Side Effects

All the drugs obviously affect the hormone levels in the body.  Some of the side effects are similar to symptoms for a woman that is going through menopause.  There may be hot flushes, particularly at night, irritability, and a tendency to weight gain. Libido usually diminishes, and the ability to have an erection is lost.  Some shrinkage of the genitalia may be noticed.  These changes usually reverse on ceasing the drugs.

The following list includes the other most common side effects.  Other side effects may occur and can be found in the information leaflets dispensed with each drug.

  • Goserelin (Zoladex®) implant or leuprorelin (Lucrin®) injection: occasional breast swelling and tenderness (gynaecomastia) is noticed.  Long term use may lead to loss of bone density (osteoporosis) and loss of muscle bulk.  Some men notice a worsening of concentration and short term memory.
  • Flutamide (Eulexin®), bicalutamide (Cosudex®), nilutamide (Anandron®) tablets: these can cause gastro-intestinal upset such as diarrhoea or constipation; gynaecomastia, especially if used without one of the implant drugs; with flutamide, abnormalities in liver function detected by blood test (this is recommended if treatment continues beyond 3-4 weeks); occasional visual disturbance.
  • Cyproterone (Androcur®): tiredness; disturbances in liver function; shortness of breath; tendency to clot formation.

The specific drugs and schedule to be recommended in your case will be discussed in detail with you.

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