May 25, 2017
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"ORLANDO, Florida - Men with advanced prostate cancer may be able to take one fourth the standard dose of abiraterone acetate (Xytiga, Janssen) in conjunction with a low-fat breakfast, and the drug's efficacy will still be comparable to the"...





Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.


Hypertension, Hypokalemia And Fluid Retention Due To Mineralocorticoid Excess

ZYTIGA may cause hypertension, hypokalemia, and fluid retention as a consequence of increased mineralocorticoid levels resulting from CYP17 inhibition [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. In the two randomized clinical trials, grade 3 to 4 hypertension occurred in 2% of patients, grade 3 to 4 hypokalemia in 4% of patients, and grade 3 to 4 edema in 1% of patients treated with ZYTIGA [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Co-administration of a corticosteroid suppresses adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) drive, resulting in a reduction in the incidence and severity of these adverse reactions. Use caution when treating patients whose underlying medical conditions might be compromised by increases in blood pressure, hypokalemia or fluid retention, e.g., those with heart failure, recent myocardial infarction or ventricular arrhythmia. Use ZYTIGA with caution in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. The safety of ZYTIGA in patients with left ventricular ejection fraction < 50% or New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV heart failure (in Study 1) or NYHA Class II to IV heart failure (in Study 2) was not established because these patients were excluded from these randomized clinical trials [see Clinical Studies]. Monitor patients for hypertension, hypokalemia, and fluid retention at least once a month. Control hypertension and correct hypokalemia before and during treatment with ZYTIGA.

Adrenocortical Insufficiency

Adrenal insufficiency occurred in the two randomized clinical studies in 0.5% of patients taking ZYTIGA and in 0.2% of patients taking placebo. Adrenocortical insufficiency was reported in patients receiving ZYTIGA in combination with prednisone, following interruption of daily steroids and/or with concurrent infection or stress. Use caution and monitor for symptoms and signs of adrenocortical insufficiency, particularly if patients are withdrawn from prednisone, have prednisone dose reductions, or experience unusual stress. Symptoms and signs of adrenocortical insufficiency may be masked by adverse reactions associated with mineralocorticoid excess seen in patients treated with ZYTIGA. If clinically indicated, perform appropriate tests to confirm the diagnosis of adrenocortical insufficiency. Increased dosage of corticosteroids may be indicated before, during and after stressful situations [see Hypertension, Hypokalemia And Fluid Retention Due To Mineralocorticoid Excess].


In postmarketing experience, there have been ZYTIGA-associated severe hepatic toxicity,including fulminant hepatitis, acute liver failure and deaths [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

In the two randomized clinical trials, grade 3 or 4 ALT or AST increases (at least 5X ULN) were reported in 4% of patients who received ZYTIGA, typically during the first 3 months after starting treatment. Patients whose baseline ALT or AST were elevated were more likely to experience liver test elevation than those beginning with normal values. Treatment discontinuation due to liver enzyme increases occurred in 1% of patients taking ZYTIGA. No deaths clearly related to ZYTIGA were reported due to hepatotoxicity events.

Measure serum transaminases (ALT and AST) and bilirubin levels prior to starting treatment with ZYTIGA, every two weeks for the first three months of treatment and monthly thereafter. In patients with baseline moderate hepatic impairment receiving a reduced ZYTIGA dose of 250 mg, measure ALT, AST, and bilirubin prior to the start of treatment, every week for the first month, every two weeks for the following two months of treatment and monthly thereafter. Promptly measure serum total bilirubin, AST, and ALT if clinical symptoms or signs suggestive of hepatotoxicity develop. Elevations of AST, ALT, or bilirubin from the patient's baseline should prompt more frequent monitoring. If at any time AST or ALT rise above five times the ULN, or the bilirubin rises above three times the ULN, interrupt ZYTIGA treatment and closely monitor liver function.

