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Abiraterone Acetate (Zytiga) Treatment for prostate cancer

Abiraterone Acetate (Zytiga) Treatment for prostate cancer

It is a standard medicine for prostate cancer treatment. It is marketed by the name "Zytiga." as an oral pill. The prostate is the gland around the urethra in the male reproductive system. Testosterone is the natural male hormone that propagates the growth of prostate cancer. Common symptoms of cancer include difficulty in urination, blood in the urine, pelvic pain, etc. Abiraterone inhibits the production of the hormone and slows the spread of prostate cancer. Ideally, you can pair the drug with a corticosteroid (like prednisone). It can treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and metastatic high-risk castration sensitive prostate cancer. The treatment is practically a form of hormone therapy. It goes for the class of anti-androgens.

Hormones are chemical substances that affect the tissues and are formed in glands. Our body hosts various hormones for different purposes. Hormone therapy works by altering or stopping the production of a specific hormone. It works well against cancer by observing how receptors for particular hormones can treat tumor cells by growing on the surface. Decreasing hormone production helps fight prostate cancer. Metastatic tumors can produce testosterone on their own. Androgen deprivation therapies focus on reducing the androgens levels produced by the testicles and not the adrenal glands. Abiraterone works slightly differently.

The drug treatment restricts the enzyme required in hormone production. As a result, it affects the adrenal and testosterone levels. Abiraterone Acetate seizes androgen production at the testes, adrenal glands, and the tumors as well. Hence, the treatment is far more comprehensive.

If the drugs seem useful in the treatment, physicians are known to expand its use for other cures.

Keep the medicines away from minors and pets. The drug stayed best at room temperature and tucked away in a cool, dry place. Also, avoid storing it in your bathroom due to the high moisture content in the air. Discard the drugs responsibly. Do not dump them in the drain or flush them down the toilet. Contact local waste disposal to ensure proper the medication gets appropriately discarded.

Abiraterone Acetate (Zytiga) Dosage:

Abiraterone Acetate (Zytiga) is generally prescribed once a day. Usually, physicians recommend an empty stomach; say two hours after a meal or an hour before. For best results, take the pill at the same time every day. Also, take 10mg Prednisone daily along with the drug. It is advisable to consult your physician regarding the dosage as it depends on a myriad of factors. A lot of consideration goes into your schedule and duration of effective treatment.

Periodic laboratory tests such as blood pressure and potassium levels, liver function, PSA assess your bodily functions and the effect of the drug on it. The results also indicate the onset of side effects. Your doctor can also evaluate your progress better with a healthy, regular dose of Abiraterone Acetate and medical tests.

In case of overdose:

  1. Contact emergency and rush the patient to a nearby hospital—overdose results in breathlessness or passing out.
  2. Do not initiate the dosage without the authorization of your physician.
  3. Stray away from recommendations as well. 

It is best to avoid double doses to compensate for a missed dose strictly. If the situation occurs, do not worry about your miss and ensure the next dose is taken at your regular time. Consult your doctor immediately in case you miss repeated doses.

Abiraterone Acetate (Zytiga) Side effects

Side effects accompany most cancer treatment medicines, and Abiraterone Acetate is not an exception. However, the side effects vary from patient to patient. The treatment for any side effects can be calculated in terms of onset, duration, and severity. They are also temporary and subside once the treatment is over. Abiraterone Acetate side effects are predictable and manageable. With caution and planned treatment, the consequences can also be mitigated and even prevented. 

Here are some of the more common side effects experienced by more than 30% of patients –

  1. Fluid Retention (Edema) –results in swelling of feet, ankles, hands, or face noticeably. You can check for bumps by pressing the swollen portion with your finger and observing if it stays indented for a couple of seconds. 
  2. Increased triglycerides: Triglycerides are products of the liver. They are fatty substances in the blood and body. Abiraterone Acetate can cause Hypertriglyceridemia, which results in complications in the body from increased levels.
  3. Increased liver enzymes: Chemotherapy or most cancer treatment can disrupt liver function. CT Scan, ERCP, or Liver Biopsy are standard medical tests that assess the condition and check liver damage. Liver complications include increased bilirubin levels, jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, etc.

Some of the other, less common symptoms include –

  1. Joint swelling
  2. Muscle aches or discomfort
  3. Decreased levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia)
  4. Decreased levels of phosphorus in the blood (hypophosphatemia)
  5. Hot flashes
  6. Diarrhea
  7. Urinary tract infections
  8. Cough
  9. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  10. Increased urination
  11. Heartburn
  12. Painful urination

Allergic reactions arising from the drug are uncommon. However, do not neglect any signs of rashes, itching, dizziness, or breathing troubles. The drugs restrict enzymes in the adrenal glands, leading to increased mineral corticosteroid production, leading to some of the mentioned side effects. Dosage of prednisone counters the impact generally.

While it may seem like a lot of side effects, doctors prescribe Abiraterone Acetate as the benefits outweigh the consequences. Moreover, the occurrence of side effects is rare. Patients with a history of cardiovascular trouble need to be closely monitored. Regulate your blood pressure levels throughout the treatment. If you experience any uncanny symptoms, consult your physician immediately. 

