How Do Antiandrogens Work?

Reviewed on 7/29/2021

HOW DO ANTIANDROGENS WORK?

Antiandrogens (also known as androgen antagonists or testosterone blockers) are a class of drugs used to treat nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC) in men who cannot be helped by other medical treatments. nmCRPC is cancer that begins in the prostate (a male reproductive gland) which has not spread to other parts of the body. Androgens (the most active androgen is testosterone, which is produced by the male testes) are a group of hormones that play a key role in male traits and reproductive activity. Antiandrogens counteract the effects of the male sex hormones, testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The only drug that belongs to this class is "darolutamide," known as androgen receptor inhibitors.

Some of the functions of testosterone in the male body include:

  • Starting and completing the process of puberty
  • Bone and muscle development
  • Growth of body hair, including facial hair
  • Change of vocal cords to produce the adult male voice
  • Sex drive (libido) and sexual function
  • Growth and function of the prostate gland
  • Sperm production
  • Antiandrogens are administered orally twice daily with food.

Androgens work in the following ways:

  • They belong to a class called "androgen receptor inhibitors."
  • They work by blocking the effects of androgen (a male reproductive hormone such as testosterone and DHT) to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells.
  • Prostate cancer cells require androgens for them to grow and survive.
  • They act by blocking the proteins called “androgen receptors” and thereby inhibit or suppress androgen production.
  • This can prevent androgens from reaching cancer cells that can help slow down cancer. It may also shrink existing tumors.
  • In addition, they markedly lower prostate-specific antigen levels through potent androgen receptor antagonism.

HOW ARE ANTIANDROGENS USED?

Antiandrogens are used to treat nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer where other treatments cannot be used.

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WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTIANDROGENS?

Some of the common side effects include:

Information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

WHAT ARE NAMES OF ANTIANDROGENS?

Generic and brand names of antiandrogens include:

References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/antiandrogens

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/resources-information-approved-drugs/fda-approves-darolutamide-non- metastatic-castration-resistant-prostate-cancer

https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-177648/darolutamide-oral/details

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a619045.html

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