An overview of animal toxicology studies with bicalutamide (ICI 176,334)

J Toxicol Sci. 1997 May;22(2):75-88. doi: 10.2131/jts.22.2_75.


The toxicological profile of bicalutamide in animals following acute and chronic dosing is closely associated with the drug's non-steroidal anti-androgenic pharmacological activity. Bicalutamide produces typical effects of an anti-androgen, including atrophy of the prostate, testis and seminal vesicles and Leydig cell hyperplasia resulting from inhibition of pituitary feedback by testosterone. Subsequent benign Leydig cell tumors were seen in rats, but Leydig cell hyperplasia has not been observed in patients. Bicalutamide causes liver enlargement and is a mixed function oxidase inducer in rodents and dogs, but not man. These effects lead to thyroid hypertrophy and adenoma in the rat and hepatocellular carcinoma in the male mouse. In vitro and in vivo genotoxicity studies have all given negative results. Bicalutamide also caused a reversible shortening of the electrocardiographic P-R interval in the dog without any associated pathology. This change was not detected in ECG monitoring during clinical trials. In conclusion, bicalutamide produced a range of pharmacological effects, as well as liver enlargement with enzyme induction and dog ECG changes in preclinical toxicity studies in rodents and dogs. Only the pharmacological changes were found to be relevant to human usage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists / toxicity*
  • Anilides / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electrocardiography / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Nitriles
  • Ovary / drug effects
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Prostate / drug effects
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Reproduction / drug effects
  • Seminal Vesicles / drug effects
  • Seminal Vesicles / metabolism
  • Testis / drug effects
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testosterone / metabolism
  • Tosyl Compounds
  • Uterus / drug effects
  • Uterus / metabolism


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Anilides
  • Nitriles
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Tosyl Compounds
  • Testosterone
  • bicalutamide