Cancer Home > Precautions and Warnings With Nilutamide
Nilutamide is not the best choice for everyone, so make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have problems with your liver or lungs. Other precautions for nilutamide include warnings of potential complications this drug may cause, such as liver problems, allergic reactions, and potentially life-threatening lung problems.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Nilutamide?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking nilutamide (Nilandron®) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- Lung disease, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Nilutamide Precautions and WarningsSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
- Nilutamide may cause serious, and possibly life-threatening, lung disease. Your healthcare provider may assess your lung function and take a chest x-ray before beginning treatment. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, or fever while taking this medication.
- It may take longer for your vision to adjust when moving from light areas to dark areas while taking nilutamide. Therefore, you should use caution when driving at night or in dark areas, such as through tunnels. Tinted glasses may help your eyes adjust to changes in light.
- Nilutamide can cause liver problems, and should not be used in people with severe liver disease. Your healthcare provider will use blood tests to evaluate your liver function before you begin treatment, and periodically during treatment. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you develop signs of liver problems, such as:
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice).
- Some people may become intolerant to alcohol during nilutamide treatment. Avoid alcohol if you experience weakness, low blood pressure, and facial flushing (a sudden redness of the face) after consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Nilutamide is not approved for use in women and should not be used in women, especially for nonserious conditions.
- In rare cases, some people taking nilutamide have developed a type of anemia called aplastic anemia, which occurs when the body does not make enough red blood cells. It is not clear from these reports if the anemia was actually caused by the medication. However, you should contact your healthcare provider if you develop anemia symptoms, such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Easy bleeding or bruising.
- Your healthcare provider will closely monitor your prostate cancer during treatment. If your cancer worsens, your healthcare provider may recommend that you stop taking nilutamide.
- Nilutamide may react with a number of other medications (see Drug Interactions With Nilutamide for more information).
- Nilutamide is a pregnancy Category C medication. This means it may not be safe for use during pregnancy (see Nilandron and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if nilutamide passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Nilandron and Breastfeeding).