Bicalutamide, also known and sold under the trade name of Casodex, is a product which belongs to the group of drugs known as antiandrogens.
This product is used in the treatment of stage D2 metastatic prostate cancer in men. It is considered to work by blocking the effects of testosterone, which helps to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells.
This medication is always given in a combination with a luteinizing hormone – releasing hormone analog. This product is in the form of a tablet.
Before you agree to the treatment with this medication, it is important to get informed about the expected beneficial effects, as well as about the potential side effects and risks.
For the decision to be made, it is essential for the beneficial effects to outweigh the potential risks. This is a decision that you, and your doctor, together, will have to make.
During the consultations, it is essential to inform the doctor about:
Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reaction to any kind of medication, prescribed or no prescribed. Also, inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reaction to any kind of food, dye, fabric and etc.
Pediatric – There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in pediatric patients.
Geriatric – Proper studies done have not shown any age-connected risk when this medication is used in geriatric patients. However, because of the increased sensitivity within the elderly, this medication needs to be used with extra caution.
Pregnancy – Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. Proper studies done have shown that there is a risk to the fetus when this medication is used during pregnancy.
Breastfeeding – Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding. There are no studies done that would confirm the safety of this medication to be used in nursing mothers. Because of this, it should be used only in cases where the beneficial effects outweigh the potential risks.
Drug interactions – Inform the doctor if you are currently using any other medications, prescribed or no prescribed, even vitamins and herbal tea.
This is important because certain medications should not be used in a combination with others, because of the possibility that certain interactions could occur. However, sometimes the doctor may decide to use a certain combination including two or more medications to treat your condition if he or she considers that this combination would prove as beneficial regarding your condition.
Other interactions – Certain medications should not be used in a combination with food, tobacco and alcohol. Because of this, it is important to get informed if there is a need for you to follow a specific kind of diet and discontinue your use of tobacco and/or alcohol during the treatment.
Other medical problems – Inform the doctor about your medical history, any other medical problems and conditions in the past or at the moment. Especially, inform the doctor if there is a case of diabetes or liver disease present.
3 Proper Usage
For proper use, follow the directions given by your doctor. This medication is taken orally, with water. Take the tablet whole. Do not crush, break or chew the tablet.
The dose is individual for every patient, prescribed by the doctor and based on your condition and the prognosis of the treatment. The usual dose is one tablet a day.
Take this medication regularly in order to get the most beneficial effects from its use. If you forget a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
If an overdose is suspected, inform the doctor right away for further directions.
4 Precautions to Take
Visit your doctor regularly, at your scheduled appointments so that he or she would be able to track your condition and make any adjustments needed.
These adjustments may refer to the dose – e.g. the doctor may decide to increase or decrease the dose, or to the treatment itself – the doctor may decide to discontinue the treatment if there are any serious side effects present which would cause your condition to worsen, or if you condition does not improve.
Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions to any kind of medications, prescribed or no prescribed. This is important because this medication could contain inactive substances that could cause certain interactions to occur.
Inform the doctor if you are currently pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. This is important because this medication must not be used during a pregnancy, due to the risk to the fetus.
The doctor will recommend a proven form of birth control to help prevent pregnancy during the treatment. Inform the doctor if you are currently breastfeeding.
This medication is not recommended to be used within nursing mothers, due to the lack of studies which would confirm the safety of this medication. This product may cause dizziness to appear.
Avoid driving and any other activities which require alertness. During the treatment, increased sensitivity to the sun is to be expected. Make sure to wear protective clothing and sun cream every time before getting exposed to the sun.
Along with its needed beneficial effects, there are potential side effects which could occur. These side effects do not occur in all patients. The side effects could also be mild or more serious.
However, it is essential to get informed about the potential side effects so that you would be able to notice their presence and inform the doctor as soon as possible for further directions.
Common side effects – hot flashes, body aches and pains, breast swelling/tenderness/pain, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, trouble sleeping, hair loss, weight changes, diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, gas, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
These side effects are not considered as serious, however if their presence worsens or they persist, inform the doctor as soon as possible.
Serious side effects – vision changes, numbness/tingling of the hands/feet, swelling of the arms/feet, unusual bleeding/bruising, change in the amount of urine, painful urination, trouble breathing, or mood changes.
These are serious side effects whose presence must be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.
A very serious allergic reaction is not common, but if you notice any of the following symptoms inform the doctor as soon as possible – skin rash, swelling/itching of the hands/feet/face/tongue, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
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