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Flutamide

Find out what flutamide is, how you have it and other important information about taking flutamide for prostate cancer.

Flutamide is a type of hormone therapy. It is a treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

How it works

Prostate cancer needs the male hormone testosterone to grow. Testosterone is also called an androgen. 

Flutamide is a type of hormone drug called an anti androgen. It stops testosterone from reaching the cancer cells. This can slow the growth of your cancer and may shrink it. 

How you have it

Flutamide is a tablet. You take it 3 times a day.

You should swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. 

When you have it

Flutamide may be used:

  • before other hormone treatments such as goserelin, leuprorelin and triptorelin
  • when other hormone treatments are no longer working for you

You need to take flutamide before you start some other types of hormone treatment because they can take a few weeks to lower your testosterone. During this time they can make your symptoms worse. This is called tumour flare. 

If you are having flutamide to stop a flare reaction, you take it for a few days before starting the LH blocker, and stay on it for about 4 to 6 weeks. 

Taking your tablets or capsules

You must take tablets and capsules according to the instructions your doctor or pharmacist gives you.

Whether you have a full or empty stomach can affect how much of a drug gets into your bloodstream.

You should take the right dose, not more or less.

Never stop taking a cancer drug without talking to your specialist first.

Tests during treatment

You have blood tests before starting treatment and during your treatment. They check your levels of blood cells and other substances in the blood. They also check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

Side effects

Important information

Other medicines, foods and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with some other medicines and herbal products. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies.

Treatment for other conditions

Always tell other doctors, nurses or dentists that you’re having this treatment if you need treatment for anything else, including teeth problems.

Pregnancy and contraception

This treatment may harm a baby. So it is important not to father a child while you are having treatment and for a few months afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment.

Fertility

This treatment might stop you being able to father a child.

Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you may want to have a baby in the future.

You may be able to store sperm before starting treatment.

Usually, fertility returns to normal after a few months or sometimes years. You can have sperm counts to check your fertility when your treatment is over. Ask your doctor about it.

Alcohol

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website.

You can report any side effect you have to the Medicines Health and Regulatory Authority (MHRA) as part of their Yellow Card Scheme.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.