Flutamide (Generic Name)

Other Names: Eulexin® 

About This Drug

Flutamide is used to treat cancer. This drug is given by mouth.

Possible Side Effects (More Common)

  • Hot flashes
  • Breast enlargement
  • Pain at the nipple of the breast
  • Sexual problems
  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) that may last for a few days
  • Nausea and throwing up (vomiting). These symptoms may happen within a few hours after your treatment and may last up to 24 hours. Medicines are available to stop or lessen these side effects.

Possible Side Effects (Less Common)

  • Decreased appetite (decreased hunger)
  • Changes in your liver function.  Your doctor will check your liver function as needed. 
  • Abdominal discomfort and gas
  • Sensitivity to light (photosensitivity). Photosensitivity means that you may become more sensitive to the light from the sun, sun lamps, and tanning beds. Your eyes may water more, mostly in bright light.

Treating Side Effects

  • Drink 6-8 cups of fluids each day unless your doctor has told you to limit your fluid intake due to some other health problem. A cup is 8 ounces of fluid. If you throw up or have loose bowel movements you should drink more fluids so that you do not become dehydrated (lack water in the body due to losing too much fluid).
  • Wear dark sunglasses and use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher when you are outdoors even for a short time. Cover up when you are out in the sun. Wear wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants. Keep your neck, chest, and back covered.
  • Avoid sun lamps, tanning booths, and tanning beds.

Important Information

  • Swallow the medicine whole.  Do not chew, break or crush it.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Do not take it if it is close (within 12 hours) of your next dose. Just take the next dose at your normal time. Do not take more than 1 dose at a time.

Food and Drug Interactions

There are no known interactions of flutamide with food. This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.  

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Loose bowel movements (diarrhea) more than 4 times a day or diarrhea with weakness or feeling lightheaded
  • Signs of liver problems: dark urine, pale bowel movements, bad stomach pain, feeling very tired and weak, unusual itching, or yellowing of the eyes or skin

Call your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if any of these symptoms happen:

  • Decreased sexual function
  • Pain in the nipple of the breast that bothers you
  • Abdominal discomfort or gas that bothers you
  • Lasting loss of appetite or rapid weight loss of five pounds in a week

Sexual Problems and Reproduction Concerns

  • Infertility warning: Sexual problems and reproduction concerns may happen. Flutamide is not to be used in women.  However, in both men and women, this drug may affect your ability to have children. This cannot be determined before your therapy. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.  Ask for information on sperm or egg banking. 
    • In men, this drug may interfere with your ability to make sperm, but it should not change your ability to have sexual relations. 
    • Genetic counseling is available for you to talk about the effects of this drug therapy on future pregnancies. Also, a genetic counselor can look at the possible risk of problems in the unborn baby due to this medicine if an exposure happens during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy warning: When men take this drug, it may cause harmful effects on the unborn child, so effective methods of birth control should be used during your cancer treatment.

Revised July 2014

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