Generic Name: abiraterone (A bir A te rone)
Brand Name: Zytiga
Medically reviewed on May 9, 2018
What is abiraterone?
Abiraterone works by reducing androgen production in the body. Androgens are male hormones that can promote tumor growth in the prostate gland.
Abiraterone is used together with prednisone to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. This medicine is used in men whose prostate cancer cannot be treated with surgery or other medicines.
Abiraterone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use this medicine if you have severe liver disease.
Abiraterone tablets should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause miscarriage.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use abiraterone if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had:
severe liver disease.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
low levels of potassium in your blood; or
problems with your adrenal gland or pituitary gland.
Abiraterone is not for use by women or children.
This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause miscarriage. Abiraterone tablets should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. If this cannot be avoided, the woman should wear latex gloves.
Abiraterone can also harm an unborn baby if the father is taking this medicine at the time of conception or during pregnancy.
Use effective birth control if your sex partner is able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 weeks after your last dose. Use a condom plus another form of effective birth control to prevent pregnancy.
Abiraterone should also not be used by a woman who is breast-feeding a baby.
Abiraterone is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.
How should I take abiraterone?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Abiraterone is usually taken once per day while also taking prednisone 1 or 2 times per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Your prednisone dosage needs may change if you have surgery, are ill, or are under stress. Do not change your medication dose or schedule without your doctor's advice.
Take abiraterone on an empty stomach. Do not eat anything for at least 2 hours before you take abiraterone and for at least 1 hour after you have taken the medicine.
Do not crush, chew, or break an abiraterone tablet. Swallow it whole with a full glass of water.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often, and you may need frequent blood tests.
You should not stop using abiraterone or prednisone suddenly. Follow your doctor's instructions about tapering your prednisone dose.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Skip the missed dose and take the medicine the following day on an empty stomach (no food for at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after you take abiraterone). Do not take two doses at one time.
Call your doctor for instructions if you miss more than one dose of abiraterone.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking abiraterone?
Avoid eating for at least 2 hours before you take abiraterone and for at least 1 hour after your dose. Food can increase the amount of abiraterone your body absorbs.
Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing St. John's wort.
This medicine can pass into body fluids (urine, feces, vomit). Caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up a patient's body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.
Abiraterone side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
swelling in your ankles or feet, pain in your legs;
pain or burning when you urinate;
muscle weakness; or
a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out.
Common side effects may include:
feeling weak, feeling very hot;
joint pain or swelling;
cough, feeling short of breath.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Abiraterone dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Prostate Cancer:
1,000 mg orally once a day on an empty stomach (in combination with prednisone 5 mg orally 2 times a day)
Comments: No food should be consumed for at least 2 hours before the dose and for at least 1 hour after the dose of this drug.
Use: Treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer
What other drugs will affect abiraterone?
Other drugs may affect abiraterone, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01.
More about abiraterone
- Abiraterone Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- En Español
- 18 Reviews
- Drug class: miscellaneous antineoplastics
Other brands: Zytiga