Xofigo for Prostate Cancer Treatment; Dosing, Side Effects

Learn all about Xofigo for treatment, its dosing and side effects. Xofigo helps extend life for prostate patients. Prostate cancer is a cancer of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

According to the American Cancer Center, 180,890 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in 2016 and 26,120 men have been died from the disease. Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), explains: “Xofigo binds with minerals in the bone to deliver radiation directly to bone tumors, limiting the damage to the surrounding normal tissues.”

Xofigo (radium Ra 223 dichloride) is a drug designed to treat advanced prostate cancer that has not responded to testosterone-lowering drugs. This type of cancer is also called castration-resistant prostate cancer. Xofigo is supplied as a clear, colorless, isotonic, and sterile solution to be administered intravenously with pH between 6 and 8. Xofigo increases adverse reactions such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting which may result in dehydration

Xofigo is indicated for the treatment of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastatic disease. Despite the life-extending properties of Xofigo, some experts have expressed frustration that oncologists largely regard Xofigo as simply a pain-relieving drug for prostate cancer patients

Xofigo can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman based on its mechanism of action. Xofigo is not indicated for use in women. Xofigo is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. 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. Xofigo may increase the risk of osteosarcoma or other secondary malignant neoplasms.

Xofigo for Prostate Cancer Treatment

Xofigo is used to treat prostate cancer that is resistant to medical or surgical treatments that lower testosterone and has spread to your bones with symptoms, but not to other parts of your body. The medical term for this condition is metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Radium 223 is a type of internal radiotherapy treatment. It is a mildly radioactive form of the metal radium. It used to be called Alpharadin and now has the brand name Xofigo Doctors use radium 223 to treat prostate cancers that have spread to the bones and testosterone. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, stimulates the growth and spread of prostate cancer. For this reason, treatment to lower testosterone can help slow the disease’s progression. However, some forms do not respond to a reduction in this hormone. These cases are referred to as castration-resistant. Skeletal events are the main cause of ill health and death in men with castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Xofigo for Dosing

Xofigo (an alpha particle-emitting pharmaceutical) should be received, used and administered only by authorized persons in designated clinical settings. The dose regimen of Xofigo is 55 kBq (1.49 micro curie) per kg body weight, given at 4 week intervals for 6 injections. Xofigo is given through a vein (intravenously, IV), as a slow intravenous injection, over about 1 minute. It is given once every 4 weeks for a maximum of 6 doses. Xofigo in single‐use vials containing 6 mL of solution at a concentration of 1,000 kBq/mls. Immediately before and after administration, the net patient dose of administered Xofigo should be determined by measurement in an appropriate radioisotope dose calibrator that has been calibrated with a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Xofigo for Side Effects

The most common side effects of Xofigo include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • low blood cell counts
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney failure impairment
  • Black, tarry stools
  • bleeding gums
  • bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • blood in the urine or stools
  • chest pain
  • chills
  • cough
  • fever
  • lower back or side pain
  • painful or difficult urination
  • pale skin
  • pinpoint red spots on the skin
  • rapid weight gain
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swollen glands
  • tingling of the hands or feet
  • troubled breathing with exertion
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Confusion
  • decreased frequency or amount of urine
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • fainting
  • high fever
  • hoarseness
  • increase in heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of appetite
  • rapid breathing
  • sunken eyes
  • thirst
  • vomiting
  • weight gain
  • wrinkled skin
  • Redness, pain, and swelling at the injection site

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