1 What is Zytiga?

Brand: Zytiga

Generic: Abiraterone

Zytiga is a drug used for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

It is often used in combination with prednisone for the improvement in prostate cancer which has shown no signs of betterment even with surgical or radiation therapies and it can only be used in those who have had prior treatment for cancer.

It is a prescription drug available only in the form of a tablet.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Zytiga, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. This is the work of a doctor and a patient to discuss all the aspects of the drug in detail.

A detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is preferred that a drug is started after it. Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in the record to predict any drug interaction.

Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition by which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.

Age-specific assessment is necessary to maintain a safety profile. This drug is not recommended for use in children due to its large side effects profile. There are not enough studies to rule out its effectiveness in old patients, hence it is used much commonly in them (as elderly have more risks of having prostate cancer).

Abiraterone should not be used in pregnant or women of childbearing age as the risks are too much in comparison to its benefits. There is a debate about its use in breastfeeding women but it is advised to not give this drug to them if any other drug can work.

Drug interactions occur when other drugs are used with abiraterone. It is usually not recommended to use this drug along Selexipag; however, if the use of both of these is essential, the doctor will decrease their doses. There are also some effects by alcohol, tobacco, and certain foods reported when used with this drug.

Other medical conditions may also interfere with, or get interfered by, the use of this drug. Conditions like adrenal or pituitary problems, history of heart attack, heart failure, blood vessel disease, heart rhythm problems, high blood pressure, and low potassium in the blood or liver disease may have many interactions with this drug and should be reported to the consulting physician.

3 Proper Usage

To use Zytiga properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. This drug is available only in tablet form which can be taken easily along the water.

Do not consume food 2 hours before the medicine and 1 hour after it as the food may increase its absorption and will lead to more side effects. Do not crush or break the tablet into pieces. Use the tablet as whole.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Zytiga, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor.

There are certain tips to maximize the benefits and reduce the side effects of this drug which include:

  • Regular visits to the doctor should be made to check the progress.
  • Blood and urine tests may be done to check any side effects.
  • Pregnant and women of childbearing age should handle it with protection (gloves) on their hands and even avoid the air with its dust in it.
  • Do not use this drug in women and children.
  • Use barrier contraception with this drug to avoid pregnancies during or 1 week after its use as it may lead to fetal defects.
  • Regularly measure blood pressure and keep a chart of it.
  • Do not change or stop this medication, or prednisolone, without discussing it with your doctor as it will lead to adrenal problems.
  • Do not start any other drug, prescription or non-prescription, without consulting your doctor.
  • Consult the doctor if any serious problem is suspected.
  • Storage of drug should in a dry environment with room temperature. Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

If you notice any side effects of Zytiga, immediately make an appointment with your doctor.

Common side effects include:

  • bladder pain
  • swelling of different parts of body
  • blood or pus in urine
  • blurred vision
  • bone fracture
  • chest pain
  • seizures
  • decreased urine output
  • burning or painful urination
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • fast and irregular heartbeat
  • the feeling of warmth
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • headache
  • increased thirst
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • lower back or side pain
  • mood changes
  • muscle pain
  • nausea or vomiting
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling sensations
  • pounding in the ears
  • rapid weight gain
  • unusual tiredness

These effects normally vanish after discontinuation of the drug, but still, it is important to refer to your doctor in case of any effect.

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