Aminoglutethimide in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Risk Factor: DM
Class: Hormones / Antiadrenal agent

Contents of this page:
Fetal Risk Summary
Breast Feeding Summary
Questions and Answers

Fetal Risk Summary

Aminoglutethimide is a weak anticonvulsant that is also used for the inhibition of the adrenal cortex to produce a medical adrenalectomy (1). It also inhibits peripheral aromatase to block the conversion of androgens to estrogen (1). No animal reproduction studies have been found.

No reports describing the placental transfer of aminoglutethimide have been located. The molecular weight (approximately 232) is low enough, however, that passage to the fetus should be expected.

Aminoglutethimide when given throughout pregnancy has been suspected of causing virilization (2,3). No adverse effect was seen when exposure was limited to the 1st and early 2nd trimesters (4,5). Virilization may be caused by inhibition of adrenocortical function.

Breast Feeding Summary

No reports describing the use of aminoglutethimide during lactation have been located. The molecular weight (approximately 232) is low enough, however, that excretion into breast milk should be expected.


  1. Reynolds JEF, editor. Martindate. The Extra Pharmacopoeia. 31st ed. London:Royal Pharmaceutical Society, 1996:541.
  2. Iffy L, Ansell JS, Bryant FS, Hermann WL. Nonadrenal female pseudohermaphroditism: an unusual case of fetal masculinization. Obstet Gynecol 1965;26;5965.
  3. Marek J, Horky K. Aminoglutethimide administration in pregnancy. Lancet 1970;2:13123.
  4. Le Maire WJ, Cleveland WW, Bejar RL, Marsh JM, Fishman L. Aminoglutethimide:a possible cause of pseudohermaphroditism in females. Am J Dis Child 1972;124:4213.
  5. Hanson TJ, Ballonoff LB, Northcutt RC. Aminoglutethimide and pregnancy. JAMA 1974;230:9634.

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