天职药房 MISSION (HOUGANG) MEDICAL CLINIC

Abiraterone: What is it and What you need to Know

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Abiraterone is an important medication in the battle against prostate cancer. It works by blocking testosterone production, which helps to slow down the growth of cancer cells. This makes it a key treatment option for advanced prostate cancers that are resistant to hormone therapy or at high risk of spreading.

In order to provide the best possible care to patients, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of how Abiraterone functions, how it is given, and what side effects may occur. This article will serve as a starting point for gaining that knowledge.

What is Abiraterone and How Does it Work?

Abiraterone, also known as Zytiga, is a crucial medication for treating certain types of prostate cancer. It is primarily used for two conditions: metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and metastatic high-risk castration-sensitive prostate cancer (mCSPC).

Mechanism of Action

Abiraterone works by blocking an enzyme called CYP17, which is responsible for producing testosterone in the body. By inhibiting this enzyme, Abiraterone effectively lowers the levels of testosterone.

Why is this important?

Prostate cancer cells rely on testosterone to grow and spread. By reducing the amount of testosterone available, Abiraterone slows down or even halts the growth and spread of these cancer cells. This knowledge is crucial in managing prostate cancer and improving patient outcomes.

Taking Abiraterone: Dosage and Administration

When starting treatment with Abiraterone, it is essential to adhere strictly to your doctor’s instructions. The medication should be taken:

  • On an empty stomach: Do not eat for at least two hours before taking Abiraterone and for at least one hour after taking the medication.

  • Consistent timing: Try to take your dose at the same time each day.

Prednisolone is usually prescribed alongside Abiraterone to mitigate some of its side effects, such as high blood pressure and fluid retention. The precise dosage and administration schedule for prednisolone will be tailored to your specific needs by your healthcare provider.

Always take both medications under the guidance of a medical professional to ensure the best possible outcome for your treatment regimen.

Managing Missed Doses and Overdose of Abiraterone

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of Abiraterone and there are more than 12 hours before your next scheduled dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if less than 12 hours remain until your next dose, skip the missed dose and do not double up on doses.

Overdose Symptoms

Watch out for the following signs and symptoms that might indicate an overdose of Abiraterone:

  1. Swelling in the legs or feet
  2. Pain in the chest
  3. Unusually high blood pressure
  4. Severe headache or dizziness

If you experience any of these symptoms or suspect an overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

Potential Side Effects of Abiraterone Treatment

Abiraterone treatment may cause certain side effects in patients. These are the most common ones:

  • Fluid build-up
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Low potassium levels in the blood

It’s important to communicate with your healthcare provider about any discomfort you may experience during the therapy.

However, there are rare but serious side effects that require immediate medical attention such as:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion

If you experience any of these symptoms while taking Abiraterone, it is crucial to seek emergency medical care immediately.

Understanding potential side effects can help ensure a safer and more effective treatment process.

Precautions and Considerations for Safe Use of Abiraterone

When undergoing treatment with Abiraterone, it’s crucial to adhere to specific safety measures to ensure the therapy is as effective and safe as possible.

  • Monitor Health Regularly: Keep regular appointments for blood tests and check-ups. These monitor the body’s response to Abiraterone and catch any issues early.

  • Report Health Changes: Immediately inform your doctor about any new symptoms or health changes, particularly cardiovascular signs like difficulty breathing or swelling in the feet or ankles.

  • Discuss All Medications: Share a comprehensive list of all medications, supplements, and herbal products you’re using with your healthcare provider to avoid adverse interactions.

  • Grapefruit Avoidance: Refrain from consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice, as it can increase the levels of Abiraterone in the blood, leading to a higher risk of side effects.

By carefully managing these precautions and understanding potential medication interactions, patients can help safeguard their health while maximizing the benefits of their treatment.

Storing Abiraterone Properly

When it comes to Abiraterone, proper storage is crucial to maintain its efficacy. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Store in a cool, dry place: The tablets should be kept away from moisture and heat. Find a spot in your home that is not exposed to direct sunlight.

  • Avoid high humidity areas: It’s best to keep Abiraterone away from places with high moisture levels, such as the bathroom or kitchen.

  • Maintain the right temperature: The ideal temperature for storing Abiraterone is between 20°C to 25°C.

  • Keep out of reach: Make sure this medication is inaccessible to children and pets. Accidental ingestion can lead to severe complications.

  • Leave in original packaging: Until it’s time to take them, it’s recommended to leave the tablets in their original packaging. This helps protect them from environmental elements and prevents any mix-ups with other medications.

  • Don’t store in your car: Avoid leaving Abiraterone or any other medication in your vehicle, especially during extreme weather conditions. Both heat and cold can affect its potency.

By following these storage instructions, you can ensure that your Abiraterone remains safe and effective for use.

Disposal of Unused Abiraterone Medication

Safe disposal of unused or expired medications like Abiraterone helps protect the environment and prevents drug misuse. Follow these guidelines:

Medication Take-Back Programs

Participate in a drug take-back program. These are the preferred way to safely dispose of most types of unneeded medicines.

Specific Disposal Instructions

If you cannot access a take-back program, check the medication label or patient information guide for specific disposal instructions.

FDA’s Flush List

If no instructions are given and no take-back program is available, check if Abiraterone is on the FDA’s flush list, which means it can be flushed down the toilet to prevent danger to others.

Household Trash

If Abiraterone is not on the flush list and no take-back options are available:

  1. Mix with an unpalatable substance (such as dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds).
  2. Place the mixture in a container (like a sealed plastic bag).
  3. Throw the container in your household trash.

Remove Personal Information

Before throwing out medication containers, remove all personal information on prescription labels to protect privacy and personal health information.

Always avoid giving your unused medications to others and consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company if you have any questions about the best way to dispose of Abiraterone.

Read More: Azathioprine: What is it and What you need to Know

Picture of MMC Writing Team

MMC Writing Team

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away. We hope that we can provide you with information to stay healthy.

Picture of MMC Writing Team

MMC Writing Team

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away. We hope that we can provide you with information to stay healthy.

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