Casodex or generic Bicalutamide is an anti-androgen medication prescribed for men with advanced stage IV (D2) prostate cancer that has spread to other areas, such as spine, ribs, or pelvis. Anti-androgen drugs are usually prescribed to be taken along with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonist medication. LHRH agonists work by sending messages to your pituitary gland to stop making luteinizing hormones as they stimulate the testicles to release testosterone. A lack of testosterone will interfere with the growth of cancer cells. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
When taken as directed, Casodex prevents testosterone from binding to androgen (male hormone) receptors located on the prostate cancer cells. This action basically starves the prostate cancer cells so they cannot grow and the tumor will shrink. Casodex can perform its job easier and quicker when taken with an LHRH agonist to reduce testosterone levels.
Each case of prostate cancer is different as are the ways it may be managed. Hormone therapy is often recommended after having radiation and the prostate gland and surrounding tissue removed surgically with poor results or it may be prescribed in combination with radiation treatments. Casodex is not a cure for prostate cancer that has metastasized to other areas, but it can be a part of an effective treatment.
Early detection and treatment of prostate cancer gives you the best chance of curing it. During a physical exam, your doctor can check your prostate for signs of any abnormalities, or you can be screened to check levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. There are usually no symptoms to watch for during early stages of prostate cancer, which is why regular doctor exams are important. If you find that you are having trouble urinating, have blood in your urine, or you experience erectile dysfunction, tell your doctor right away so prostate cancer can be either ruled out or diagnosed.
You should not father a child while taking Casodex as it can cause birth defects. Use effective birth control methods or devices to prevent the risk of a pregnancy. Discuss other medical conditions or allergies you have and list any OTC or Rx medications you take, including herbal remedies and vitamin supplements, so your doctor can determine if Casodex is the right drug for you. Do not start or stop taking any meds without first checking with your doctor as you could experience unintended side effects or the efficacy of your other medicine could be affected.
Until you know how Casodex will affect you, avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other tasks that may be considered unsafe. If you are diabetic and using any LHRH analogs with Casodex, monitor your blood glucose regularly for any increased readings and tell your doctor as possible insulin adjustments may be required. Keep Casodex away from children and any women in your life to avoid any harmful effects.