Flutamide (Oral)

Overview

Flutamide, also known as Eulexin in the US, is used in conjunction with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist (LHRH) in the treatment of prostate cancer in men that has spread. This drug belongs to a group of medications known as antiandrogens. They work by blocking the effects of androgen (a male hormone), to stop the spread and growth of cancer cells. This medication is available from a prescription from your doctor and in the dosage forms of capsule and tablet.

Conditions treated

  • Cancer of the prostate gland

Type of medication

  • Oral tablet/capsule

Side effects

Along with the intended effects, this medication could cause some unwanted effects. Not all of these side effects may occur, but if they do, you may need to seek medical attention.

Inform your doctor right away if you suffer from any of the following side effects whilst taking flutamide:

More common side effects

  • Tarry, black, stools

Less common side effects

  • Slow or fast heartbeat

Rare side effects

  • Dark urine

Incidence not known

  • Bluish-colored lips, fingernails, or palms

Seek emergency help immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms of overdose:

Symptoms of overdose

  • Tearing of the eyes

Some side effects that occur with this drug usually begin to disappear as your body begins to adjust to the medication. This means they don't usually require medical attention. However, if you find they are bothersome, you can contact your local pharmacist or healthcare professional for advice on ways to prevent or reduce these side effects. Let your doctor know if any of the following side effects persist or worsen.

More common side effects

  • Feeling of warmth

Less common side effects

  • Drowsiness

Not all of the side effects possible are listed above, contact your doctor or healthcare professional if you experience anything unusual. Remember you can report all side effects to the FDA.

Dosage

The final dose of this medication will be different for each individual. The amount of medication you take will depend on your weight, age and height, any other medications you are currently taking, the strength of the medication and how you react to the first dose. Follow your doctor's orders with regards to dosing and do not stop or change your dose without speaking to them first. If you increase your dose, you could increase your risk of serious side effects, and if you decrease your dose, you could lessen the effectiveness of the drug.

For oral dosage form (capsules) for prostate cancer:

Adults: Take 2 125-milligram (mg) capsules 3 times daily every 8 hours for a total daily dose of 750 mg.

Children: The use and dose in children will be determined by a doctor.

Missed dose If you miss a dose of this medication, skip the missed dose and revert back to your original dosing schedule. Under no circumstances should you double dose to rectify a missed dose.

Interactions

Interactions between drugs can produce serious side effects and reduce the effectiveness of either drug you are using. To help limit the risk of these interactions occurring, it's important to give your doctor or healthcare professional a full and complete list of all the current medications you are taking. This should include all prescription, nonprescription drugs, all vitamins and herbal products. Let your doctor know of any other medical conditions you currently suffer from and which run in your family as these too could increase your risk of interactions.

There are over 130 drugs that can interact with this medication. It's important that you let your doctor know if you are taking any of the following drugs.

  • Maprotiline

Other medical conditions: The presence of other medical conditions can affect the use of this medication. Ensure you inform your doctor or healthcare professional if you suffer from any other medical conditions, especially

  • Hemoglobin M disease (blood disorder)

Warnings

Allergies inform your doctor or healthcare professional if you have ever suffered from an allergic reaction to this medication, or similar medications. You should also let them know about any other allergic reactions you may suffer from such as to animals, preservatives, dyes, and foods.

Certain medications should not be used around or at the time of eating food or particular types of food since interactions can be increased. Using tobacco or alcohol with certain medications can also increase your risk of interactions. There it's important to discuss with your doctor or healthcare professional about the use of this medication with alcohol, food or tobacco.

Pediatric population There is no currently available information regarding the relationship of age to the effects of flutamide in the pediatric population. Therefore, efficacy and safety have not yet been established.

Geriatric population There is no current information available on the relationship of age to the effects of flutamide in the older population. Therefore, safety and efficacy have not yet been established.

Use in pregnancy: This drug is under FDA pregnancy category B. Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus to those women who are exposed to it.

It's extremely important that your doctor monitors your progress at regular appointments to ensure that this medication is working correctly. Blood tests can monitor unwanted side effects.

Liver problems can occur whilst take this medicine. Stop using this medication immediately and check with your doctor if you suffer from one of these symptoms or more:

  • Pain or tenderness on the upper right side of the stomach

This medicine can cause com/health/gynecomastia/">gynecomastia (breast soreness and swelling of the breasts) in some patients. If you have questions on this, speak with your doctor or a healthcare professional.

Do not take other medications unless they have been prior discussed with your doctor or healthcare professional. Your doctor may decide to adjust the doses or monitor you more carefully for unwanted side effects.

Flutamide should be taken together with other medications that are used for surgery. Don't stop taking these medications without speaking with your doctor first.

This medicine comes with a patient information. Follow the instructions and read carefully. Ask your doctor for any advice.

Storage

Ensure this medication is stored in a closed container and room temperature. It should be kept away from moisture, heat, and light. Prevent this medication from freezing and keep out of the reach of children. Dispose of medication you no longer need and medication that has passed its expiry date. Contact your local pharmacist for advice on how to dispose of this medication.

Summary

When used correctly, Flutamide is successful in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. Due to a large number of interactions possible, it's important that you give your doctor a full list of all the current medications you are taking. You need to take this medication as directly ordered by your doctor. Do not stop taking it, do not change your dose or do not share this medication with others. If you alter your dose, you could put yourself at risk of severe side effects or reduce the effectiveness of this drug in your treatment. Your doctor will need to monitor your progress via regular visits and it's important you attend. Obtain blood tests to check for any unwanted side effects. The use of this medication has not been established in either children or the elderly. If you have any further questions or require more information about the practical uses of this medication, then get in touch with your local healthcare professional or your doctor.