Medical Treatment of Cushing's Disease

S. Hopkins, M. Fleseriu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Surgery remains the principal treatment modality in Cushing's disease, but up to half of the patients might need additional treatment because of persistent or recurrent disease during their lifetime. Medical therapy plays an important role in control of hypercortisolemia in patients who are not surgical candidates, who fail remission or develop a recurrence after surgery, or who are critically ill awaiting surgery. Medical therapies for Cushing's disease can be classified into three major categories: pituitary-directed neuromodulators of adrenocorticotropic hormone, adrenal steroidogenesis inhibitors, and glucocorticoid receptor blockers. This chapter reviews the mechanism of action, efficacy, adverse reactions, and role of currently available medications for the treatment of Cushing's disease. Additionally, medications under investigation, use of combination therapies, and treatment of Cushing's disease in special populations, including treatment in pregnancy and acutely ill states of hypercortisolemia, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCushing's Disease
Subtitle of host publicationAn Often Misdiagnosed and Not So Rare Disorder
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128043905
ISBN (Print)9780128043400
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cabergoline
  • Cushing's disease
  • Ketoconazole
  • Levoketoconazole
  • Medical therapy
  • Metyrapone
  • Mifepristone
  • Osilodrostat
  • Pasireotide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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