Precautions and Warnings With Flutamide
If you have a history of liver problems and are taking flutamide, precautions may be necessary, such as frequent monitoring of your liver function using simple blood tests. In addition, when taking flutamide, warnings that something may be wrong include severe diarrhea that does not go away, jaundice, and extreme fatigue. These situations should be reported right away to your healthcare provider.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking flutamide (Eulexin®) if you have:
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- A condition known as glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
- Ever had an allergic reaction to fava beans
- A blood disorder called methemoglobinemia or hemoglobin M disease
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Warnings and Precautions With FlutamideSome warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medication include the following:
- Flutamide has been reported to cause liver injury. In some cases the liver damage was severe enough to cause hospitalization, and in rare cases even death. Your healthcare provider will monitor your liver enzymes, using a simple blood test, before you start treatment and throughout your treatment. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you experience signs of liver problems, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice).
- You may experience diarrhea while you take this medicine. Try to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. If your diarrhea is severe, contact your healthcare provider.
- Flutamide may increase your sensitivity to the sun. Avoid sun exposure while using this medication and wear protective clothing (such as a hat and long-sleeved shirt) and sunscreen when you go outside.
- Some people have an increased risk for developing certain blood disorders or jaundice when using flutamide, including people who already have certain blood disorders and people who smoke. Your healthcare provider may choose to monitor you more closely for these side effects if you are at risk for them.
- This medication is used in combination, with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist medication in the treatment of prostate cancer. Make sure to use both medicines as prescribed. Do not stop taking either one without talking to your healthcare provider.
- Your healthcare provider will closely monitor your prostate cancer during treatment, which may include checking your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, to make sure the treatment is working for you. If your cancer progresses and your PSA increases, your healthcare provider may recommend that you stop taking flutamide.
- This product may react with a number of other medications (see Drug Interactions With Flutamide for more information).
- Flutamide is considered a pregnancy Category D medication. It may harm an unborn baby if given to a pregnant woman (see Flutamide and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if this medicine 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 Flutamide and Breastfeeding).