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Here is a quick mnemonic/memory aid “ADRENAL to remember about Drugs Causing Adrenal Insufficiency


AAntibiotics (Rifampin): Rifampin is known to induce adrenal insufficiency by increasing the metabolism of cortisol, reducing its effectiveness.

DDexamethasone: Ironically, this corticosteroid medication, when used in high doses and for extended periods, can suppress the adrenal glands’ ability to produce cortisol, leading to adrenal insufficiency.

RRitonavir: This antiretroviral medication used to treat HIV can interfere with adrenal function, leading to adrenal insufficiency.

EEtomidate: Etomidate is an intravenous anesthetic that can temporarily suppress adrenal gland function.

NNifedipine: This calcium channel blocker medication may lead to adrenal insufficiency in rare cases.

AAminoglutethimide: This drug, used in the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome and certain cancers, can cause adrenal insufficiency by inhibiting adrenal steroid synthesis.

LLithium: Long-term use of lithium for bipolar disorder can affect adrenal gland function and contribute to adrenal insufficiency.

  • “Pharmacology: Principles and Practice” – Page 256 📚
  • “Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics” – Page 482 📚
  • “Katzung & Trevor’s Pharmacology: Examination & Board Review” – Page 173 📚
  • “Basic and Clinical Pharmacology” – Page 309 📚
  • “Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology” – Page 221 📚
  • “Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Pharmacology” – Page 137 📚
  • “Pharmacology for Nurses” – Page 88 📚
  • “Lehne’s Pharmacology for Nursing Care” – Page 402 📚

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department