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What does it do?

Bicalutamide blocks the effects of testosterone (a male sex hormone) in the body. It is used to treat prostate cancer.

How should you take it?

Take bicalutamide regularly as directed with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

If it is nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the usual time. Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Symptoms of liver problems including: yellow skin or eyes, itching, dark urine, pale bowel motions, abdominal pain

Short of breath, persistent dry cough

Tell your doctor immediately

Sore or enlarged breasts

Hot flushing, sweating, more sensitive to sunlight (sunburn or rash)

Less interest in sex, trouble getting or keeping an erection

Less body and facial hair

Tiredness or weakness

Stomach upset

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver problems.
  • You will need regular blood tests while taking bicalutamide to check if it is causing problems with your liver.
  • Protect yourself from too much sunlight while being treated with bicalutamide. Always cover up and apply a thick layer of broad spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) when outside. Do not use sunbeds.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. August 2019

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed