Generic Name: bicalutamide, Oral tablet

Generic Name:

bicalutamide, Oral tablet

Casodex

All Brands

  • Casodex
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for bicalutamide

Oral tablet
1

Bicalutamide is an oral drug that’s used to treat prostate cancer that’s spread to other parts of your body (metastatic). It’s used in combination with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) analogue to treat your cancer.

2

The recommended dose is 50 mg taken by mouth once per day in the morning or the evening. You should take this drug at the same time every day with or without food.

3

Bicalutamide may increase your chance of liver problems, including liver failure.This may require treatment in a hospital or it may even be fatal. Your doctor should test your liver before starting and regularly during treatment with this drug. Tell your doctor right away if you have symptoms of liver problems during treatment, including yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes, dark-colored urine, right upper stomach area pain, nausea and vomiting, tiredness, loss of appetite, fever, and chills.

4

Bicalutamide must be given with an LH-RH analogue. LH-RH analogues may raise your risk of high blood sugar and diabetes. If you already have diabetes, LH-RH analogues may make your condition worse. Your doctor may need to change your diabetes medications. You should watch your blood sugar levels closely if you’re taking these drugs together.

5

Common side effects of bicalutamide include breast enlargement and breast pain. The most common side effects that occur when bicalutamide is used with an LH-RH analogue include hot flashes, back, pelvic, or stomach pain, weakness, constipation, infection, nausea, swelling in your hands and feet, shortness of breath, diarrhea, blood in your urine, needing to urinate at night, and low red blood cell count (anemia).

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Liver problems

Bicalutamide may increase your chance of liver problems, including liver failure. This may require treatment in a hospital or it may even be fatal. Your doctor should do blood tests to check how well your liver works before you start treatment, every month for the first 4 months of treatment, and periodically during the rest of your treatment. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of liver problems, including:

  • yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
  • dark-colored urine
  • right upper stomach area pain
  • nausea and vomiting
  • tiredness
  • loss of appetite
  • fever
  • chills

Breast changes and pain risk

Bicalutamide may cause enlarged breasts and breast pain.

Drug features

Bicalutamide is a prescription drug. It is available as an oral tablet.

Bicalutamide is available as a brand and generic formulation. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases they may not be available in every strength or dosage form as the brand. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if the generic will work for you.

This drug is always taken in combination with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) analogue. It is important to know about all the drugs in the combination because each drug may affect you in a different way.

Why it's used

Bicalutamide is used to treat stage D2 prostate cancer that’s spread to other parts of your body (metastatic).

How it works

Bicalutamide belongs to a class of drugs called androgen receptor inhibitors.

More Details

How it works

Bicalutamide belongs to a class of drugs called androgen receptor inhibitors. A class of drugs refers to medications that work similarly. They have a similar chemical structure and are often used to treat similar conditions. 

Prostate cancer is an androgen-sensitive cancer. It responds to treatments that block the effect of androgen hormones (testosterone, androsterone) and/or remove androgens. Bicalutamide stops the action of androgens by binding to androgen receptors. The androgens can’t attach to the receptor, which stops the cancer from growing.

SECTION 2 of 5

bicalutamide Side Effects

Oral tablet

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with bicalutamide taken with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) analogue include:

  • hot flashes or short periods of feeling warm and sweating

  • whole body pain or pain in your back, pelvis, and stomach

  • weakness

  • constipation

  • infection

  • nausea

  • swelling in your ankles, legs, or feet

  • diarrhea

  • blood in your urine

  • waking from sleep to urinate at night

  • decrease in your red blood cells (anemia)

  • dizziness

  • enalrgement of your breasts (gynecomastia) and breast pain

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening, or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • liver problems or liver failure. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
    • dark-colored urine
    • right upper stomach area pain
    • nausea and vomiting
    • tiredness
    • loss of appetite
    • fever
    • chills
  • trouble breathing with or without a cough or fever. Some people taking bicalutamide develop an inflammation in the lungs called interstitial lung disease. Your risk may be higher if you take a dose greater than 50 mg.

  • allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • itchy skin
    • hives (raised bumps)
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
    • trouble swallowing
  • high blood sugar levels (when taking bicalutamide with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) analogue). Symptoms may include:

    • urinating more often than usual
    • intense thirst
    • intense hunger despite eating
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Bicalutamide does not cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

bicalutamide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Bicalutamide can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: You can reduce your chances of drug interactions by having all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. That way, a pharmacist can check for possible drug interactions.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Blood thinners
  • warfarin

Bicalutamide can make blood thinners not work as well. Your doctor will monitor you closely if you take these drugs together. Your warfarin dose may need to be adjusted.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.

