Rarely, flutamide has caused severe (sometimes fatal) liver problems. Immediately tell your doctor if you develop symptoms of liver problems (such as loss of appetite, persistent nausea/vomiting, persistent stomach/abdominal pain, severe tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, aching muscles, joint pain). Liver problems can happen at any time while taking flutamide, but they occur most often during the first 3 months of treatment. Your doctor will tell you whether to stop or continue flutamide. Your doctor will monitor your liver function with blood tests while you take flutamide. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments. Avoid alcohol while taking flutamide.
This medication is used to treat men with prostate cancer, and is used with other medications and sometimes with radiation treatments. Flutamide belongs to a class of drugs known as anti-androgens (anti-testosterone). Testosterone, a natural hormone, helps prostate cancer to grow and spread. Flutamide works by blocking the effects of testosterone, thereby slowing the growth and spread of prostate cancer.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using flutamide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 3 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Do not stop any medications for your prostate cancer unless told to do so by your doctor. Stopping your medications could allow the cancer to spread more rapidly.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens (such as urination becomes more difficult, bone pain increases).
See also Warning section.
Because flutamide is usually used with other medications, the side effects may be caused by the other medications or their combination. Hot flashes, loss of sexual interest/ability, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and enlargement of male breasts may occur. Less common side effects include drowsiness. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Diarrhea is a common side effect. Drink plenty of fluids as directed by your doctor to reduce your risk of losing too much body water. You may decrease dairy products, increase whole grains/vegetables/fruit, and stop any laxatives. Your doctor may prescribe anti-diarrhea medication (such as loperamide) to control your symptoms. Tell your doctor immediately if you develop severe or persistent diarrhea or signs of dehydration (such as dizziness, decreased amount of urine).
Flutamide may change the color of your urine to light orange-brown or yellow-green. This is not harmful.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (such as depression, anxiety, nervousness), a breast lump, confusion, sudden severe tiredness, weakness, pale skin, bluish fingernails/lips/skin, fast heartbeat at rest, feeling short of breath at rest.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
In the US -
Before taking flutamide, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems, a certain enzyme deficiency (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-G6PD), smoking, hemoglobin M disease.
This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness.
This medication is not usually used in women. Therefore, it is unlikely to be used during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid touching or accidentally taking this medication.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor or pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
Some of the products that may interact with this drug include: testosterone (patch, gel, injection), anabolic steroids (including over-the-counter androgens/anabolics/testosterone precursors), DHEA, warfarin.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use. Share this list with your doctor and pharmacist to lessen your risk for serious medication problems.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as liver function tests, blood PSA test) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised March 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.
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