Zytiga: see what it is for, how to use it and whether SUS provides

The development of diseases such as cancer can negatively change people’s lives.

For this, there are medications that aim to treat this type of disease, aiming at a better quality of life for patients.

One of them is Zytiga, a reference drug in the fight against prostate cancer – that is, it is the first medication based on the active principle of Abiraterone Acetate to be registered, having the patent for the substance.


What is Zytiga medicine?

Zytiga is the trade name of the active ingredient Abiraterone Acetate. The substance is able to inhibit an enzyme that participates in the production of the sex hormone androgen (released by the testicles, adrenal glands and prostate tumors).

It is an orally administered drug, manufactured by Janssen-Cilag – a pharmaceutical company – and is used to treat patients with prostate cancer.

With hormonal reduction, it is possible to control the progression of the disease.

It has a high cost and, in general, is associated with Prednisolone – anti-inflammatory – in the treatment of cancer.

What is the medicine Zytiga for?

The drug Zytiga is used to treat patients with prostate cancer in the stage of metastasis – where the tumor has spread to other parts of the body.

The use is made in people who have not been successful in treatment with androgen deprivation therapy (sex hormones) and with other medications such as docetaxel .

Its use is carried out, in general, in conjunction with prednisone or prednisolone – remedies used as anti-inflammatories and in the treatment of autoimmune diseases .

It works by decreasing the levels of androgens in the body, sex hormones that stimulate tumor growth.

What is prednisolone?

Prednisolone is an active ingredient used as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agent in autoimmune diseases – it inhibits the body’s attack on the body itself – and inflammatory processes.

It is also used in the treatment of endocrine disorders and in some cases of neoplasia – when there is an abnormal growth of body tissues.

Its use is oral and, when associated with Zytiga, it is used in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

It is sold under a simple medical prescription, when there is no retention of prescription.

How to take Zytiga?

According to the package leaflet, you should use 2 tablets of 500mg or 4 of 250mg daily, not exceeding the maximum daily dose of 1000mg.

It is recommended to eat on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. This is because the administration of the drug together with food excessively increases the absorption of the substance, which can lead to side effects.

The tablets should be consumed whole and with water.

Although the package insert indicates that there are not enough studies on the interaction between alcohol and abiraterone acetate, it is always important to talk to the medical team and follow the guidelines.

What are the side effects of using Zytiga (Abiraterone)?

Like other substances, abiraterone can cause some side effects, in addition to allergies and sensitivities. The most recurring are:

  • Swelling in the hands, feet or ankles;
  • Low potassium in the blood;
  • Urinary infection;
  • Indigestion;
  • Blood in the urine;
  • High level of fat in the blood;
  • High pressure;
  • Chest pain;
  • Change in heart rate.

Other reactions that may occur are:

  • Inflammation of the alveoli;
  • Acute liver failure;
  • Degradation of muscle tissue.

It is important to note that each organism reacts differently to the medication.

That way, not everyone will necessarily have the symptoms.

Who can’t use it?

Zytiga should not be given to women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant during treatment, as the substances that make up the drug can affect the baby. Women who are breastfeeding are also contraindicated to treatment.

In addition, children and people who have severe liver disease should not take the medicine.

Price: what is the value of Abiraterone?

Abiraterone is a high-cost drug, with a value that varies between R $ 10,680 and R $ 14,324 *.

* Price consulted in November 2019. Prices may change.

Does SUS provide Abiraterone?

Yes. The active substance Abiraterone is available at SUS, indicated for the treatment of castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer in patients with previous use of chemotherapy. The approval was in 2019, through the publication CONITEC.

If there are any obstacles or difficulties in accessing treatment through the SUS, it is still possible for patients to resort to legal proceedings.

In these cases, it is possible to count on advice on high-cost medication quotation , from Consulta Remedies.