
  • Lepirudin
  • Leuprolide
  • Levofloxacin
  • Levomethadyl Acetate
  • Lithium
  • Lomefloxacin
  • Lomitapide
  • Ritonavir
  • Lovastatin
  • Maprotiline
  • Mefloquine
  • Promethazine
  • Mesoridazine
  • Metaproterenol
  • Methadone
  • Methotrimeprazine
  • Methylergonovine
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Methysergide Maleate
  • Midazolam
  • Mometasone
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Naloxegol
  • Nefazodone
  • Nelfinavir
  • Netupitant 
  • Nilotinib
  • Nisoldipine
  • Norfloxacin
  • Nortriptyline
  • Ofloxacin
  • Ondansetron
  • Osimertinib
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Paliperidone
  • Panobinostat
  • Pasireotide
  • Pazopanib
  • Pentamidine
  • Perflutren
  • Perphenazine
  • Pimavanserin
  • Pimozide
  • Posaconazole
  • Prasugrel
  • Prednisolone
  • Prednisone
  • Probucol
  • Procainamide
  • Prochlorperazine
  • Promazine
  • Promethazine
  • Propafenone
  • Propoxyphene
  • Protriptyline
  • Terfenadine
  • Quetiapine
  • Quinidine
  • Quinine
  • Ranolazine
  • Red Yeast Rice
  • Rilpivirine
  • Risperidone
  • Ritodrine
  • Rivaroxaban
  • Romidepsin
  • Saquinavir
  • Sertraline
  • Sevoflurane
  • Simvastatin
  • Sirolimus
  • Solifenacin
  • Sorafenib
  • Sotalol
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Sunitinib
  • Tacrolimus
  • Tamoxifen
  • Telaprevir
  • Telavancin
  • Telithromycin
  • Terbutaline
  • Terfenadine
  • Tetrabenazine
  • Thioridazine
  • Ticagrelor
  • Ticlopidine
  • Tinzaparin
  • Tizanidine
  • Toremifene
  • Trazodone
  • Triamcinolone
  • Triazolam
  • Trifluoperazine
  • Triflupromazine
  • Trimipramine
  • Triptorelin
  • Troleandomycin
  • Vandetanib
  • Vardenafil
  • Vasopressin
  • Vemurafenib
  • Venetoclax
  • Venlafaxine
  • Vorapaxar
  • Voriconazole
  • Warfarin
  • Ziprasidone

3 Precautions to Take

Before using Korlym, there are some precautions you must take. Always maintain open communication with your doctor when you received Korlym. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any untoward symptoms after taking Korlym. 

If you took Mifepristone for abortion, do not miss any clinic or lab appointments. The doctor will schedule these appointments to know if pregnancy has ended and check for side effects. 

If you are taking Korlym for Cushing’s disease, note that it requires continual tapering when discontinuing treatment. Missing a dose of Mifepristone can result in serious adverse effects. 

Korlym may cause dizziness, so do not drive or perform unsafe tasks after receiving the drug. Alcohol may increase dizziness caused by Mifepristone. 

Mifepristone is not suitable for ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the womb). Taking Mifepristone in such case can result in severe painful bleeding that can be fatal. 

Note that you can become pregnant immediately after taking Mifepristone. Make sure you use proper birth control when having sex. 

If you receive care from another doctor or dentist, make sure to tell them you are receiving Mifepristone. 

If you became pregnant or do breastfeeding while receiving Mifepristone, call the doctor immediately. Mifepristone is known to cause birth defects when taken during pregnancy, and if the treatment did not result to complete termination of pregnancy. 

4 Potential Side Effects

If you notice any side effects of Korlym, immediately make an appointment with your doctor.

Call your doctor if you experience the following while receiving Korlym:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as itching, skin rash, hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue or throat
  • Fainting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High fever above 38 C or at least 100.4 F
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding, evidenced by soaking at least 2 full-size sanitary pads for two hours, or if bleeding becomes visibly profuse
  • Pain or tenderness in the pelvic area
  • Severe dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Severe and persistent nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual weakness
  • Vaginal discomfort
  • Itching or unusual discharge

Mifepristone may have these minor side effects. Call your doctor if these side effects become too bothersome:

  • Back pain
  • Chills 
  • Shaking
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain and cramps similar to menses
  • Tiredness
  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • Vomiting
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