What is bicalutamide, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Bicalutamide is an oral medication that is used for treating cancer of the prostate. It belongs to a class of drugs called anti-androgens which includes flutamide (Eulexin) and nilutamide (Nilandron). Androgens (an example of which is testosterone) are hormones that are produced and released by the adrenal glands. They are responsible for supporting (stimulating) tissues that primarily are thought of as male, for example, the male prostate gland. Male traits that also are influenced by androgens include facial and body hair, and small breasts. Anti-androgens prevent the action of androgens by blocking the receptors for androgens on the cells of tissues, for example, the cells of the prostate gland. In addition to normal prostate cells, androgens also have been shown to stimulate the growth of cancer cells within the prostate. Bicalutamide is thought to prevent the growth of prostate cancer by blocking the effects of androgens on the cancer cells. Bicalutamide was approved by the FDA in 1995.
What brand names are available for bicalutamide?
Is bicalutamide available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for bicalutamide?
What are the side effects of bicalutamide?
When bicalutamide and an LHRH analog are given together, the most common side effect is hot flashes (50% of patients) and facial flushing. Alcohol may worsen this reaction, and so it should be cautiously consumed.
Other common side effects of the combination are:
- water retention,
- constipation, and
- overall pain,
- pain in the back,
- hips, and
What is the dosage for bicalutamide?
Bicalutamide should be taken as one 50 mg tablet in the morning or evening at the same time each day. It may be taken with or without food. Once bicalutamide therapy has begun, it should not be interrupted or stopped without consulting a physician.
Is bicalutamide safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
NURSING MOTHERS: Bicalutamide is not used for treating women.
What else should I know about bicalutamide?
What preparations of bicalutamide are available?
Tablet: 50 mg.
How should I keep bicalutamide stored?
Bicalutamide should be stored at room temperature, 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).
Bicalutamide (Casodex) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of late stage prostate cancer. Side effects, drug interactions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Related Disease Conditions
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer. Risk factors include age, family history, ethnicity, and diet. Prostate cancer is diagnosed by a digital rectal exam, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and prostate biopsy. Symptoms may include frequent need to urinate, incontinence, pain, blood in the urine, fatigue, and more. Prognosis and treatment depend on cancer staging. Watchful waiting, surgery, radiation, cryotherapy, and other management strategies are available. Research and clinical trials strive to find new and better treatments for prostate cancer.
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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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