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Cancer Glossary Cancer Diet Guide Support Groups

Bicalutamide (Casodex)

 

Warning:  Bicalutamide is a medication meant only for men. Women who are pregnant or who wish to become pregnant should not take Bicalutamide. If this medication is taken by a pregnant woman, Bicalutamide may cause abnormalities in the developing fetus. Before beginning a Bicalutamide regimen, you should tell your doctor if you have or have had liver disease.

Indications: Bicalutamide is a medication used to treat metastic prostate cancer, that is, cancer that began in the prostate gland and then moved to other parts of the body. Bicalutamide is known as a nonsteriodal antiandrogen and works by halting the effect that androgens (a male hormone) have on the prostate gland. Because androgen influences all cells in the body, halting the transmission of androgen to cancer cells will hold back the further development of this cancer. However, Bicalutamide is a treatment for metastic prostate cancer, not a cure. This medication is most frequently taken in combination with certain other drugs, such as leuprolide or goserelin, or other leuteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH). When taken in the proper dosage and combination, Bicalutamide can help stop the growth and spread of cancer cells. Bicalutamide is available only with a prescription and is most commonly referred to by its brand name, Casodex. At this time, a generic version of Bicalutamide is not available.

Dosage: Currently, Bicalutamide is available only in tablet form; each tablet contains 50 mg of the drug.  Follow the medication use instructions very carefully.  This medication should be taken orally once a day; most people take it in the morning or in the evening, with or without food as you choose.  It is very important that you take Bicalutamide at the same time each day.  To begin using Bicalutamide, take your first dose on the same day you begin using a leuteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) injection.  You should not take more or less medicine than has been prescribed; your doctor will determine the correct dose for you and it should be continued until your prescribing physician tells you otherwise.  Do not stop taking Bicalutamide until your doctor has told you to do so. 

Overdose: Bicalutamide overdose is not known to be fatal. However, as a precaution, if you believe you have taken a higher dose of Bicalutamide, contact your physician or a drug and poison control center near you immediately. 

Missing dose: Do not take less or more of the dose recommended by your doctor. If you miss a dose of Bicalutamide in a time not too closed to next one, it is important to take it as soon as possible.  If you recall the missing in the next day, or when it is time to take the next dose, do not double the dose; it can cause serious health problems. The wise option is to contact your physician or wait to continue the normal dosage.  

Contraindication: As was mentioned before, Bicalutamide should only be taken by men; women should not take Bicalutamide.  A patient who has shown hypersensitivity to Bicalutamide or any of its components should not take this drug. 

Interactions: The only significant interaction Bicalutamide may have is with warfarin, also known as Coumadin.  Before you begin taking Bicalutamide, your warfarin dose may need to be adjusted.  You should also tell your doctor about any other supplements or medications you are currently taking.  This includes any prescription or over the counter (OTC) drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or herbal remedies you are currently using. 

Talk you to your doctor before taking any prescription or non prescription medication: aspirin, vitamins, nutritional supplements, St. John wort, etc. Some drugs can alter the curative effects of Bicalutamide, or increase the risk of developing side effects. Consult your doctor before taking any of the the following medicines: 

  • sildenafil (Viagra) 
  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • warfarin (Coumadin) 
  • aripiprazole (Abilify) 
  • buspirone (Buspar) 
  • nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia) 
  • atorvastatin (Lipitor) 
  • lovastatin (Mevacor) 
  • indinavir (Crixivan) 
 
  • amlodipine (Norvasc) 
  • diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) 
  • felodipine (Plendil) 
  • ritonavir (Norvir) 
  • trazodone (Desyrel) 
  • halcion (Triazolam
  • Vincristine (Vincasar).  

Side effects: by attacking the growth and spread of cancer cells, Bicalutamide also attacks healthy cells that multiply rapidly; in most patients, this can cause adverse effects. most common Bicalutamide side effects include: 

  • fatigue 
  • sleepiness  
  • high blood pressure
  • erectile dysfunction
  • hair loss
  • frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • nausea and vomiting
  • difficulty emptying bladder 
  • decreased appetite 
  • painful urination
  • hot flashes or flushing 
  • bone, back, or pelvic pain 
  • muscle pain and weakness 
  • pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Intestinal problems: abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, constipation 

Although rare, Bicalutamide can cause serious side effects which require immediate medical attention; contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:   

  • dizziness   
  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • bloody urine
  • painful or swollen breasts
  • fainting (temporary loss of consciousness) 
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Painful or Difficulty swallowing 
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes  (jaundice)
  • unusual bruising or bleeding 
  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • Swelling of your arms, feet, ankles, or lower legs.  

 

For more chemotherapy side effects and steps to take manage them, please visit www.cancereffects.com