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    Abiraterone Acetate

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Zytiga is an FDA-approved treatment in combination with prednisone for metastatic high-risk castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC) in men. CSPC is a form of prostate cancer that needs male hormones to grow. Zytiga decreases levels of androgens which slows or stops the growth of the cancer cells.

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Zytiga (generic name: abiraterone acetate) is a Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment prescribed for use in combination with prednisone for metastatic high-risk castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC) in men. 

Abiraterone belongs to the class of drugs known as anti-androgens (or anti-testosterones). Abiraterone works by blocking the production of testosterone which is a natural hormone that can help prostate cancer to spread (become metastatic). Prednisone is a corticosteroid that suppresses adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), administered in order to reduce side effects of abiraterone such as hypertension, hypokalemia, and fluid retention.

Zytiga must not be taken with food and no food should be consumed for at least two hours before and at least one hour after the dose is taken. Zytiga is taken once daily and prednisone is taken twice daily according to the physician’s instructions. In the event of a missed daily dose, you should take the normal dose the following day. If more than one daily dose is skipped, you should inform your healthcare provider.

Sexually active men must take precautionary steps if their partner is pregnant or becomes pregnant during the course of treatment and for one week after treatment ceases.

This medication has been prescribed because your healthcare provider has judged that the benefits are greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. 

Serious side effects can of Zytiga include:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension), low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia) and fluid retention (edema). Symptoms include:
    • dizziness
    • confusion
    • fast heartbeats
    • muscle weakness
    • feel faint or lightheaded
    • pain in the legs
    • headache
    • swelling in the legs or feet

If any of these symptoms occur, refer back to your prescribing healthcare professional or pharmacist as soon as possible.

The most common side effects of Zytiga include:

  • weakness
  • joint swelling or pain
  • swelling in your legs or feet
  • hot flushes
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • coughing
  • high blood pressure
  • shortness of breath
  • urinary tract infection
  • bruising
  • certain abnormal blood test results, including low red blood cells (anemia) and low blood potassium levels, high blood sugar levels, high blood cholesterol and triglycerides

If these persist or get worse, consult with your prescribing healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Zytiga is used to treat men diagnosed with prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that aim to lower testosterone levels, and that has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized). It is prescribed along with prednisone.

Metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer accounts for approximately 3% of all new prostate cancer diagnoses in the US.

Previously, androgen-deprivation therapy was the standard of care. Although the majority of patients have a beneficial initial response, most men with metastases have progressed to castration-resistant prostate cancer within approximately one year.

Abiraterone acetate in combination with prednisone has been shown to significantly increase overall survival and provide an additional potential role for inhibiting extragonadal androgen biosynthesis before the emergence of castration resistance in men with newly diagnosed metastatic CSPC.


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