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Generic name: abirateroneA-bir-A-te-rone ]
Brand names: Yonsa, Zytiga
Drug class: Miscellaneous antineoplastics

Medically reviewed by on Sep 4, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is Yonsa?

Yonsa is used together with a steroid medicine (prednisone or methylprednisolone) to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic) and cannot be treated with surgery or other medicines.

Yonsa may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Yonsa 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.

Yonsa may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

Common side effects of Yonsa may include:

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.


Use only as directed. Tell your doctor if you use other medicines or have other medical conditions or allergies.

Before taking this medicine

Yonsa is not for use by women or children.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

Yonsa can harm an unborn baby if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy. An this medicine tablet should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant. The medicine from a broken tablet could be absorbed through the skin.

Yonsa can also harm an unborn baby if the father is taking Yonsa at the time of conception or during pregnancy.

Use effective birth control if your sex partner is pregnant or able to get pregnant. Keep using birth control for at least 3 weeks after your last dose.

How should I take Yonsa?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Yonsa is usually taken once per day while also taking a steroid 1 or 2 times per day. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Your Yonsa dose needs may change if you switch to a different brand, strength, or form of this medicine. Avoid medication errors by using only the medicine your doctor prescribes.

Your steroid dose needs may change if you have an infection or are under stress. Do not change your dose or stop using your steroid medicine without your doctor's advice.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

You may take Yonsa with or without food.

Take Zytiga on an empty stomach. Do not eat anything for at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after you take Zytiga.

Swallow the tablet whole and do not crush, chew, or break it.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often, and you may need frequent blood tests. If you have diabetes, your blood sugar should be checked carefully, especially if you take pioglitazone or repaglinide.

You should not stop using Yonsa or your steroid medicine 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. Do not take two doses at one time.

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss more than one dose of Yonsa.

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 Yonsa?

Do not eat food for at least 2 hours before you take Zytiga and for at least 1 hour after your dose. Food can increase the amount of Zytiga your body absorbs and may cause side effects.

Avoid taking an herbal supplement containing St. John's wort.

What other drugs will affect Yonsa?

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can affect Yonsa, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect Yonsa. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Popular FAQ

Yonsa is used in combination with methylprednisolone to treat advanced prostate cancer because methylprednisolone helps to prevent the side effects of Yonsa caused by mineralocorticoid excess.

Treatment with Yonsa can cause mineralocorticoid excess, which can result in side effects such as hypertension (high blood pressure), hypokalemia (low potassium) and fluid retention. Continue reading

Yonsa starts working quickly to lower testosterone levels in men with advanced prostate cancer, with averaged absolute testosterone levels falling to at or below 0.1 ng/dl by days 9 and 10 of treatment for 25 percent of men treated with Yonsa in the STAAR study. Continue reading

Yonsa is a hormone therapy drug used to treat men with advanced prostate cancer. It is a CYP17 inhibitor, which inhibits androgen biosynthesis.

Yonsa works to prevent prostate cancer cells from growing and spreading by inhibiting the production of androgens, including testosterone. Androgens help prostate cancer cells grow and spread. Continue reading

Zytiga is taken with prednisone to help manage side effects that might occur with this prostate cancer treatment. Zytiga blocks the production of cortisol from your adrenal glands. Prednisone helps to replace the lost cortisol that can cause side effects such as low blood potassium levels, fluid build up (edema), or high blood pressure. Continue reading

Abiraterone works by blocking the effects of an enzyme (called CYP17) that is found in testicular, adrenal, and prostate tumor tissue that is necessary for the production of testosterone and other androgens. By blocking this enzyme, abiraterone reduces the production of testosterone and other androgens which stimulate prostate cancer cells to grow. Abiraterone inhibits androgen at 3 sources—the testes, the adrenal glands, AND the tumor itself. Continue reading

More FAQ

Further information

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.