ZYTIGA® (Abiraterone acetate)
Information in this fact sheet is meant to assist you in making decisions about your treatment. Always make medication decisions in consultation with your healthcare team.
What is Zytiga® used for?
Zytiga® is used to treat metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body in patients that have received prior chemotherapy containing a taxane. It reduces the levels of the sex hormone testosterone.
What does Zytiga® look like?
Zytiga® tablets are white to off-white, oval tablets, with ‘AA250’ on one side. Each plastic bottle contains 120 tablets.
The small pellet containing Zoladex® 10.8mg is about the size of a grain of rice. It can be seen in the ‘window’ half way up the syringe and is white or cream coloured.
How is Zytiga® given?
Zytiga® tablets are taken once a day only, on an empty stomach. You should take Zytiga® at least two hours after eating, and you shouldn’t eat for at least one hour after taking the tablets. Taking Zytiga® with food causes more of this medicine to be absorbed by the body than is needed and this may cause side effects.
Zytiga® tablets should be swallowed whole with water. Do not break the tablets and they must not be chewed or crushed.
Many people find it’s best to take Zytiga® before breakfast and wait for an hour before eating. Try to take Zytiga® at approximately the same time every day. You’ll usually take four tablets daily, but sometimes your doctor may alter the dose.
Zytiga® is prescribed with prednisone or prednisolone. The usual dose of prednisone or prednisolone is 10mg daily, taken according to your doctor’s instructions.
What are the side effects?
Like all medicines, Zytiga® can have side effects. Some of these effects may be serious.
Each person’s reaction to any medication is different. Some people have very few side effects while others may experience more. The side effects described here won’t affect everyone having this treatment. Zytiga® treatment is usually well tolerated.
Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you do not feel well while you are being treated with Zytiga®.
The most common side effects of Zytiga® are fluid in the legs and feet, low blood potassium, urinary tract infection, high blood pressure and bone fractures.
What are the less common side effects?
Stop taking Zytiga® and see a doctor immediately if you notice signs of low blood potassium:
- muscle weakness
- muscle twitches
- heart palpitations.
Other side effects from Zytiga® are high fat levels in your blood, liver function test increases, chest pain, heart beat disorders, heart failure, rapid heart rate and adrenal gland problems. If these or any other effects occur, talk to your doctor without delay.
Please tell your doctor if you experience any of these side effects and they worry you, or if you notice other side effects not listed above that may also occur in some people.
eviQ 2013, Prostate Metastatic Abiraterone and Prednisolone – Full view, Cancer Institute of NSW, 9th May 2013, viewed 3rd July 2013.
Macmillan 2012, Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga®), Macmillan Cancer Support 1st Jan 2012, viewed 3rd July 2013.
TGA Consumer Medical Information (CMI) 2012, Zytiga® Tablets abiraterone, Therapeutic Goods Administration Feb 2012, Canberra, viewed 3rd July 2013.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia develops materials based on best available evidence and takes advice from recognised experts in the field in developing such resource; however it cannot guarantee and assumes no legal responsibility for the currency or completeness of the information.