What is Abiraterone Acetate 250mg | Generic Zytiga?
Abiraterone is used to treat two types of prostate cancer:
- metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC)
- metastatic high-risk castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC)
Metastatic means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Both of these cancers are considered advanced.
The word “castration” refers to the lowering of testosterone levels. Testosterone usually plays a role in stimulating prostate cancer growth. Prostate cancer is considered castration-resistant if the cancer continues to grow or spread even with therapy or surgery to lower testosterone levels.
High-risk castration-sensitive cancer still responds to lowered testosterone levels but requires more aggressive treatment. Zytiga generic Zelgor®/Xbira® contains the same drug abiraterone acetate. It’s a type of medication used in hormone therapy, which is a treatment that lowers the level of male hormones in the body. Reduced levels of male hormones, such as testosterone, help slow or stop the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Zelgor®/Xbira® comes as an oral tablet that you take once a day. You’ll take Abiraterone Acetate 250mg with a corticosteroid (prednisone) to reduce the risk of certain side effects. In some cases, you’ll take Abiraterone Acetate and prednisone with a different type of hormone therapy to further lower testosterone levels.
Abiraterone is used in combination with methylprednisolone to treat patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone and has already spread to other parts of the body).
Abiraterone acetate, sold under the brand name Zytiga and Yonsa among others, is a medication used to treat prostate cancer. Specifically it is used together with a corticosteroid for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and metastatic high-risk castration-sensitive prostate cancer (mCSPC). It should either be used following removal of the testicles or along with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analog. It is taken by mouth.
Abiraterone acetate was described in 1995, and approved for medical use in the United States and Europe in 2011. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. The medication is marketed widely throughout the world.
How Abiraterone Acetate 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.
Abiraterone acetate works in a different manner than other androgen deprivation therapies. Abiraterone acetate 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. Abiraterone acetate, blocks androgen production at three sources; the testes, the adrenal glands, as well as from the tumor itself.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute for medical advice.
Note: If a drug has been approved for one use, physicians may elect to use this same drug for other problems if they believe it may be helpful.
Note: Women of childbearing potential should not use or handle abiraterone tablets without protection (eg, gloves).
Abiraterone Acetate Side Effects:
Common side effects include tiredness, vomiting, headache, joint pain, high blood pressure, swelling, low blood potassium, high blood sugar, hot flashes, diarrhea, and cough. Other severe side effects may include liver failure and adrenocortical insufficiency. In males whose partners can become pregnant, birth control is recommended. Supplied as abiraterone acetate it is converted in the body to abiraterone. Abiraterone acetate works by suppressing the production of androgens – specifically it inhibits CYP17A1 – and thereby decreases the production of testosterone. In doing so, it prevents the effects of these hormones in prostate cancer.
Important things to remember about the side effects of abiraterone acetate:
- Most people will not experience all of the abiraterone acetate side effects listed.
- Abiraterone acetate side effects are often predictable in terms of their onset, duration, and severity.
- Abiraterone acetate side effects are almost always reversible and will go away after therapy is complete.
- Abiraterone acetate side effects may be quite manageable. There are many options to minimize or prevent the side effects of abiraterone acetate.
The following side effects are common (occurring in greater than 30%) for patients taking abiraterone acetate:
- Fluid Retention
- Increased triglycerides
- Increased liver enzymes (AST)
These side effects are less common (occurring in 10-29%) side effects for patients receiving abiraterone acetate:
- 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)
- Hot flashes
- Urinary tract infections
- Increased ALT (liver enzyme)
Abiraterone acetate 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 abiraterone acetate. As a result, abiraterone acetate may cause hypertension [high blood pressure], hypokalemia [low levels of potassium in the blood], and fluid retention. Because of this risk, abiraterone acetate 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.
Before taking Abiraterone Acetate | Zytiga Generic
Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- Have heart problems
- Have liver problems
- Have diabetes
- Have a history of adrenal problems
- Have a history of pituitary problems
- Are receiving any other treatment for prostate cancer
- Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Abiraterone acetate can cause harm to your unborn baby and loss of pregnancy (miscarriage). Females who are or may become pregnant should not handle Abiraterone acetate uncoated tablets or other Abiraterone acetate tablets if broken, crushed, or damaged without protection, such as gloves
- Have a partner who is pregnant or may become pregnant
- Males who have female partners who are able to become pregnant should use effective birth control (contraception) during treatment with Abiraterone acetate and for 3 weeks after the last dose of Zytiga Generic
- Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Abiraterone acetate passes into your breast milk
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take or treatments you receive including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Abiraterone acetate can interact with many other medicines. You should not start or stop any medicine before you talk with the healthcare provider that prescribed Abiraterone acetate.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them with you to show to your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.