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How long do you take Zytiga for?

Medically reviewed by Nicole France, BPharm. Last updated on June 15, 2021.

Official answer

by Drugs.com

Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) is a hormone therapy taken in combination with prednisone to treat prostate cancer that has already spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.

Patients typically take medications such as Zytiga for as long as they are effective for or as long as they can tolerate them. Adverse effects including hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity) or cardiac disorders, for example, can result in patients needing to stop treatment.

The length of time patients remain on Zytiga varies. The median amount of time patients with metastatic prostate cancer remained on Zytiga ranged from 8 to 24 months, according to the results from clinical trials used to gain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Zytiga in the US.

Results from one clinical trial also showed that patients with metastatic prostate cancer who had not received prior cytotoxic chemotherapy remained on Zytiga for a median of 25.2 months until they needed to start taking cytotoxic chemotherapy.

Your doctor will monitor your health to see if you should continue taking Zytiga

Your doctor will monitor your health while you are on Zytiga to check to see if it is working for you and isn’t causing any side effects of concern.

Your doctor will likely:

  • Monitor your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate that is often elevated in patients with prostate cancer. In patients being treated for prostate cancer, rising PSA levels over time may be a sign of disease recurrence or progression. The results of PSA level monitoring are usually used along with other tests to determine the effectiveness of Zytiga.
  • Do blood tests to check your liver function and potassium levels.
  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Monitor for signs of disease progression using imaging tests, such as a CT (computerized tomography) scans or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
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