Zytiga

(abiraterone)

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Helps treat prostate cancer.

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Our bottom line

Zytiga (abiraterone) is an effective oral treatment for prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, but it needs to be taken with another medicine called prednisone.

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    $10169.08
Quick facts about Zytiga
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Upsides

  • Proven to prolong survival by about 4 months, delay start of chemotherapy by about 8 months, and reduce use of opioid narcotics for pain management.
  • Zytiga (abiraterone) is an oral tablet that's conveniently taken once a day.
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What to expect from Zytiga, on one page

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Downsides

  • Not the best choice if you have heart or liver problems.
  • Zytiga (abiraterone) can cause liver damage. You'll need routine blood tests to check your liver function.
  • Available as an expensive, branded product only.
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What to expect from Zytiga, on one page

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How it works

Zytiga (abiraterone) stops the production of a hormone called testosterone, which is essential for the growth of tumor cells in the prostate.

Quick facts about Zytiga
  • Drug class: Cancer
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available

Dosage forms

  • Pill
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Prices and coupons

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What to expect when you take Zytiga (abiraterone) for metastatic prostate cancer

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  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Effectiveness
  • Starts to kick in
    Full effects
  • First few hoursHours
    First few daysDays
    First few weeksWeeks
    First few monthsMonths
  • Possible side effects
  • Tiredness
  • Joint swelling
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Facial flushing
  • High blood pressure
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Side effect rates for Zytiga (abiraterone)

From 1185 clinical trials of Zytiga when taken for metastatic prostate cancer following docetaxel (1000 mg (taken with 5 mg prednisone twice a day))
  • Elevated tryglycerides
    63%63%
    53%53%
  • Abnormal liver enzyme test (AST)
    31%31%
    36%36%
  • Joint swelling
    30%30%
    23%23%
  • Low potassium levels
    28%28%
    20%20%
  • Swelling
    27%27%
    18%18%
  • Muscle pain
    26%26%
    23%23%
  • Low phosphate levels
    24%24%
    16%16%
  • Facial flushing
    19%19%
    17%17%
  • Diarrhea
    18%18%
    14%14%
  • Urinary tract infection
    12%12%
    7%7%
  • Cough
    11%11%
    8%8%
  • Abnormal liver enzyme test (ALT)
    11%11%
    10%10%
  • High blood pressure
    9%9%
    7%7%
  • Urinary frequency
    7%7%
    5%5%
  • Irregular heartbeat
    7%7%
    5%5%
  • Abnormal liver function test (total bilirubin)
    7%7%
    5%5%
  • Indigestion
    6%6%
    3%3%
  • Frequent urination at night
    6%6%
    4%4%
  • Fractures
    6%6%
    2%2%
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
    5%5%
    3%3%
  • Chest pain or chest discomfort
    4%4%
    3%3%
  • Heart failure
    2%2%
    1%1%
0%
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80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Zytiga.

Zytiga (abiraterone)
Placebo

People taking Zytiga felt side effect more

People taking Zytiga felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Zytiga (abiraterone)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Current liver problems

    Zytiga (abiraterone) is processed by the liver. If you have history of liver disease, talk to your doctor. Laboratory tests are need to monitor your liver function before starting Zytiga (abiraterone) and while on treatment.

Common concerns from people taking Zytiga (abiraterone)

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Interactions
  • Zytiga (abiraterone) interacts with a lot of medicines. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting Zytiga (abiraterone) or any other new medicine.
Food
  • Zytiga (abiraterone) must be taken on an empty stomach. Don't eat any food for at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after your dose.
Kidneys and liver
  • Zytiga (abiraterone) is processed by the liver. If you have history of liver disease, talk to your doctor. Laboratory tests are need to monitor your liver function before starting Zytiga (abiraterone) and while on treatment.
  • Adrenal suppression, or low hormone levels, may occur if you get an infection, are under stress, or stop taking prednisone. Tell your doctor if you notice any fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or muscle aches.
  • Not the best choice if you have heart or liver problems.
  • Zytiga (abiraterone) can cause liver damage. You'll need routine blood tests to check your liver function.