An orally active acetate salt of the steroidal compound abiraterone with antiandrogen activity. Abiraterone inhibits the enzymatic activity of steroid 17alpha-monooxygenase (17alpha-hydrolase/C17,20 lyase complex), a member of the cytochrome p450 family that catalyzes the 17alpha-hydroxylation of steroid intermediates involved in testosterone synthesis. Administration of this agent may suppress testosterone production by both the testes and the adrenals to castrate-range levels.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Abiraterone is used in combination with another medication (prednisone) to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body in men who have not been helped by other treatments including docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere). Abiraterone is in a class of medications called androgen biosynthesis inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of certain hormones in the body.
How should this medicine be used?
Abiraterone comes as a tablet to take by mouth on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating any food. It is usually taken once a day. Take abiraterone at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take abiraterone exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole with water; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Continue to take abiraterone even if you feel well. Do not stop taking abiraterone or prednisone without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine:
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to abiraterone, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in abiraterone tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), and voriconazole (Vfend); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); HIV protease inhibitors including atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase); certain medications for seizures such as carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal), and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); nefazodone; rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, in Rifamate, in Rifater, Rimactane); rifapentine (Priftin); telithromycin (Ketek); and thioridazine. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with abiraterone, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have an infection or are experiencing unusual stress, have had a recent heart attack, or if you have or have ever had adrenal or pituitary gland problems, an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, a low level of potassium in your blood, or heart or liver disease.
- you should know that abiraterone is only for use in men. Women should not take this medication, especially if they are or may become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If taken by pregnant women, abiraterone may harm the fetus. Women who are, could become, or may be pregnant should not touch abiraterone tablets without protective gloves. If a pregnant woman takes or touches abiraterone tablets, she should call her doctor immediately.you should know that men must use a condom if having sex with a pregnant woman during treatment and for 1 week after finishing treatment with abiraterone. If you are having sex with someone who may become pregnant, you must use a condom and another form of birth control during your treatment and for 1 week after finishing treatment. Talk to your doctor about the types of birth control that are right for you.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you miss one dose, take your regular dose the next day. If you miss more than one dose, call your doctor right away.
What side effects can this medication cause?
- joint swelling or pain
- hot flashes (a sudden wave of mild or intense body heat)
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- feeling faint or lightheaded
- fast or irregular heartbeats
- muscle weakness or aches
- leg pain
- swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- extreme tiredness
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- flu-like symptoms
- difficult, painful or frequent urination
Abiraterone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
*Source: National Cancer Institute
*Source: Medline Plus