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Antibiotic

All you need to know about Prostate cancer and its medications.

  • December 8, 2020
  • 5 mins read

The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland in men, which helps produce seminal fluid that aids in the transportation and nourishment of the sperms. It is one of the most common cancer form among men. It has a staggering growth rate and is usually confined to the walls of the gland. Still, there are specific prostate cancer forms that spread rapidly and are aggressive. Therefore early detection and diagnosis while the cancer is still in the gland offer a better chance for successful prostate cancer treatment.

SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE CANCER

  • Chronic pain in the lower pelvic region
  • Increased urination frequency
  • Weak flow of urine with pain and burning sensation
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain while ejaculating
  • Consistent pain in upper thighs, hips, bones, or lower back
  • Weight loss due to lack of appetite

The cause of prostate cancer is yet unknown, but studies reveal that 1 in every 5 men who have attained the age of 50 have developed cancerous cells in the prostate. While most of them are in the form of small harmless tumors, a treatment in time will prevent the outbreak of this deadly disease.

TYPES OF PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT

Several factors, such as age, ethnicity, family history, sedentary lifestyle, or smoking, can aggravate prostate cancer risk. Treatment for prostate cancer starts from an early screening, blood test, biopsy followed by grading, and detecting the tumor stage. Multiple treatment forms, such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, cryotherapy, and hormonal therapy, help treat prostate cancer. While some healthcare provides believe that drugs such as finasteride (Proscar ®) and dutasteride (Avodart ®) can prevent prostate cancer, others have found some effective prostate cancer medications with proven benefits.

1. ABIRATERONE ACETATE

It is one of the major components used in combination with prednisone for treating prostate cancer, which has spread to other parts of the body from the gland. It is categorized under androgen biosynthesis inhibitors group and works by reducing certain hormone levels in the body.

HOW TO USE THIS MEDICATION?

Abiraterone is available in tablet composition, which can be swallowed on an empty stomach with water. This component is present under the Zytiga brand and has to be consumed once or twice a day as per the doctor’s recommendation. Usually, abiraterone acetate is consumed 1 or 2 hours prior to the consumption of food. While having this medication, avoid crushing or chewing the pill. The drug must be continued as directed by a medical professional.

SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE BEFORE TAKING ABIRATERONE ACETATE

Before consuming Abiraterone Acetate

  • Users must convey to the doctor about any allergic reaction to other medications or any ingredients that compose Abiraterone tablets.
  • It is imperative to inform the doctor about any other medicines the patient consumed to treat different ailments.
  • The patient must convey to the doctor about unusual stress, low potassium level, any recent heart attack, pituitary or adrenal gland ailment, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.
  • Abiraterone is solely prescribed for men, so women must avoid this, especially if they are breastfeeding or pregnant.
  • Men under the prescribed dosage of abiraterone must use effective contraception during the treatment tenure and 3 weeks after the final dosage.
  • This medication can cause a decrease in fertility among men.

The medicine must be consumed as prescribed with a healthy diet unless the doctor lists any specific diet.

SIDE EFFECTS

Consumption of Abiraterone may cause certain side effects which must be informed to the doctor if severe.

  • Heartburn and diarrhea
  • Pain in groin
  • Swelling or pain in joints
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness accompanied by headache and confusion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruises
  • Loss of appetite with nauseatic symptoms and dizziness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Yellowing skin tone or eyes
  • Muscular aches and weakness

STORAGE

The medication has to be stored in a tightly-closed container and kept away from children. It must be kept away from excess moisture and heat and stored under room temperature.

2. ENZALUTAMIDE

Enzalutamide available in the brand name Xtandi is an effective medication for treating prostate cancer and aids in lowering the level of testosterone in the body. The drug categorizes under androgen receptor inhibitors group. It effectively blocks the effects of androgen—male reproductive hormone for stopping and spreading the cancerous cells.

HOW TO USE THIS MEDICATION?