People with liver disease

Bicalutamide is broken down mostly by your liver. If your liver doesn’t work as well as it should, this drug may build up in your body. You should use caution when taking bicalutamide if you have moderate to severe liver disease.

Pregnant women

Bicalutamide is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy.

Women shouldn’t take this drug. It’s only approved for use in men.

Women who are breast-feeding

Bicalutamide may pass into breast milk and cause serious side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Women shouldn’t take this drug. It’s only approved for use in men.

For seniors

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. Because of this, you may have a higher risk of side effects. Your doctor may monitor you more closely for signs of any side effects from bicalutamide.

For children

The safety and effectiveness of bicalutamide haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years of age.

Contact with drug

This drug can be absorbed through your skin if you handle it. If you are a woman who is pregnant or plans to become pregnant soon, you should not touch this drug because it can cause birth defects.

Allergies

Bicalutamide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • itching
  • hives (raised bumps)
  • swelling of your face, lips, or tongue
  • trouble breathing or swelling of your throat

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it a second time after an allergic reaction could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take bicalutamide (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Prostate cancer

Brand: Casodex

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 50 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18-64 years)
  • Take one 50-mg tablet by mouth once per day, in the morning or evening.
  • This drug is always given in combination with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) analogue.
Child dosage (ages 0-17 years)

The safety and effectiveness of bicalutamide haven’t been established in people younger than 18 years of age.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process drugs more slowly.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Bicalutamide comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you miss a dose

If you miss a dose, don’t take an extra dose. Take the next dose at your regular time.

Don’t take two doses at the same time to try to make up for the missed dose. Doing so could cause toxic side effects.

If you take too much

If you take too much bicalutamide, call your doctor or poison control center right away.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your doctor may do blood tests that measure your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to check your prostate while you’re taking bicalutamide. This will tell you if the drug is working to treat your cancer.

Bicalutamide is a long-term drug treatment.

Don’t stop taking bicalutamide unless your healthcare provider tells you to.

Store bicalutamide at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C)

Keep it away from high temperature.

Keep your drugs away from areas where they could get wet, such as bathrooms. Store this drug away from moisture and damp locations.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry it with you in your carry-on bag. 
  • Don’t keep your medication in your luggage or in a car where the temperature could rise.
  • If you’re traveling to a warm climate, keep this drug in air conditioning. Keep it in a tightly closed container away from heat and moisture. 
  • Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • Keep the original prescription label with you when traveling. You may need to show your pharmacy’s label to identify the medication.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor may do the following tests before starting and during your treatment with bicalutamide:

  • prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level. This blood test checks your prostate.
  • liver function
  • blood sugar level. Your doctor will check your blood sugar levels if you’re taking bicalutamide with an luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) analogue.

Sun sensitivity

Bicalutamide can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. You should avoid direct exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light. Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when you’re outside.

Not every pharmacy stocks this drug, so call ahead

Your local pharmacy may be able to order this drug for you with advanced notice.

Insurance

Some insurance companies will require a prior authorization before they approve the prescription and pay for bicalutamide.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be more suitable for you than others. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

What does the pill look like?

Showing - out of 14
SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does bicalutamide Cost?

Oral tablet
We've partnered with GoodRX so you can compare prices and save money on your next prescription. Check out the lowest cash prices below and enter your zip code to find the best deal near you.

Compare prices and save money on your next refill!

Lowest price for bicalutamide

Sams Club $10.00
Kroger Pharmacy $20.81
Kmart $22.65
These represent the lowest cash prices for bicalutamide and may be lower than your insurance.

Find the lowest prices of bicalutamide near you

These represent the lowest cash prices for bicalutamide and may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on August 10, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Read This Next

Impotence and Recovery from Prostate Surgery: What to Expect
Impotence and Recovery from Prostate Surgery: What to Expect
Why It Pays to Get Checked for Prostate Cancer
Why It Pays to Get Checked for Prostate Cancer
Prostate Procrastination: 6 Foods to Eat Today
Prostate Procrastination: 6 Foods to Eat Today
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement