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

nilutamide, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Nilandron
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for nilutamide

Oral tablet
1

Nilutamide is used to treat prostate cancer that is metastatic (spread to other parts of your body). This drug is used in combination with the surgical removal of your testicles.

2

This drug comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Nilutamide is available as the brand-name drug Nilandron. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Food and Drug Administration 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 about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Interstitial pneumonitis warning. This drug can cause interstitial pneumonitis. This is a condition that scars your lung tissue. It can cause serious breathing problems that need to be treated in the hospital. These problems can cause death. Symptoms can include cough, chest pain, fever, and shortness of breath. This condition is more likely to happen during your first 3 months of treatment with this drug. This condition may go away when you stop taking the medication. Your doctor will do a chest x-ray and check your lung function before and during your treatment with nilutamide. If you have severe breathing problems, you should not take this drug.

Liver disease

This drug can cause serious liver disease that can be fatal (cause death). Your doctor will check your liver function before and during your treatment with this medication. Tell your doctor right away if you have signs of liver disease. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, and body aches. They can also include tiredness, loss of appetite, dark-colored urine, and yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes.

Not for use in women

This drug is not approved for use in women.

Trouble seeing in the dark

This drug can make it difficult for your eyes to adapt to the dark. This delay may range from a few extra seconds to a few minutes. You should be careful driving at night or through tunnels until you know how this drug affects you. Wearing tinted glasses may help you see better.

Drug features

Nilutamide is a prescription drug. It comes as a tablet you take by mouth.

Nilutamide is available as the brand-name drug Nilandron. It isn’t available as a generic drug.

This drug is used as part of a combination therapy. This means you need to take it with other therapies to treat your condition.

Why it's used

Nilutamide is used to treat prostate cancer that is metastatic (has spread to other parts of your body). This drug is used in combination with the surgical removal of your testicles. You’ll start treatment with this drug on the same day as your surgery or on the day after.

How it works

Nilutamide 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.

Prostate cancer needs the male hormone testosterone to grow. This drug works by blocking the effects of testosterone. This can help shrink the cancer or slow its growth.

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nilutamide Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of nilutamide can include:

  • Hot flashes

  • Urinary tract infections. Symptoms can include:

    • A burning sensation when you urinate
    • Cloudy urine
    • Pain in your pelvis or back
    • Urinating more often than normal
  • Trouble breathing

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Constipation

  • Trouble seeing in the dark

  • Blurry vision

  • Abnormallly colored vision

  • Abnormal liver test results

  • High blood pressure

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:

  • Lung problems. Symptoms can include:

    • trouble breathing
    • cough
    • chest pain
    • fever
  • Liver problems. Symptoms can include:

    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • stomach pain
    • tiredness
    • loss of appetite
    • dark urine
    • flu-like symptoms, such as body aches, chills, or fever
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Nilutamide doesn’t 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

nilutamide May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Nilutamide can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

Drinking alcohol may cause a reaction while you’re taking this drug. You may have facial flushing (reddening and warming of your skin), a low heart rate, and a general unwell feeling. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Increased side effects from other drugs: Taking nilutamide with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Vitamin K antagonists, such as warfarin
    • Taking these drugs with nilutamide can cause severe bleeding or bruising. Your doctor may reduce your dosage of warfarin.
  • Phenytoin
    • Taking this drug with nilutamide can cause mood changes, confusion, loss of coordination, and slowed breathing. Your doctor may reduce your dosage of phenytoin.
  • Theophylline
    • Taking this drug with nilutamide can cause vomiting, stomach pain, and restlessness. Your doctor may reduce your dosage of theophylline.

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 breathing problems

This drug may cause lung and breathing problems. This drug may make your condition worse. If your breathing problems are severe, you should not take this drug.

People with liver problems

This drug can cause liver problems. Your doctor will check your liver function while you’re taking this medication. If you have severe liver disease, you should not use this drug. If you have mild to moderate liver problems, your doctor may monitor you more closely.

For children

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years of age.

Allergies

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

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center 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. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take nilutamide (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug 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?

Metastatic prostate cancer

Brand: Nilandron

Form: oral tablet
Strength: 150 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
  • Typical starting dosage: 300 mg taken once per day for 30 days
  • Maintenance dosage: After 30 days, your doctor will likely decrease your dosage to 150 mg taken once per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years of age.

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

Nilutamide 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

Your 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.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • a general unwell feeling
  • headache
  • dizziness

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. If you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

Your doctor will do tests to check if this drug is working for you.

Nilutamide is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
with or without food Take nilutamide with or without food
timing considerations Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
do not cut or crush Do not cut or crush the tablet
storage considerations Store this drug carefully See Details
medication is refillable A prescription for this medication is refillable See Details
travel considerations 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 needed Insurance See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store nilutamide at room temperature. Keep it between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

Your doctor should monitor certain health issues during your treatment. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Liver function. Your doctor will do blood tests to check how well your liver is working. If your liver isn’t working well, your doctor may reduce your dosage or stop your treatment with this drug.
  • Lung function. Your doctor will check your lung function before and during your treatment with this drug. If your lungs aren’t working well, your doctor may reduce your dosage or stop your treatment with this drug.

Insurance

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

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does nilutamide Cost?

Oral tablet

We've partnered with GoodRx so you can compare prices, find discounts and save up to 80% on your next prescription. Check out the low coupon prices below — no insurance required.

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Lowest price for nilutamide

CVS Pharmacy $4,460.25
Target (CVS) $4,460.25
Kroger Pharmacy $4,460.75
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for nilutamide on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for nilutamide on GoodRx. They 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 February 26, 2016

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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