Rarely, nilutamide has caused severe (sometimes fatal) lung problems (interstitial pneumonitis). Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of lung problems (such as cough, trouble breathing, chest pain, fever). Lung problems can happen at any time while you are taking nilutamide, but they occur most often during the first 3 months of treatment. Your doctor will tell you whether to stop or continue nilutamide.
Your doctor may have you get a chest X-ray and breathing tests before you start nilutamide.
This medication is used to treat men with prostate cancer, and is used after surgery (removal of the testicles) or with other medications. Nilutamide belongs to a class of drugs known as anti-androgens (anti-testosterone). Testosterone, a natural hormone, helps prostate cancer to grow and spread. Nilutamide works by blocking the effects of testosterone, thereby slowing the growth and spread of prostate cancer.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once daily or as directed by your doctor. If you are taking nilutamide after surgery, it is usually started on the day of surgery or the day after. After 30 days of treatment, your doctor will usually decrease your dose.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. The length of treatment depends on how your body and the cancer respond to nilutamide and other treatments.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time 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 nilutamide may be used with other medications, the side effects may be due to any one medicine or the combination of medications. Hot flashes, sweating, dizziness, loss of sexual interest/ability, vision changes (such as difficulty seeing when moving into the dark or light, changes in color vision), stomach pain, constipation, nausea, signs of alcohol intolerance (such as flushing, tiredness) dry skin, increased sensitivity to touch/pain, and loss of body hair may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
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.
Rarely, nilutamide has caused severe (sometimes fatal) liver problems. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop symptoms of liver problems (such as loss of appetite, persistent nausea/vomiting/stomach pain, severe tiredness, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin). Liver problems can happen at any time while taking nilutamide, but they occur most often during the first 3-4 months of treatment. Your doctor will tell you whether to stop or continue nilutamide. Your doctor will monitor your liver function with blood tests before you start and while you are taking nilutamide. Keep all medical and laboratory appointments.
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.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Before taking nilutamide, 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: lung disease (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, emphysema), liver problems.
This drug may rarely make you dizzy, drowsy, or cause vision changes. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. You may also develop intolerance to alcohol while taking this medication. Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.
Nilutamide should not be used in women. Women who are pregnant should avoid touching or accidentally taking this medication. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more information.
It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Women who are breast-feeding should avoid touching or accidentally taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more information.
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, phenytoin, theophylline, 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 right away. 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 before and periodically during treatment to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. (See also Warning section.)
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 at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture. Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
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