Who can have
Abiraterone is suitable for men with advanced prostate cancer
that has stopped responding to other hormone therapy and chemotherapy
treatments. Abiraterone should be available for these men on the
NHS in the UK.
Abiraterone isn’t available on the NHS in England if you have
already had enzalutamide. This is because NHS England - who are responsible for
paying for these drugs in England - have said that they won’t pay
for abiraterone for men who have already had enzalutamide. We don’t
yet know whether the Cancer Drugs Fund will pay for
these men to have abiraterone. If you have any trouble getting
abiraterone, then please contact us.
Abiraterone is also effective in men who have stopped responding
to hormone therapy but have not yet had chemotherapy. It has
recently been licensed in Europe for these men. However, NICE have
not yet recommended that it is available for these men, and it is
not widely available in the UK. But if your doctor thinks it is
suitable for you, they may be able to apply for you to get it. Read
more about getting new treatments.
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How does abiraterone
treat prostate cancer?
Abiraterone is taken as a tablet and works by stopping the
production of testosterone. Without testosterone, the cancer cells
are not able to grow, wherever they are in the body.
You will also take a steroid called prednisone to reduce the
risk of side effects. Side effects of abiraterone include:
- fluid retention
- high blood pressure
- liver problems
- a lower than normal level of potassium in the blood, which
could make you feel tired and you may be at risk of a fast
irregular heartbeat. Contact your doctor if you have this.
You will have your blood pressure checked regularly, and have
blood tests to check how well your liver is working.
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