Xtandi and Sexual Health
Good day. As I continue to read the comments about prostate cancer (PC), especially on Facebook, I noticed a treatment called Xtandi appear in the conversation from time to time. This happens to be a drug I’m really not informed about, so I figured as I learn about it, I hope to educate you as well. Here we go.
What is Xtanti?
Xtandi (enzalutamide) is related to a class of medications called antineoplastic endocrine therapies, where Xtanti is an androgen receptor inhibitor. Those who are on this medication have typically been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.1
To try to better explain, androgens are also known as hormones, and testosterone is a powerful male hormone. Cells of prostate cancer like a high level of testosterone because it helps them grow and reproduce faster. Xtandi actually blocks the effects of testosterone, which in turn slows the development and progress of prostate cancer.1
What are common side effects?
As with many medications, they include side effects. Xtandi is no different. Some of the more common side effects include:
How can it affect sex?
Any time you have a medication that decreases your testosterone levels, your sexual health will be affected. For example, on this medication, you may notice a decreased sex drive and you also may experience erectile dysfunction. Also, depending on what other types of treatments you are on, you may also notice you have less energy to do the things you used to do. So if you are sexually active, there are a few special factors you need to be aware of.
Places I’ve researched about this medication all mention with certainty that Xtandi should not be used by women. To take it a step further, you should use a condom when being sexually active with a woman who is pregnant. At the moment, they are not sure if Xtandi is present in semen and just to be on the safe side, it's a good idea to keep semen away from a developing fetus. Further, it's a good idea to use a secondary form of birth control.1
As a matter of fact, you should keep using a condom for no less than three months after treatment has ended just to avoid the remote chance of contact between Xtanti in the semen and a developing fetus. Xtandi is such a no-go zone for women, one site even recommends women who have to handle this drug should wear gloves!1
Final thoughts on Xtandi
As you have read, Xtandi is a very powerful medication. It seems this medication is mainly given to men where the prostate cancer has spread to other areas of the body. I’m not sure how much sexual activity one can expect to have, but you’re fighting to live under the circumstances and that's the most important thing. If you have any questions about Xtandi, be sure to talk to your doctor or healthcare team. Thanks for reading.
What was the most difficult part of your diagnosis?