Re-treatment with ZYTIGA at a reduced dose level may take place only after return of liver function tests to the patient's baseline or to AST and ALT less than or equal to 2.5X ULN and total bilirubin less than or equal to 1.5X ULN [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Permanently discontinue ZYTIGA for patients who develop a concurrent elevation of ALT greater than 3 x ULN and total bilirubin greater than 2 x ULN in the absence of biliary obstruction or other causes responsible for the concurrent elevation [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

The safety of ZYTIGA re-treatment of patients who develop AST or ALT greater than or equal to 20X ULN and/or bilirubin greater than or equal to 10X ULN is unknown.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION)

  • Patients should be informed that ZYTIGA and prednisone are used together and that they should not interrupt or stop either of these medications without consulting their physician.
  • Patients receiving GnRH agonists should be informed that they need to maintain this treatment during the course of treatment with ZYTIGA and prednisone.
  • Patients should be informed that ZYTIGA should not be taken with food and that no food should be consumed for at least two hours before the dose of ZYTIGA is taken and for at least one hour after the dose of ZYTIGA is taken. They should be informed that the tablets should be swallowed whole with water without crushing or chewing. Patients should be informed that taking ZYTIGA with food causes increased exposure and this may result in adverse reactions.
  • Patients should be informed that ZYTIGA is taken once daily and prednisone is taken twice daily according to their physician's instructions.
  • Patients should be informed that in the event of a missed daily dose of ZYTIGA or prednisone, they should take their normal dose the following day. If more than one daily dose is skipped, patients should be told to inform their physician.
  • Patients should be apprised of the common side effects associated with ZYTIGA, including peripheral edema, hypokalemia, hypertension, elevated liver function tests, and urinary tract infection. Direct the patient to a complete list of adverse reactions in PATIENT INFORMATION.
  • Patients should be advised that their liver function will be monitored using blood tests.
  • Patients should be informed that ZYTIGA may harm a developing fetus; thus, women who are pregnant or women who may be pregnant should not handle ZYTIGA without protection, e.g., gloves. Patients should also be informed that it is not known whether abiraterone or its metabolites are present in semen and they should use a condom if having sex with a pregnant woman. The patient should use a condom and another effective method of birth control if he is having sex with a woman of child-bearing potential. These measures are required during and for one week after treatment with ZYTIGA.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, And Impairment Of Fertility

A two-year carcinogenicity study was conducted in rats at oral abiraterone acetate doses of 5, 15, and 50 mg/kg/day for males and 15, 50, and 150 mg/kg/day for females. Abiraterone acetate increased the combined incidence of interstitial cell adenomas and carcinomas in the testes at all dose levels tested. This finding is considered to be related to the pharmacological activity of abiraterone. Rats are regarded as more sensitive than humans to developing interstitial cell tumors in the testes. Abiraterone acetate was not carcinogenic in female rats at exposure levels up to 0.8 times the human clinical exposure based on AUC. Abiraterone acetate was not carcinogenic in a 6-month study in the transgenic (Tg.rasH2) mouse.

Abiraterone acetate and abiraterone did not induce mutations in the microbial mutagenesis (Ames) assay and was not clastogenic in both the in vitro cytogenetic assay using primary human lymphocytes and in the in vivo rat micronucleus assay.

ZYTIGA has the potential to impair reproductive function and fertility in humans based on findings in animals. In repeat-dose toxicity studies in male rats (13-and 26-weeks) and monkeys (39-weeks), atrophy, aspermia/hypospermia, and hyperplasia in the reproductive system were observed at ≥ 50 mg/kg/day in rats and ≥ 250 mg/kg/day in monkeys and were consistent with the antiandrogenic pharmacological activity of abiraterone [see Nonclinical Toxicology]. These effects were observed in rats at systemic exposures similar to humans and in monkeys at exposures approximately 0.6 times the AUC in humans.

