Zytiga is an oral tablet made up of an anti-androgen called abiraterone. We carry the brand choice of this medication in 250mg.
Zytiga is a medication prescribed along with other medications to treat prostate cancer, specifically prostate cancer, that has spread to other parts of the body. The prostate, the male sex gland which produces semen, is about the size of a walnut and wraps around the urethra. The urethra is tube-shaped and allows the urine to travel from the bladder to the tip of the penis. Prostate cancer is when the cells inside the prostate begin to grow out of control. Eventually, the cells may begin to grow outside of the prostate gland, spreading to nearby tissues or throughout the body. This means it can affect the bladder or can travel through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system and reach your bones or other organs (such as the liver or lungs). This can result in complications such as erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and severe pain if cancer spreads to the bones. Typically, this condition is slow-growing and happens gradually over time.
Zytiga (abiraterone) is effective at treating (not curing) prostate cancer because, as an anti-testosterone (or anti-androgens), it has the ability to block the actions of testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone that aids in the growth and spread of prostate cancer.
Your doctor will tell you, before prescribing you Zytiga (abiraterone) exactly how to take this medication. Follow his or her directions very carefully, they can usually be found on the prescription label if you forget. Do not take this medication for longer than prescribed or in smaller or larger amounts. Do not suddenly stop taking this medication. Keep up with frequent medical tests that are required while being treated with this medication.
This medication is commonly taken once per day. Usually, a steroid (like prednisone or methylprednisolone) is also taken each day as part of treatment; commonly taken 1 or 2 times per day. Zytiga should be taken on an empty stomach; avoid eating 2 hours prior or an hour following your dose. Do not chew, crush, or break a tablet; you should swallow it whole with a full glass of water.
Store in room temperature away from moisture, heat and light. Keep away from children and pets.
Do not use Zytiga (abiraterone)
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to abiraterone or if you are female or a child (under 18).
Dose adjustment or special precautions may be required
Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had liver disease, heart problems, low levels of potassium in your blood, or problems with your adrenal gland or pituitary gland.
If used by a pregnant woman, harm or even death of the unborn child may be a result. Tablets should not be handled by pregnant woman or women who are trying to conceive. If a pregnant woman must handle these tablets, latex gloves should be worn.
Harm can also be done to the unborn child if it’s the father taking Zytiga at the time of conception or during pregnancy.
If your sex partner is able to bear children, wear effective birth control while using this medication and for at least 3 weeks following your last dose. Use a condom and another birth control method to ensure the pregnancy is effectively avoided.
Zytiga should not be used by a woman; especially a breastfeeding woman.
Common side effects of Zytiga (abiraterone) may include:
indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation; painful or difficult urination; swelling in your legs or feet; feeling weak, feeling very hot; muscle pain; abnormal blood tests; joint pain or swelling; bruising; or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat.
The above side effects should not alarm you.
Serious side effects of Zytiga (abiraterone) may include:
swelling in your ankles or feet, pain in your legs; shortness of breath; pain or burning when you urinate, blood in your urine; fast heartbeats; headache, confusion; a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out; muscle weakness; or
liver problems - stomach pain (upper right side), nausea, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
If you have any of the above side effects or signs of complications, contact your doctor right away.
Please note this is not a complete list of side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects; they are not guaranteed. If you do have side effects and they become unmanageable, consult your doctor about alternate medications.
What is Zytiga?
Zytiga is a prescription medication that comes in the form of a tablet for oral administration. Each tablet contains 250mg of the anti-androgen drug called Abiraterone. Zytiga uses the acetate form of Abiraterone to increase the medication's effectiveness, called Abiraterone Acetate. Once the drug is metabolized in the body, it converts into Abiraterone and remains in the system for up to 5 days. We carry brand-name medication at My Drug Center.
What is Zytiga used for?
Zytiga is used along with a corticosteroid for the treatment of prostate cancer when it spreads to other areas of the body. This can include two conditions; metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), which is prostate cancer that has spread and is no longer responsive to hormone therapy; or metastatic high-risk castration-sensitive prostate cancer (CSPC), which is prostate cancer that has spread but can still respond to hormone therapy. Zytiga is generally prescribed to patients with prostate cancer who cannot be treated with surgery or other medicines. Using Zytiga can help slow the growth of cancer.
How does Zytiga work?
Zytiga works by slowing the growth of the cancer tumor. Though the cause of prostate cancer is unclear, it is thought that an androgen called testosterone, which is a natural male sex hormone, may promote the growth of cancer cells. Researchers Charles Brenton Huggins and Clarence Hodge discovered in 1940 that when a man’s testosterone levels drop, their prostate cancer also stops growing and vice versa. Zytiga is able to stop the growth of the cancer tumor by reducing the amount of testosterone production in the body.
