Eulexin

OTHER NAMES: Flutamide

SIMILAR DRUGS: Casodex

Why is this drug prescribed?
Eulexin is prescribed for prostate cancer. Male hormones are responsible for the growth of most prostate cancers. Most of the male hormones are reduced by removal of the testicles or by use of a special monthly hormone injection (Lupron or Zolodex). Other male hormones are made in the adrenal glands and these may also stimulate the growth of prostate cancer. Eulexin is a drug that stops the action of these male hormones on prostate cancer cells.

When should it be used and are there any special instructions?
Eulexin usually is taken as two pills every eight hours. Taking it with meals does not space each dose properly, although it is OK to take Eulexin with food. A reasonable dosing schedule would be, for example, 7 a.m., 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. If you remember a missed dose near the time you are scheduled to take the next dose, take only the regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose.

What side effects can this drug cause? What can I do about them?
About one in seven people will have mild diarrhea. One in 20 will have severe diarrhea. With diarrhea, make sure that you are drinking plenty of liquids to avoid becoming dehydrated. If the diarrhea doesn't end in a few days, call us so we can recommend medication or reduce the dosage temporarily. Diarrhea can be controlled by eating a diet high in complex carbohydrates (whole grain cereals and breads), reducing dairy products, and eating smaller food portions. There are no dietary restrictions if you are having no trouble.

About one in 10 men will have some nausea and vomiting. Try taking antacids, such as Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox, to settle your stomach. If the nausea continues, call us.

Because of the reduction in male hormone levels, you may develop hot flashes -- episodes of chest and face flushing, warmth and sweating that last about 10 minutes and may return many times a day. These effects usually stop after a few months but can be problematic.

Rarely, we see some breast enlargement or liver abnormalities, including a form of hepatitis. The liver problems should go away if the medicine is discontinued. If you have a persistent loss of appetite, dark urine, pain in the upper right abdomen, unexplained flu-like symptoms, or excessive fatigue, you might have hepatitis.

Eulexin, alone or in combination with Lupron or Zolodex, may cause a reduction in sex drive and impotence (difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection). Your personality and masculine identity will NOT be changed.

Your hair will NOT fall out with Eulexin or other hormone treatments. Eulexin does NOT make you sun-sensitive, so feel free to enjoy outdoor activity.