Nubeqa (darolutamide) is a prescription drug that’s used to treat certain types of prostate cancer in adults. Nubeqa comes as an oral tablet.
Nubeqa contains the active ingredient darolutamide. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
Nubeqa belongs to a class of drugs called androgen receptor blockers. It’s not available as a generic drug.
Like most drugs, Nubeqa may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Nubeqa may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Nubeqa. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Nubeqa can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Nubeqa’s prescribing information. These side effects may vary depending on the condition Nubeqa is used to treat and whether it’s used with other medications.
Mild side effects of Nubeqa that have been reported include:
- decreased appetite
- constipation or diarrhea
- fatigue (low energy)
- high blood sugar
- increased liver enzymes, which may be a sign of liver damage
- pain in your arm, hand, leg, or foot
- weight gain
- mild allergic reaction,* including skin rash
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Nubeqa can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Nubeqa, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, you should call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Nubeqa that have been reported include:
- heart-related side effects, including:
- pulmonary embolism
- urinary retention
- severe allergic reaction*
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Nubeqa. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Nubeqa that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Form and strength
Nubeqa comes as an oral tablet. It’s available in one strength of 300 milligrams (mg).
You’ll likely take the recommended Nubeqa dosage, which is 600 mg (two tablets) taken twice per day.
Questions about taking Nubeqa
Below are some common questions about taking Nubeqa.
- Can Nubeqa be chewed, crushed, or split? No, you should not chew, crush, or split Nubeqa tablets. You should swallow them whole. If you’re having trouble swallowing pills, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
- Should I take Nubeqa with food? Yes, you should take your Nubeqa doses with food.
- Is there a best time of day to take Nubeqa? No, there’s no best time of day to take Nubeqa. But you should take your doses around the same time each morning and evening. This helps keep a consistent level of the drug in your body.
- What if I miss a dose of Nubeqa? If you miss a Nubeqa dose, take it as soon as you remember. You should not take two doses at once to make up for a missed dose. Doing so could raise your risk of side effects.
- Will I need to use Nubeqa long term? Yes. You’ll likely use Nubeqa until your cancer worsens or you have bothersome side effects.
Do not take more Nubeqa than your doctor prescribes. With some drugs, taking more than prescribed can lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Nubeqa
Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Nubeqa. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach America’s Poison Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
Whether you have health insurance or not, cost may be a factor when you’re considering Nubeqa. What you’ll pay for Nubeqa may depend on several things, such as your treatment plan and the pharmacy you use.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. A program called Access Services may also be available.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. If you’d like to explore an alternative to Nubeqa, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that might work well for you.
The following drugs are similar to Nubeqa:
Below is important information you should consider before taking Nubeqa.
Taking a drug with certain medications, vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the drug works. These effects are called interactions.
Nubeqa can interact with several other medications. It can also interact with certain supplements as well as certain foods.
Before taking Nubeqa, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
Below is a list of medications that can interact with Nubeqa. This list does not contain all drugs that may interact with Nubeqa. If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
|Drug group or drug name
|drugs that speed up the activity of certain proteins that break down Nubeqa
|• rifampin (Rimactane)
• carbamazepine (Tegretol, others)
|drugs that slow down the activity of certain proteins that break down Nubeqa
|drugs that are dependent on certain proteins to break them down
|• rosuvastatin (Crestor)
Nubeqa can also interact with other substances such as:
- Vitamins or supplements: St. John’s wort. Doctors will typically recommend not using St. John’s wort if you’re prescribed Nubeqa. This is because St. John’s wort may make Nubeqa less effective.
- Foods: Grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Doctors will typically recommend avoiding grapefruit products during your Nubeqa treatment, as they may raise your risk of side effects from the drug.
- Alcohol: Nubeqa is not known to interact with alcohol. But alcohol and Nubeqa may cause some of the same side effects, such as nausea and fatigue (low energy). If you drink, combining this drug with alcohol may raise your risk of these side effects.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether Nubeqa is safe to take during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. The drug is only approved to treat prostate cancer in males.* The drug hasn’t been studied in females.*
* In this article, we use the term “male” and “female” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
If you have a sexual partner who can become pregnant, you should use birth control (such as condoms) during Nubeqa treatment and for at least 1 week after your last dose.
If you have questions about your birth control needs while taking this drug, talk with your doctor.
Nubeqa can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Nubeqa is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Nubeqa. Be sure to tell them if any of the following factors apply to you:
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Nubeqa.
How does Nubeqa work?
Prostate cancer needs testosterone to grow and spread. Nubeqa blocks the effects of testosterone, which helps slow cancer growth. It also helps prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.
If you have other questions about how Nubeqa works or what to expect from treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Does Nubeqa cause long-term side effects?
It’s possible. In rare cases, long-term side effects did occur in studies of Nubeqa.
Examples of long-term side effects that Nubeqa may cause include:
- heart-related side effects, such as:
- pulmonary embolism, which can cause long-term problems and require ongoing treatment
- seizure, which can occur even after taking Nubeqa for a long time (but may go away if treatment is stopped)
If you have other questions about long-term side effects with Nubeqa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Will Nubeqa cure prostate cancer?
No, Nubeqa will not cure prostate cancer. There currently isn’t a cure for cancer, including prostate cancer.
However, cancer treatments, including Nubeqa, can help prevent cancer from growing and spreading.
If you have questions about what to expect from your Nubeqa treatment, talk with your doctor.
Nubeqa is used in adults to treat:
- Metastatic,* hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. For this use, Nubeqa is taken along with docetaxel (Taxotere).
- Non-metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer. For this use, Nubeqa is taken alone after surgery to remove both testicles. For people who haven’t had this surgery, Nubeqa is taken with a certain kind of hormone therapy.
The prostate is a small gland located under the bladder in males.† Prostate cancer needs testosterone to grow. Some prostate cancers can be treated by using hormone therapy or surgery to dramatically lower testosterone levels in the body. This is referred to as hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. If prostate cancer doesn’t respond (or stops responding) to hormone therapy or surgery, it’s called castrate-resistant prostate cancer.
Nubeqa works to treat prostate cancer by blocking the effects of testosterone in the body.
* Cancer is metastatic if it has spread to other areas of the body.
† In this article, we use the term “male” to refer to someone’s sex assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this
If you have questions about taking Nubeqa, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:
- How does Nubeqa compare with other treatments for prostate cancer?
- If I have side effects from Nubeqa, can you prescribe a lower dose for me to try?
- Do any medications I take interact with Nubeqa and raise my risk for side effects if I take them together?
- How will we monitor whether Nubeqa is working to treat my prostate cancer?
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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 another 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.