In fertility studies in rats, reduced organ weights of the reproductive system, sperm counts, sperm motility, altered sperm morphology and decreased fertility were observed in males dosed for 4 weeks at ≥ 30 mg/kg/day. Mating of untreated females with males that received 30 mg/kg/day abiraterone acetate resulted in a reduced number of corpora lutea, implantations and live embryos and an increased incidence of pre-implantation loss. Effects on male rats were reversible after 16 weeks from the last abiraterone acetate administration. Female rats dosed for 2 weeks until day 7 of pregnancy at ≥ 30 mg/kg/day had an increased incidence of irregular or extended estrous cycles and pre-implantation loss (300 mg/kg/day). There were no differences in mating, fertility, and litter parameters in female rats that received abiraterone acetate. Effects on female rats were reversible after 4 weeks from the last abiraterone acetate administration. The dose of 30 mg/kg/day in rats is approximately 0.3 times the recommended dose of 1,000 mg/day based on body surface area.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category X [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].

ZYTIGA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman based on its mechanism of action and findings in animals. While there are no adequate and well-controlled studies with ZYTIGA in pregnant women and ZYTIGA is not indicated for use in women, it is important to know that maternal use of a CYP17 inhibitor could affect development of the fetus. Abiraterone acetate caused developmental toxicity in pregnant rats at exposures that were lower than in patients receiving the recommended dose. ZYTIGA is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant while receiving the drug. If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, apprise the patient of the potential hazard to the fetus and the potential risk for pregnancy loss. Advise females of reproductive potential to avoid becoming pregnant during treatment with ZYTIGA.

In an embryo-fetal developmental toxicity study in rats, abiraterone acetate caused developmental toxicity when administered at oral doses of 10, 30 or 100 mg/kg/day throughout the period of organogenesis (gestational days 6-17). Findings included embryo-fetal lethality (increased post implantation loss and resorptions and decreased number of live fetuses), fetal developmental delay (skeletal effects) and urogenital effects (bilateral ureter dilation) at doses ≥ 10 mg/kg/day, decreased fetal ano-genital distance at ≥ 30 mg/kg/day, and decreased fetal body weight at 100 mg/kg/day. Doses ≥ 10 mg/kg/day caused maternal toxicity. The doses tested in rats resulted in systemic exposures (AUC) approximately 0.03, 0.1 and 0.3 times, respectively, the AUC in patients.

Nursing Mothers

ZYTIGA is not indicated for use in women. It is not known if abiraterone acetate is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, and because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from ZYTIGA, a decision should be made to either discontinue nursing, or discontinue the drug taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness of ZYTIGA in pediatric patients have not been established.

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of patients receiving ZYTIGA in Phase 3 trials, 73% of patients were 65 years and over and 30% were 75 years and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these elderly patients and younger patients. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Patients With Hepatic Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of abiraterone were examined in subjects with baseline mild (N=8) or moderate (N=8) hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A and B, respectively) and in 8 healthy control subjects with normal hepatic function. The systemic exposure (AUC) of abiraterone after a single oral 1,000 mg dose of ZYTIGA increased by approximately 1.1-fold and 3.6-fold in subjects with mild and moderate baseline hepatic impairment, respectively compared to subjects with normal hepatic function.

In another trial, the pharmacokinetics of abiraterone were examined in subjects with baseline severe (N=8) hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C) and in 8 healthy control subjects with normal hepatic function. The systemic exposure (AUC) of abiraterone increased by approximately 7-fold and the fraction of free drug increased 2-fold in subjects with severe baseline hepatic impairment compared to subjects with normal hepatic function.

No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with baseline mild hepatic impairment. In patients with baseline moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class B), reduce the recommended dose of ZYTIGA to 250 mg once daily. Do not use ZYTIGA in patients with baseline severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class C). If elevations in ALT or AST > 5X ULN or total bilirubin > 3X ULN occur in patients with baseline moderate hepatic impairment, discontinue ZYTIGA treatment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

For patients who develop hepatotoxicity during treatment, interruption of treatment and dosage adjustment may be required [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Patients With Renal Impairment

In a dedicated renal impairment trial, the mean PK parameters were comparable between healthy subjects with normal renal function (N=8) and those with end stage renal disease (ESRD) on hemodialysis (N=8) after a single oral 1,000 mg dose of ZYTIGA. No dosage adjustment is necessary for patients with renal impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/31/2016


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