May 1, 2017
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Zytiga Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Zytiga

Generic Name: abiraterone (Pronunciation: A bir A te rone)

What is abiraterone (Zytiga)?

Abiraterone works in the body by preventing the actions of androgens (male hormones).

Abiraterone is used together with prednisone to treat prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Abiraterone may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of abiraterone (Zytiga)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using abiraterone and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • swelling in your ankles or feet, pain in your legs;
  • rapid heartbeats, feeling short of breath (even with mild exertion);
  • low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling);
  • pale skin, easy bruising, feeling like you might pass out;
  • upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • pain or burning when you urinate;
  • high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
  • worsening dizziness, weakness, or tired feeling;
  • nausea, vomiting, ongoing diarrhea; or
  • dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

Common side effects may include:

  • swelling or discomfort in your joints;
  • mild diarrhea;
  • cough; or
  • sweating, feeling very hot.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the Zytiga (abiraterone acetate tablets) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects

What is the most important information I should know about abiraterone (Zytiga)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to abiraterone, if you have severe liver disease, or if you are pregnant.

Before you take abiraterone, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, low levels of potassium in your blood, any type of infection, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, or a history of heart disease, fluid retention, recent heart attack, or problems with your adrenal gland or pituitary gland.

Although abiraterone is not for use by women, this medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Abiraterone tablets should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant.

While you are taking abiraterone and for at least 1 week after your treatment ends: Use a condom to prevent transfer of this medication to your sexual partner if she is pregnant. Use a condom plus another form of effective birth control if your sexual partner could become pregnant.

Abiraterone must be taken on an empty stomach.

Side Effects Centers

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


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