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Medications for Prostate Cancer

Other names: Cancer, Prostate; Carcinoma of Prostate

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a cancer that occurs in the prostate, which is a small, walnut-sized gland that is located just below the bladder in men and which surrounds the urethra (the tube that urine comes out of).

Prostate cancer is common, and many men have a slow-growing form of prostate cancer. Death, when it happens, is usually from other causes rather than the cancer itself. However, some prostate cancers are aggressive and can quickly spread outside the confines of the prostate. These are associated with a lower rate of survival.

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

Cancer is the uncontrollable growth of cells. It occurs when a mutation or abnormal change occurs that upsets how our cells multiply and divide. This allows the cell to keep dividing, out-of-control, instead of dying and being replaced by a new cell. Sometimes these out-of-control cells cluster together and form a lump called a tumor. Tumors can form in almost any area of the body.

Most prostate cancers develop from the gland cells in the prostate- these are the cells that make prostate fluid that is added to semen. These are called adenocarcinomas. Other types of cancer that can start in the prostate (such as small cell carcinomas, neuroendocrine tumors, and sarcomas) are rare.

Experts aren’t sure why some men develop prostate cancer and others don’t; however, they have identified a few risk factors that make some men more likely to develop the condition. These include:

  • Age: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age especially after the age of 50. More than 80% are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older
  • Race/ethnicity. African-American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men. They are also more likely to develop prostate cancer at an earlier age and to have more aggressive tumors that grow quickly. Hispanic men have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer and dying from the disease than non-Hispanic Caucasian men
  • Geographical location. Prostate cancer is more common in North America and northern Europe. The incidence is also increasing among Asian men living in urbanized environments, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and North American and European cities, particularly among those who have a lifestyle with less physical activity and a less healthy diet
  • Family history of prostate cancer
  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome. Men with HBOC have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and a more aggressive form of prostate cancer
  • Agent Orange exposure
  • Smoking
  • Diet and lifestyle. Excess red meat, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, high alcohol intake, and a lack of fruits and vegetables may increase risk.

What are the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer?

Many men with prostate cancer have no symptoms at all. If the cancer grows and presses on the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of your body) or spreads to the bladder it can cause:

  • A weak urine stream or needing to urinate more often
  • Pain during urination
  • Blood in urine or semen
  • Erection problems
  • Lower back pain.

How is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?

Prostate cancer may be suspected based on your symptoms or the results of a screening test.

Screening is when your doctor looks for cancer before you have any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage when it may be easier to treat. Two of the most frequently used screening tests used today include the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

  • A digital rectal exam (DRE) is an exam of the rectum where the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the lower part of the rectum to feel for lumps or enlargement in the prostate gland.
  • A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a blood test that measures levels of PSA in your blood. However, PSA is reasonably nonspecific and high levels may be associated with prostate cancer, prostatitis (a non-cancerous condition), or an enlarged prostate gland. Very high levels of PSA (10 ng/mL and above are associated with a 50% chance of prostate cancer).

There is controversy over whether screening tests should be used at all. The USPSTF recommends men aged 55 to 69 have a discussion with their doctor about the pros and cons of PSA screening to determine if it is an appropriate preventive test for them.  For men aged 70 and older, the USPSTF does not recommend PSA screening.

The American Cancer Society, recommends early-detection screening starting at age 40 or 45 if men are at high risk or age 50 in men at average risk.

In some cases, a prostate biopsy or imaging test like an ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may also be used to rule out cancer.

How is Prostate Cancer Treated?

Treatment for prostate cancer depends upon the stage of the prostate cancer and an understanding of the pros and cons of treatment. Treatment options include:

  • Watchful waiting. No active treatment is started. This may be appropriate for older men with other serious medical conditions
  • Active watching. May involve regular PSA tests and prostate biopsies
  • Radiation
  • Brachytherapy. Small radioactive pellets are placed permanently into the prostate gland
  • Surgery
  • Anti-androgen drugs (hormone therapy)
  • Chemotherapy.

Drugs used to treat Prostate Cancer

The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.

Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
bicalutamide 8.0 10 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: bicalutamide systemic

Brand name:  Casodex

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Casodex 7.8 7 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: bicalutamide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Zytiga 8.7 33 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: abiraterone systemic

Drug class: miscellaneous antineoplastics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Lupron Depot 6.2 17 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: leuprolide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Xtandi 3.4 10 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: enzalutamide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Eligard 4.4 22 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: leuprolide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Zoladex 6.5 10 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: goserelin systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Firmagon 9.4 8 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: degarelix systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

leuprolide 5.8 78 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: leuprolide systemic

Brand names:  Lupron Depot, Eligard

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

abiraterone 8.4 34 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: abiraterone systemic

Brand names:  Zytiga, Yonsa

Drug class: miscellaneous antineoplastics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Provenge 6.3 6 reviews
Rx N N

Generic name: sipuleucel-T systemic

Drug class: therapeutic vaccines

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

enzalutamide 3.4 10 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: enzalutamide systemic

Brand name:  Xtandi

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

degarelix 9.4 9 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: degarelix systemic

Brand name:  Firmagon

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonists

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

goserelin 5.9 11 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: goserelin systemic

Brand names:  Zoladex, Zoladex 3-Month

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

flutamide Rate Add review
Rx D N

Generic name: flutamide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Xofigo Rate Add review
Rx X N

Generic name: radium 223 dichloride systemic

Drug class: therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

triptorelin 5.8 6 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: triptorelin systemic

Brand names:  Trelstar, Trelstar Depot, Trelstar LA

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, gonadotropin releasing hormones

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

Erleada 8.0 2 reviews
Rx N

Generic name: apalutamide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

Nilandron Rate Add review
Rx C N

Generic name: nilutamide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

nilutamide Rate Add review
Rx C N

Generic name: nilutamide systemic

Brand name:  Nilandron

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Nubeqa Rate Add review
Rx N

Generic name: darolutamide systemic

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

radium 223 dichloride 6.3 4 reviews
Rx X N

Generic name: radium 223 dichloride systemic

Brand name:  Xofigo

Drug class: therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

sipuleucel-T 5.6 7 reviews
Rx N N

Generic name: sipuleucel-T systemic

Brand name:  Provenge

Drug class: therapeutic vaccines

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts

apalutamide 8.0 2 reviews
Rx N

Generic name: apalutamide systemic

Brand name:  Erleada

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

darolutamide Rate Add review
Rx N

Generic name: darolutamide systemic

Brand name:  Nubeqa

Drug class: hormones/antineoplastics, antiandrogens

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: A-Z Drug Facts, AHFS DI Monograph

Alternative treatments for Prostate Cancer

The following products are considered to be alternative treatments or natural remedies for Prostate Cancer. Their efficacy may not have been scientifically tested to the same degree as the drugs listed in the table above. However there may be historical, cultural or anecdotal evidence linking their use to the treatment of Prostate Cancer.

Learn more about Prostate Cancer

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Drugs.com Health Center

Mayo Clinic Reference

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription Only.
OTC Over the Counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over the Counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

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Further information

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