Nilutamide or Nilandron

Other Names: Nilutamide

Similar Drugs: Eulixen, Flutamide, Casodex or Bicalutamide

Why is this drug prescribed?
Nilandron 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. Nilandron 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?
The recommended dosage is six tablets (50 mg each) once a day for a total daily dose of 300 mg for 30 days, followed thereafter by three tablets (50 mg each) once a day for a total dose of 150 mg. Nilandron tablets can be taken with or without food, mornings or evenings.

What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it, if it is on the same day. If you remember a missed dose near the time you are scheduled to take the next dose or the next day, 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?
The most common non-castration adverse effect is visual disturbance (usually delayed adaptation to dark), which leads to withdrawal in 1 percent to 2 percent of patients. Patients experiencing visual disturbances should be cautioned not to drive at night and advised to wear tinted glasses to reduce adaptation problems.

Interstitial pneumonitis (or inflammation of the lungs) has been reported in 2 percent of Nilandron patients and is almost always reversible upon discontinuation of therapy. Because of the possibility of this event, patients should report any dysnea (shortness of breath) or aggravation of pre-existing dysnea.

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 and 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. Some physicians will follow liver function tests at intervals to make certain that hepatitis is not occurring.

Nilandron, 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. The only way to treat sexual problems is to give you male hormones, which would defeat the purpose of the medications and make the cancer grow.