Flutamide is used on its own, or together with other medicines, or after surgical castration (removal of testes) to treat prostate cancer in men.
This medicine reduces the size of the tumour by stopping cancer cells from growing.
Take Flutamide exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
You may take this medicine with or without food. Take it at the same time each day.
Flutamide is available as a tablet or capsule. Swallow the tablet or capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not divide, chew or crush the tablet or capsule.
The dose of this medicine will be decided by your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on the treatment timeframe depending on your condition and your response to the medication.
Flutamide must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have severe liver disease as Flutamide may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- G6PD deficiency (an inherited condition)
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- risk of developing osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bones) e.g. prolonged period of heavy alcohol use, smoking
Flutamide is not indicated for use in women.
Flutamide may affect male fertility.
You must use proven birth control methods while taking this medicine. You may wish to discuss birth control methods with your doctor.
Why is it important to keep my appointments with the doctor?
Keep your appointments with your doctor. Your doctor needs to monitor your condition and check your response to the medication regularly.
- Routine tests (e.g. complete blood count, sperm count, bone mineral density) may be done while you are being treated with this medicine. Your doctor will advise you about how often you need to have these tests.
- Your doctor may also need to perform blood tests to make sure that your liver function is normal before you take Flutamide and thereafter depending on your doctor’s advice. Regular monitoring for signs and symptoms of liver damage may also be needed.
Flutamide may cause drowsiness or dizziness. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert.
Other side effects include any of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased or loss of appetite, hot flushes, reduced sex drive, and difficulty sleeping.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor quickly if you experience any of the following:
- yellowing of the skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark coloured urine, tiredness, flu-like symptoms
- swelling in the legs and ankles
- swelling or enlargement of the male breasts
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for irregular heartbeat e.g. amiodarone, quinidine
- certain antibiotics e.g. erythromycin, clarithromycin
- medicines for asthma e.g. salbutamol, theophylline
- warfarin (a blood-thinning medicine)
- chlorpromazine (medicine for mood disorders)
The list does not include all medicines that may interact with Flutamide.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children. Protect from light.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.
As this is a cancer medicine, always return any unused or expired tablets or capsules to the clinic, hospital or pharmacy for disposal. Do not throw it away in the household waste.