How long does Zytiga prolong life?
Zytiga has been shown to effectively prolong the lifespan of those with prostate cancer; however, the exact amount of time it will prolong life by will vary from man to man. To give you an idea, here are a few results from clinical trials showing the effectiveness of the drug and how long it can prolong life:
Men with CRPC taking Zytiga with Prednisone in addition to standard hormone therapy found life to be prolonged by roughly 4.5 months. Men with CSPC with drug therapy, including Zytiga found a lowered of risk of death by 34% over a 52-month period (4.3 years). Men with either CRPC or CSPC started hormone therapy for the first time: those who took Zytiga had a survival rate of 83% over the course of 36 months (3 years) compared to those who did not take Zytiga, which had a survival rate of 76%.
How long can you take Zytiga?
Zytiga is typically used as a long-term treatment; many patients use Zytiga for 2-3 years, usually for as long as the treatment continues to be effective. However, there are many factors that may influence the amount of time you can use this particular medication for. It is best to discuss with your doctor if you have further questions on how long you can use this medication. Based off your personal factors, your doctor may have a more personalized and accurate answer for you.
How much does Zytiga cost without insurance?
Zytiga is an expensive medication in general but especially for those without insurance. In the United States, the brand-name product isn’t generally covered by Medicare, so vast majority of patients are stuck paying the entire amount; and though the generic form is usually covered by Medicare, not everyone has that advantage, and many are still forced to pay a high cost for the generic medication without insurance coverage. However, the price of most medications, including Zytiga, will fluctuate depending on the location of the pharmacy. For example, international prices at My Drug Center can be found for much lower than prices found in the United States. At My Drug Center, we offer the brand-name product for $4,733.00 when you buy a supply of 120 tablets. This price is much cheaper when compared to local pharmacies in the United States; a supply of 120 brand-name tablets would cost close to 3 times as much and a supply of 120 generic tablets would cost almost double as much.
Who makes Zytiga?
Zytiga was developed by the Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development unit of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc., and is marketed by Centocor Ortho Biotech. However, you may notice that Janssen Biotech markets Zytiga; to clear up any confusion, in June of 2011, Centocor Biotech announced that it changed its name to Janssen Biotech, Inc.
How long does it take for Zytiga to work?
Zytiga will begin to work for patients likely at different times due to the fact that our bodies respond to medication differently. For some men, Zytiga may begin to work within a few days, for others, it could take up to a week or two. In general, this medication should begin working within a few days to a few weeks for most patients. Your doctor will likely monitor you throughout treatment to ensure your medication is working properly (see below).
How do you know if Zytiga is working?
One way to check if Zytiga is working is by having a PSA test. A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is a blood test that your doctor will likely require you to take every 2-3 months during treatment to monitor if it is working. If your PSA levels fall, it’s usually a good indication that treatment is working; the exact amount of time it takes and the amount that PSA levels fall will vary from man to man. However, sometimes a PSA test isn’t enough alone to determine if Zytiga is working, so you may also require other blood tests along with discussing with your doctor how you’re feeling to determine if the medication is working. Additionally, some men won’t have a decrease in PSA levels, but that doesn’t necessarily mean treatment isn’t working. If your PSA levels don’t fall or if they begin to rise, your doctor may ask about your symptoms and may need to run certain scans, such as an MRI or CT scan. Depending on what your doctor believes, you may continue to take Zytiga or other treatment plans may be brought into the discussion.
How to take Zytiga?
When your doctor prescribes Zytiga to you, they will go over exactly how to use it; follow only your doctor’s directions. Do not take more or less of a dose or for a longer duration than instructed. Most patients are required to take one Zytiga dose per day, typically with a steroid like Prednisone which is taken once or twice per day. Take your dose on an empty stomach unless your doctor has directed otherwise. Avoid chewing, crushing, or breaking the tablet in half; swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. Ask your healthcare professional about any questions you may have before starting treatment.
Why is Prednisone needed with Zytiga?
One reason that doctors prescribed Prednisone with Zytiga is to help lessen the possible side effects of treatment. Zytiga, while having benefits, also presents some downsides; Zytiga can lower blood levels of cortisol in many patients. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal cortex and has a wide range of vital processes. Side effects can occur due to a decrease in this hormone, which is why Prednisone is prescribed along with Zytiga. Prednisone works as a “replacement” for the steroid hormone so the body does not suffer side effects as a result of low cortisol levels.
What are the side effects of Zytiga?
Side effects of Zytiga include indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, painful or difficult urination, and feeling weak or very hot. Keep in mind, side effects are a normal response of the body and should not alarm you. However, you should notify your doctor if your side effects do not go away over time or become intolerable. Keep in mind, not all side effects have been listed here.
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