Warning:-

During the treatment, it is vital to cooperate with your physician regarding any symptoms. Do not take side effects or changes to your body lightly. In case you observe any of the following signs, call an emergency with your doctor –

  • High fever (greater than 100.4°F)
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pain or heartburn
  • Irregular pulse
  • Inability to urinate (for over eight hours)

While these symptoms are critical, you should also seek medical attention for the following signs –

  1. Dizziness
  2. Nausea
  3. Headache
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Unusual bleeding
  6. Bruising
  7. Tarry (Black) stools
  8. Fatigue
  9. Yellowing of eyes and skin
  10. Increased blood pressure

The drug can cause QT prolongation, which is an increased or irregular heartbeat. Patients with a medical history of heart troubles are more susceptible. Inform your doctors if you or your family has had heart failures, slow heartbeats, cardiac arrests, etc. Low potassium or magnesium levels also make you vulnerable to QT prolongations. Diuretics or water pills also increase the risk. Older adults should be wary of the conditions.

The prolonged use of corticosteroid medications can inhibit the effects of abiraterone. The body does not respond well to physical stress. If you are scheduled for an emergency operation or dental treatment, notify the doctor or dentist regarding medication usage within the last twelve months. Also, discuss with your doctor if you experience fatigue, weight loss, sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. 

Precautions:-

Now it is clear; the treatment requires transparency from your end and precautions. Before initiating the treatment, inform your doctor about allergic reactions, previous heart problems, liver problems, and blood pressure levels. Abiraterone Acetate contains inactive ingredients that can trigger allergies. 

Also, inform your doctor regarding the other medications you might be taking at the time. It includes vitamins, herbal remedies, and prescribed drugs. Here are some things to avoid during the treatment –

  1. Avoid taking Aspirin unless the doctor advises
  2. Women should avoid pregnancy or breastfeeding during abiraterone treatment. The drug can be fatal for a newborn. It is uncommon to prescribe the treatment to women anyway.
  3. Pregnant women should also wear gloves while handling the medicine. Breathing in the dust could cause complications.
  4. Men can use latex condoms or other contraceptive solutions for intercourse during treatment and the week following the treatment. While abiraterone is not excreted with semen, it is advisable to be safe until your physician clears it.

Self-Care:-

Concisely, here are some points about how you can help yourself make the treatment more effective –

  1. Take Abiraterone Acetate and Prednisone together and do not disrupt your dose. Maintain your schedule unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
  2. Take the medicines at the same time every day.
  3. Take the medicines on an empty stomach.
  4. Swallow the tablets whole and avoid crushing or chewing
  5. During the treatment, you might also need to take LHRH/GnRH injections regularly.
  6. Stray away from alcohol consumption during the treatment. Discuss with your doctor before resuming.
  7. Wear light clothing and stay in a cold environment as it helps with the hot flashes and blood pressure levels. 
  8. Ensure that you are well-rested
  9. Stick to a balanced diet
  10. Always notify your physician and the healthcare team regarding any minor or significant side effects. They can prescribe additional medication to mitigate the consequences or alter the treatment.

Regular check-ups and lab tests help evaluate your progress and decide on future actions. Periodic blood tests can give an idea about your blood count (CBC) and vital organ functions. Your healthcare team operates on the information gathered from the tests.

Abiraterone Acetate is the generic name of Zytiga. The FDA approves it, yet subject to drug patents and exclusivity. The approved Zytiga formulation is –

Manufacturer: JANSSEN BIOTECH

Approval date: April 28, 2011

Strength(s): 250MG

Manufacturer: JANSSEN BIOTECH

Approval date: April 14, 2017

Strength(s): 500MG

Some generic versions of abiraterone acetate are available in India which is very affordable and same effective as Zytiga. Here are some listings for your perusal –

Brand: Abirapro
Packaging Size: 120 pills
Manufactured by: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. 
Composition: Abiraterone acetate 250mg

Brand: Xbira
Packaging Size: 120 pills
Manufactured by:  Cipla Ltd.
Composition: Abiraterone acetate 250 mg

Brand: Zelgor
Packaging Size: 120 pills
Manufactured by:- Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Composition: Abiraterone acetate 250 mg

Cost of Zytiga (Abiraterone Acetate)

The Cost of Zytiga is around $5000 for 120 tablets. It depends on country and pharmacies you visit. However, Generic Abiraterone Acetate Cost only 4% of Zytiga. For more information about cost please send enquiry to us via WhatsApp +91-9911944593 or E-mail at info@medixocentre.com.

However, the intention of the information provided is purely educational. Regarding cancer treatment and medication, always start to consult a specialist. Read the information pamphlets and clarify everything with your doctor. Also, refrain from recommending the drug to another patient even if it shows positive results in your treatment. The side effects and course of action depends on the conditions of each patient. 

Drug interaction predictions are not always accurate as the medication can increase side effects as the treatment progresses. Maintain a list of all the medicines you consume. Document the treatment and retain all prescriptions, nonprescription drugs, and herbal remedies. Share the information with healthcare experts. Therefore, it is best to stick to the prescribed dosage and not make any brave alterations on your own. For best results, cooperate with your healthcare team and abide by the treatment procedure.

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