Bicalutamide is used to stop the progression of prostate cancer and as an add-on to other forms of treatment. It belongs to a class of medicines called ‘anti-androgens.’
Uses of Bicalutamide
- To stop the progression of prostate cancer in adult men
- Bicalutamide can be used alone or in combination with radiation or surgery or other medicines in advanced or high-risk prostate cancer which has not spread yet (non-metastatic prostate cancer)
Contraindications of Bicalutamide
When should one not use Bicalutamide
- Allergy to this Bicalutamide or any excipients of the medicine
- Astemizole and Terfenadine (anti-allergy medicines), Cisapride (improves stomach motility)
- This medicine is not prescribed for use in women and children
Side effects of Bicalutamide
Common side effects of this drug are:
- Skin rashes, breast pain and swelling, weakness
- Low red blood cells (anemia), decreased hunger, reduced sex drive, fertility, impotence
- Depression, feeling dizzy, sleepy, feeling hot, constipation, gas, indigestion
- Feeling sick (nausea), hair loss or increased hair growth, dry skin, itching
- Chest pain, swelling of hands and feet, weight gain, yellowing of skin or eyes (jaundice), stomach pain, blood in the urine
- Lung problems (causing breathing problems), cough and high fever (uncommon)
- Severe allergic reactions that can cause facial and throat swelling causing breathing or swallowing difficulty with or without itching, rashes, skin peeling (serious, but rare)
Precautions and Warnings of Bicalutamide
Can I take Bicalutamide during pregnancy?
Bicalutamide is for use in males only. Use in females and children is not recommended.
Can I take Bicalutamide while breastfeeding?
Bicalutamide is for use in males only. No studies have been found for use in pregnant or breast-feeding females.
Can I drive if I have consumed Bicalutamide?
It is unlikely that Bicalutamide affects your ability to drive. This medicine may cause occasional sleepiness, be cautious if you experience any such symptoms.
Can I consume alcohol with Bicalutamide?
Alcohol does not directly interact with Bicalutamide, but some of the side effects of this medicine include dizziness or drowsiness. Note that alcohol delays healing and is not suitable for cancer.
Other General Warnings
Talk to your doctor if
- Liver, heart or blood vessel conditions
- Do not try for pregnancy till 130 days after concluding the treatment with Bicalutamide
Mode of Action of Bicalutamide
How Does It Work?
Bicalutamide works by stopping testosterone (the primary hormone responsible for males) from acting on the prostate. Testosterone is thought to cause the growth of prostate cancer and preventing it from acting on the prostate gland will stop the tumor from growing, spreading and also leads to the reduction of its size.
Interactions of Bicalutamide
Interactions with other medicines
- Avoid Astemizole or Terfenadine (used in hay fever or allergy)
- Cisapride (for stomach problems)
- Use with caution
- Medicines used to treat heart rhythm problems (Quinidine, Sotalol, Procainamide, Amiodarone)
- Prevent blood clots (Warfarin)
- Psychiatric illness (Risperidone, Clozapine, etc.)
- High blood pressure (Verapamil, Diltiazem, Nifedipine)
- Moxifloxacin (antibiotic), Methadone (for pain relief and deaddiction), Ketoconazole (antifungal), Cyclosporine (suppresses immune system), Cimetidine (to reduce stomach acid)
Interactions with food items
A person can take Bicalutamide with or without their meals.
Dietary Restrictions of Bicalutamide
Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration.
Dosage of Bicalutamide
Unintentional overdose with Bicalutamide may not be harmful. Inform your doctor in case of overdose symptoms such as dizziness, sleepiness, allergic skin reactions, yellowing of eyes or stomach discomfort.
Missed a Dose
If you missed any dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose at the scheduled time. Do not take a double dose to compensate for the missed dose.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is Bicalutamide an anti-cancer medicine?
- Testosterone plays a role in the functioning of prostate and its levels are known to increase in prostate cancer
- In clinical studies, lowering testosterone levels has shown to stop the growth of prostate cancer and reduce the size of the cancerous tumor
- Bicalutamide does not lower testosterone levels but blocks the action of testosterone on prostate
- Bicalutamide is not an anti-cancer medicine, but a useful medicine to control and treat prostate cancer and is given in combination with other medicines or radiation treatment
Q: Is there anything else I need to know before I start the medication for Bicalutamide?
- Usually, Bicalutamide has to be taken for long periods, until the progression of prostate cancer has stopped or for a minimum of 2 years
- Children are advised to stay away from this medicine
- Avoid direct contact with sunlight, use protective clothing and sunscreen lotions as this medicine can cause increased sensitivity to light
- Bicalutamide should be consumed in the exact dose under medical supervision. Do not self-medicate, self-adjust the dosage or stop the medication suddenly as it may worsen your condition
- This medicine is generally used in aged male patients past their reproductive age, but you should keep in mind that using it for prolonged periods may decrease sperm count; this maybe reversible on discontinuing the medicineread less
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)
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