Flutamide | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

flutamide, Oral capsule

All Brands

  • Eulexin (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for flutamide

Oral capsule
1

Flutamide is an oral drug used to treat moderate-to-severe prostate cancer in men.

2

The drug is used in combination with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists to treat stage B2-C or stage D2 prostate cancer.

3

The recommended dose for adults is two 125-mg capsules (250 mg) taken by mouth three times per day (every 8 hours), for a total daily dose of 750 mg.

4

Common side effects include hot flashes, loss of sex drive (libido), erectile dysfunction, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or breast enlargement.

5

Flutamide can cause liver failure. You may need to be hospitalized. In rare cases, this can be fatal.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to drug effects that may be dangerous.

Liver failure warning. Flutamide can cause liver failure. You may need to be hospitalized. In rare cases, it can be fatal. Liver failure may be more likely to happen during the first 3 months of treatment. You should have your liver checked before starting flutamide. You should also have it checked every month for the first 4 months of treatment, and as often as your doctor suggests after that. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of liver problems, including:

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

Not for women

Flutamide is only used in men. Women shouldn’t take this drug.

Combination therapy only

Flutamide must be used as part of a combination therapy. This means that you need to take it with another drug, a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist, for it to work. You shouldn’t stop taking either medication without speaking to your doctor first.

What is flutamide?

Flutamide is a prescription drug. It is available as a capsule that you take by mouth.

Flutamide is only available in a generic form.

This drug is taken as part of a combination therapy. This means you need to take it with other medications. You need to take flutamide with a luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist.

Why it's used

Flutamide is used to treat stage B2-C or stage D2 prostate cancer in men. It is used in combination with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists.

How it works

Flutamide belongs to a class of drugs called antiandrogens. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way.

More Details

How it works

Flutamide belongs to a class of drugs called antiandrogens. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

With prostate cancer, the tumor needs a hormone called androgen to grow. Flutamide is used with LHRH-agonists in a combined treatment called total androgen blockade. The goal of this treatment is to reduce androgen levels and block the effect of androgen on the tumor. The LHRH-agonist reduces androgen levels. Flutamide blocks the effect of androgen on the tumor.

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flutamide Side Effects

Oral capsule

Most Common Side Effects

The more common side effects that can occur with flutamide include:

  • hot flashes

  • loss of sex drive (libido)

  • erectile dysfunction (impotence)

  • diarrhea

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • breast enlargement (gynecomastia)

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

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • Liver failure. Symptoms can include:

    • loss of appetite
    • nausea and vomiting
    • stomach or abdominal pain (upper right side of abdomen)
    • feeling extremely tired
    • flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches or soreness
    • brown-colored urine
    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Anemia. Symptoms can include:

    • pale grey- or blue-colored skin
    • headache
    • dark or chocolate-colored blood
    • weakness
    • confusion
    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • fast heart rate
    • tiredness
    • dark-colored urine
    • pain in the upper stomach area
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Flutamide 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.
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flutamide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Flutamide 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 (anticoagulants)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

It may take longer for your blood to clot if you start flutamide after being on a blood thinner for a long time. Your warfarin dose might be changed if you take these medications together.

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.
Flutamide warnings
severe liver dysfunction
People with severe liver dysfunction

Flutamide may cause liver failure. It can lead to hospitalization, and may even be fatal. Liver failure may be more likely to occur during the first 3 months of treatment with flutamide. Your doctor should check your liver function before starting and during treatment. You may not be able to take this drug if your liver problems are severe.

allergies
Allergies

Flutamide can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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

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How to Take flutamide (Dosage)

Oral capsule

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
Form: Oral capsule
Strengths: 250 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The recommended dose is two 125-mg capsules (250 mg), taken by mouth every 8 hours, three times per day. The total daily dose is 750 mg.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people under the age of 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Older adults may process drugs more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lower dose.

Special considerations

People with liver disease: You may not be able to take flutamide if your liver disease is severe. Talk to your doctor to find out if this drug is safe for you.

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
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Flutamide comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

If you don’t take flutamide at all or skip doses, your tumor and cancer may get worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you forget to take your dose, just take your next dose on schedule. Don’t take two doses at one time to try to make up for the missed dose. Doing so could cause dangerous side effects.

If you take too much

If you think that you’ve taken too much flutamide, you are at higher risk of side effects. Call your healthcare provider or poison control center right away.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your doctor should be able to see that your tumor is getting smaller, or that your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels are decreasing.

Flutamide is a long-term drug treatment.

 

Flutamide warnings
timing
You should take flutamide every 8 hours
do not crush or cut
Don’t crush or cut flutamide capsules
storage
Flutamide must be stored at the right temperature
See Details
travel
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead.
prior authorization
Insurance
See Details

Flutamide must be stored at the right temperature

  • Store flutamide at a temperature between 68°F (20°C) and 77°F (25°C).
  • Don’t freeze flutamide.
  • Keep it away from light.
  • 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 your medication with you, such as in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt this medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff your pharmacy’s label to clearly identify your medication. Keep the original prescription label with you.
  • Don’t leave this medication in the car, especially when the temperature is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor will check the following to make sure that flutamide is working for you:

  • the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood
  • the size of your prostate
  • results of liver function tests
  • results of tests to see if you have an anemia
  • your prothrombin time (how long it takes your blood to clot) if you’re taking a blood thinner at the same time as the flutamide

Insurance

Some insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are several drugs in this class and other medications that can be used to treat prostate cancer. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does flutamide Cost?

Oral capsule

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Lowest price for flutamide

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Kroger Pharmacy $25.25
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for flutamide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for flutamide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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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 24, 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.
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