Why is this medication prescribed?
Bicalutamide is used with another medication (gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists; such as leuprolide or goserelin) to treat metastatic prostate cancer (cancer that started in the prostate and has spread to other parts of the body). Bicalutamide is in a class of medications called nonsteroidal antiandrogens. It works by blocking the effect of androgen (a male hormone), to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells.
How should this medicine be used?
Bicalutamide comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken with or without food once a day, either in the morning or evening. Take bicalutamide at around the same time every day. You should begin taking bicalutamide on the same day you begin injecting the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take bicalutamide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Bicalutamide along with the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone may help stop the growth and spread of cancer cells but does not cure prostate cancer. Continue to take both bicalutamide and the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone even if you feel better. Do not stop taking these medications without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Bicalutamide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- hot flashes or flushing
- bone, back, or pelvic pain
- muscle weakness
- muscle or joint pain
- shortness of breath
- increased blood pressure
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- abdominal pain
- change in weight (loss or gain)
- loss of appetite
- pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
- difficulty sleeping
- feeling of uneasiness or dread
- inability to get or keep an erection
- need to urinate frequently during the night
- bloody urine
- painful or difficult urination
- frequent and urgent need to urinate
- difficulty emptying bladder
- painful or swollen breasts
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
- flu-like symptoms
- dull or sharp side pain
- chest pain
Bicalutamide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.