Clinical EffectsIn clinical studies, bicalutamide was shown to work as well as another medicine called flutamide (Eulexin®) for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. In the study, 47.3 percent of men given bicalutamide were alive after 160 weeks of treatment, compared with 42.5 percent of men given flutamide -- numbers that are too close to consider one treatment superior to the other. Cancer progression was also approximately the same in both groups of men after 160 weeks.
In other studies, higher doses of bicalutamide (150 mg daily) appeared to increase the risk for death, compared to castration and placebo (a "sugar pill" with no active ingredient), in men with advanced prostate cancer. Therefore, at this time, the higher dose of bicalutamide is not approved for use.
Some general considerations to keep in mind during treatment with bicalutamide include the following:
- This medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- You can take your bicalutamide tablet in the morning or evening. Try to take your dose at the same time each day to keep an even level of the drug in your bloodstream.
- Bicalutamide can be taken with or without food. Try taking it with food if it upsets your stomach.
- This medicine is used in combination with another prostate cancer medicine. The two drugs should be started at the same time. Be sure to follow the instructions for taking the other medicine too.
- For bicalutamide to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not stop taking this medicine because you feel better.
There is only one standard recommended dose of bicalutamide. As is always the case, do not adjust your dosage unless your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
(Click Bicalutamide Dosage for more information.)