The medication is available in the form of a capsule that can be consumed orally with water. Usually, it is prescribed intake is once a day with or without food. It is best to maintain a regular timing for the consumption of enzalutamide. It must not be opened, chewed, or dissolved. Pregnant women must not handle the capsule. The dosage for the medication can decrease if the patient experiences severe side effects. In case the doctor prescribes other drugs such as triptorelin (Trelstar), goserelin (Zoladex), leuprolide (Eligard, Lupron), egarelix (Firmagon), or histrelin (Supprelin LA, Vantas), for treating prostate cancer, enzalutamide can go hand-in-hand with it.

SPECIAL PRECAUTION TO TAKE BEFORE TAKING ENZALUTAMIDE

Before consuming this drug

  • It is necessary to inform the doctor about any allergic reaction to any medication, especially the ingredients that formulate enzalutamide.
  • Patients must inform the doctor about any existing medicines, vitamins, or supplements that they intake, such as anticoagulants, rifabutin, cyclosporine, etc. 
  • The doctor must be informed about any herbal product intake.
  • The patient must tell the doctor if they ever had seizures, osteoporosis, brain injury, or has diabetes, high cholesterol level, cardiovascular ailment, etc.
  • The medicine can reduce fertility in men, but it doesn’t imply that his female partner will become incapable of becoming pregnant. Such male patients under this medication must use effective birth control forms during sexual intercourse.
  • While undergoing this medication tenure, the patient must inform the doctor even if it’s a dental surgery.
  • One side effect of enzalutamide is a seizure, so patients must avoid operating machines or driving a car while using this medication.

A regular normal diet and routine medication usage are preferred until advised by the doctor on a reduced dosage or a specific diet plan.

SIDE EFFECTS

Consumption of Enzalutamide may cause certain side effects which must be informed to the doctor if severe.

  • Joint pain, muscular weakness, and stiffness
  • Tingling, burning, or numbness in arms, feet, or hands
  • A decrease in feel and touch sensation
  • Weight loss due to lack of appetite
  • Headache accompanied by dizziness
  • Insomnia and anxiety
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Difficulty to control bowel movements and urination
  • Chest pain with shortness of breath
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Hallucination
STORAGE:

The medication must be stored in room temperature away from excess heat or moisture in a tight container. Children and pregnant women must be kept away from these capsules.

3. APALUTAMIDE

Available under the brand name of Erleada, Apalutamide is another component that can treat prostate cancer, which in its primitive stage, has not yet received any medication. It also works effectively on the cancer cells that have spread to the parts of the body. The drug is classified under androgen receptor inhibitors group. It works by blocking the path of androgen, thereby preventing cancerous cells’ growth and spreading.

HOW TO USE THIS MEDICATION?

Apalutamide is available in a tablet composition which must be consumed orally without chewing, crushing, or splitting with water, preferably once a day with or without food. The tablet must be consumed as prescribed by the doctor at the same time every day. The dosage can, however, be reduced in case the patient suffers from severe side effects.

SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE BEFORE TAKING APALUTAMIDE

Before consuming Apalutamide

  • The doctor must be informed about any pre-medical history of brain tumor, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, or diabetes.
  • Patients have to tell the doctor if they are allergic to specific components of Apalutamide.
  • Any previous medication, nutritional supplement, or vitamin consumption must be informed and consumed with medical guidance.
  • It is specially curated for men, so women, especially pregnant ladies, must avoid its intake.
  • Using effective birth control measures during and post 3 months of final dosage is highly imperative.
  • It can weaken muscles and bones, causing a bone fracture and inability to keep balance.
  • It can even cause seizures, so driving or machine operation must be avoided.

A regular normal diet with a prescribed dosage of Apalutamide can help cure prostate cancer.

SIDE EFFECTS

Consumption of Apalutamide may cause certain side effects which must be informed to the doctor if severe.

  • Weakening or stiffness of muscles along with joint aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Weight loss due to lack of appetite
  • Hot flash
  • Seizure
  • Chest pain with shortness of breath
  • Swollen arms, feet, and hands
  • Fatigue
STORAGE:

It must be stored in a tight-capped container at room temperature. It is essential to keep it out of the reach of children. The medication must avoid excess moisture and heat.

BOTTOM-LINE

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancer forms in men after skin cancer. It can be successfully treated with proper diagnosis and medication. Although there are chances of relapse, effective follow-up care, and a balanced lifestyle can minimize its future occurrence.