Zytiga Warnings and Precautions
People who have liver problems or an abnormal heartbeat may not be able to safely take Zytiga. Other warnings and precautions involve potential complications this drug may cause, such as liver damage, high blood pressure, and fluid retention. Also, you should not take this medicine if you are pregnant, using certain other medications, or if you have certain allergies.
You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Zytiga™ (abiraterone acetate) if you have:
- Heart problems, including heart failure
- An abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Had a recent heart attack
- Liver disease, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver failure
- A history of problems with your adrenal or pituitary gland
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all other medications you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking this medicine include the following:
- Zytiga is used in combination with prednisone. Do not stop taking prednisone while taking Zytiga, unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise. Stopping prednisone abruptly may cause symptoms of prednisone withdrawal or adrenal insufficiency.
- People taking prednisone may develop adrenal insufficiency during times of infection or stress. The side effects of Zytiga can make it more difficult to recognize signs of adrenal insufficiency. Therefore, your healthcare provider may need to closely monitor you, and possibly adjust your prednisone dose, if you have an infection or are under stress.
- Your healthcare provider will monitor your liver function, using blood tests, before you start Zytiga and at least monthly thereafter (more often in the first three months of treatment). If your liver enzymes become too elevated, which could be a sign of liver damage, your healthcare provider will tell you to stop Zytiga and restart you at a lower dose once your liver enzymes return to normal. If your liver enzymes do not return to normal, you will not be restarted on Zytiga.
- Zytiga can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia), and fluid retention (edema). Your healthcare provider will monitor you for these problems at least once a month. Tell your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms such as:
- Feeling faint or lightheaded
- A rapid heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
- Leg pain or cramps
- Swelling in the legs and feet.
- Zytiga may react with a number of other medications (see Zytiga Drug Interactions for more information).
- Zytiga is a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that it should not be used in women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant (see Zytiga and Pregnancy).
- It is unknown if Zytiga passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Zytiga and Breastfeeding).