Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)is indicated for use in combination with prednisone for the treatment of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have already received prior chemotherapy containing docetaxel.
How Zytiga Works:
Hormones are chemical substances that are produced by glands in the body, which enter the bloodstream and cause effects in other tissues. The use of hormone therapy to treat cancer is based on the observation that receptors for specific hormones that are needed for cell growth are on the surface of some tumor cells. Hormone therapy can work by stopping the production of a certain hormone, blocking hormone receptors or substituting chemically similar agents for the active hormone, which cannot be used by the tumor cell. Different types of hormone therapies are categorized by their function and/or the type of hormone that is affected.
The growth of prostate cancer is stimulated by male hormones (androgens / testosterone). Decreasing the production of these hormones is critical in helping men fight prostate cancer. Androgens are primarily made by the testicles and adrenal glands. However, in men with advanced prostate cancer, the metastatic tumors themselves have the capability to produce testosterone. Generally, prostate cancer responds to treatment that decreases androgen levels. Many androgen deprivation therapies, decrease androgen production by the testicles but do not affect androgen production elsewhere in the body, such as the adrenal glands or in the tumor.
Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)works in a different manner than other androgen deprivation therapies. Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)interferes with an enzyme that is expressed in testicular, adrenal, and prostatic tumor tissues and is required as part of the body’s androgen producing process. Because of this interference the amount of androgens produced are decreased. Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg), blocks androgen production at three sources; the testes, the adrenal glands, as well as from the tumor itself.
How Zytiga Is Given:
Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)is a pill, taken by mouth. It is taken once a day.
It must be taken on an empty stomach (take the pill at least 2 hours after a meal, and do not eat for at least 1 hour after taking the pill)
It should be taken at approximately the same time each day.
Prednisone [10mg daily] should be taken along with Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg).
The amount of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)you receive depends on many factors. Your doctor will determine your dose and schedule
Important things to remember about the side effects of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg):
Most people will not experience all of the Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)side effects listed.
Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after therapy is complete.
Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg).
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg):
Increased liver enzymes (AST)
These side effects are less common (occurring in 10-29%) side effects for patients receiving Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg):
Joint swelling / discomfort
Decreased levels of potassium in your blood (hypokalemia)
Peripheral Edema (swelling of the hands/feet)
Muscle aches / discomfort
Decreased levels of phosphorus in your blood (hypophosphatemia)
Urinary tract infections
Increased ALT (liver enzyme)
Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)works by inhibiting specific “enzymes” in your adrenal glands that are responsible for making androgens. For this reason, there is an increased risk of over production of mineralcorticosteroids in your body while on Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg). As a result, Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)may cause hypertension [high blood pressure], hypokalemia [low levels of potassium in the blood], and fluid retention. Because of this risk, Zytiga (abiraterone acetate 250 mg)should be used cautiously in patients with a strong cardiovascular history, and patients should be monitored closely for these symptoms. Dosing along with prednisone will decrease the risk of mineralocorticoid excess.
Not all side effects are listed above. Side effects that are very rare — occurring in less than about 10 percent of patients — are not listed here. But you should always inform your health care provider if you experience any unusual symptoms.