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This medicine is an anti-androgen, used in combination with another medicine to treat prostate cancer. This medicine is not intended for use in women. Casodex may interact with warfarin (Coumadin). Therefore, the dose of Coumadin may need to be adjusted.
Casodex should be taken as one 50mg tablet in the morning or the evening at the same time each day. It may be taken with or without food. Once bicalutamide therapy has begun, it should not be interrupted or stopped without consulting a physician.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Casodex is an oral medication that is used for treating cancer of the prostate. It belongs to a class of drugs, called anti-androgens which includes flutamide (Eulexin) and nilutamide (Nilandron). Androgens (an example of which is testosterone) are hormones that are produced and released by the adrenal glands. They are responsible for supporting (stimulating) tissues that primarily are thought of as male, for example, the male prostate gland. Male traits that also are influenced by androgens include facial and body hair and small breasts. Anti-androgens prevent the action of androgens by blocking the receptors for androgens on the cells of tissues, for example, the cells of the prostate gland. In addition to normal prostate cells, androgens also have been shown to stimulate the growth of cancer cells within the prostate. Casodex is thought to prevent the growth of prostate cancer by blocking the effects of androgens on the cancer cells.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Casodex should be stored at room temperature.
Possible Side Effects
When bicalutamide and a gonadotrophin, releasing factor analog, are given together, the most common side effect is hot flashes (50% of patients) and facial flushing. Alcohol may worsen this reaction, and so it should be cautiously consumed. Other common side effects of the combination are diarrhea, constipation and overall pain, including pain in the back, hips and stomach. Less common side effects are breast enlargement and breast pain, which may be due to the bicalutamide alone.
Do not share this medicine with others for whom it was not prescribed. Do not use this medicine for other health conditions. Keep this medicine out of the reach of children. If using this medicine for an extended period of time, obtain refills before your supply runs out.