Prostate Cancer Home > Zytiga

Available by prescription only, Zytiga is used to treat advanced prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It comes in the form of a tablet and is taken by mouth once a day. It is approved for use in combination with prednisone. Side effects may include joint swelling, muscle aches, and hot flushes.

What Is Zytiga?

Zytiga™ (abiraterone acetate) is a prescription medication approved for the treatment of certain types of prostate cancer that has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body), sometimes called advanced or late-stage prostate cancer. It is used in combination with prednisone.
 
(Click Zytiga Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes This Medication?

This medication is made by Patheon, Inc., for Centocor Ortho Biotech, Inc.
 

How Does Zytiga Work?

Testosterone stimulates the growth of prostate cancer cells. Zytiga works by inhibiting an enzyme in the body called cytochrome P450 17 (CYP17). This enzyme helps make testosterone. By blocking CYP17 activity, Zytiga decreases the amount of testosterone produced in the body.
 
The majority of testosterone in the body is produced by the testes. However, some testosterone is made by the adrenal glands and in the prostate cancer cells. Zytiga decreases testosterone made in the cancer cells and the adrenal gland. Therefore, this drug may work in prostate cancer that has been resistant to other medical or surgical treatments that only worked to decrease testosterone made by the testes.
 

Clinical Effects

In clinical studies, Zytiga was shown to extend life by up to four months in men with late-stage prostate cancer who were previously treated with docetaxel (Taxotere®), a chemotherapy treatment. In these studies, men given Zytiga in addition to prednisone survived, on average, 14.8 months compared to 10.9 months in men who received a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients) plus prednisone.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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