Darolutamide (Nubeqa)

Darolutamide is a type of hormone therapy and is a treatment for prostate cancer. It is also known as Nubeqa. You are likely to have it with other cancer drugs.

You might have darolutamide with other types of hormone therapy if your cancer has not spread to other parts of the body and other hormone treatments have stopped working.

You may have darolutamide with other hormone therapy and chemotherapy if you have prostate cancer that has spread.

You pronounce darolutamide as dar-ra-loo-ta-mide.

How does darolutamide work?

Most prostate cancers need the hormone testosterone to grow. The testicles Open a glossary item make almost all testosterone in men. There are 2 adrenal glands Open a glossary item, one above each kidney Open a glossary item. The adrenal glands also make a small amount of testosterone.

Darolutamide is a hormone treatment that blocks testosterone from reaching prostate cancer cells. This can slow the growth of the cancer. You might hear it called an androgen receptor blocker (inhibitor).

How do you have darolutamide?

You have darolutamide as tablets. You swallow them whole with food.

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

Speak to your pharmacist if you have problems swallowing the tablets.

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

You should take the right dose, no more or less.

Talk to your healthcare team before you stop taking a cancer drug or if you miss a dose.

How often do you have darolutamide?

You take darolutamide twice a day, morning, and evening.

You usually carry on taking darolutamide for as long as the treatment is working, and you are not experiencing too many side effects.


You have blood tests before 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.

What are the side effects of darolutamide?

Side effects can vary from person to person. They also depend on what other treatments you're having. 

When to contact your team

Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will go through the possible side effects. They will monitor you during treatment and check how you are at your appointments. Contact your advice line as soon as possible if:

  • you have severe side effects 

  • your side effects aren’t getting any better

  • your side effects are getting worse

Early treatment can help manage side effects better. 

Contact your advice line immediately if you have signs of infection, including a temperature above 37.5C or below 36C.

We haven't listed all the side effects here. Remember it is very unlikely that you will have all of these side effects. But you might have some of them at the same time.

What are the side effects of darolutamide?

These side effects happen in more than 10 in 100 people (more than 10%). You might have one or more of them. They include:

Tiredness and weakness (fatigue)

Tiredness and weakness (fatigue) can happen during and after treatment. Doing gentle exercises each day can keep your energy up. Don't push yourself, rest when you start to feel tired and ask others for help.

Increased risk of infection

Increased risk of getting an infection is due to a drop in white blood cells. Symptoms include a change in temperature, aching muscles, headaches, feeling cold and shivery and generally unwell. You might have other symptoms depending on where the infection is.

Infections can sometimes be life threatening. You should contact your advice line urgently if you think you have an infection. 

Liver changes

You might have liver changes that are usually mild and unlikely to cause symptoms. They usually go back to normal when treatment finishes. You have regular blood tests to check for any changes in the way your liver is working.

Occasional side effects

These side effects happen in between 1 and 10 out of every 100 people (between 1 and 10%). You might have one or more of them. They include:

  • a build up of fatty substances in the arteries, causing a blockage (ischemic heart disease)
  • heart failure - you might feel breathless after activity or when resting, feel very tired, feel faint or have swollen ankles and legs
  • skin rash
  • pain in your arms, legs, feet or hands
  • pain in your muscles or joints
  • breaks in the bones (fractures)
  • finding it difficult to wee
  • blood in your wee
  • infection in the lung (pneumonia) - you might have a cough, feel breathless and have a high temperature

Coping with side effects

We have more information about side effects and tips on how to cope with them.

What else do you need to know?

Other medicines, food and drink

Cancer drugs can interact with medicines, herbal products, and some food and drinks. We are unable to list all the possible interactions that may happen. An example is grapefruit or grapefruit juice which can increase the side effects of certain drugs.

Tell your healthcare team about any medicines you are taking. This includes vitamins, herbal supplements and over the counter remedies. Also let them know about any other medical conditions or allergies you may have.

Contraception and pregnancy

This treatment might harm a baby developing in the womb. It is important not to get someone pregnant while you are having treatment and for one week afterwards. Talk to your doctor or nurse about effective contraception before starting treatment. Let them know straight away if your partner falls pregnant while you're having treatment.

Loss of fertility

It is not known whether this treatment affects fertility Open a glossary item in people. Talk to your doctor before starting treatment if you think you may want to have a baby in the future.


Don’t breastfeed during this treatment because the drug may come through into your breast milk.

Treatment for other conditions 

If you are having tests or treatment for anything else, always mention your cancer treatment. For example, if you are visiting your dentist.

More information about this treatment

For further information about this treatment and possible side effects go to the electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) website. You can find the patient information leaflet on this website.

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

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