Avodart/Duodart (Dutasteride) Medication Information
Avodart is prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate. The benefits of Avodart include improving BPH symptoms, reducing urinary retention, and reducing the need for surgery to correct BPH issues.
Avodart is usually prescribed in combination with another type of medication called an alpha-blocker, which also helps treat urinary retention.
BPH is a chronic condition where the prostate grows too large and blocks the flow of urine through the urethra. Urethral blockage causes symptoms like frequent urination, difficulty starting to urinary, inability to empty the bladder, and increased urination at night.
The prostate enlarges when it’s exposed to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Avodart blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT, preventing the abnormal growth of the prostate.
The normal dosage of Avodart is 0.5 mg tablet once daily alone or in combination with tamsulosin, an alpha-blocker.
Common side effects of Avodart can include:
- Breast disorders
- Cardiac failure
- Decreased libido
- Depressed mood
- Ejaculation disorders
- Increased hormone levels
- Increased thyroid-stimulating hormone
- Skin reactions
- Testicular pain
Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle dutasteride because it can absorb through the skin and cause birth defects.
Avodart can increase prostate cancer risk, so this and other urological diseases should be ruled out before starting Avodart.
Avodart decreases the total serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) by about 50%, which can interfere with certain diagnostic tests.
Do not donate blood for six months after stopping Avodart.
Avodart may slightly decrease sperm count in some men, but this has not been shown to significantly impact fertility.
Several drugs can increase the amount of Avodart in the bloodstream, including the following:
When you start Avodart, tell your doctor and pharmacist all of the medications that you take. Most interactions with Avodart are mild, but your doctor may decide to adjust the dose if you have the potential for a drug interaction.
Store Avodart at room temperature, or approximately 25°C (77°F).
- Swallow Avodart whole and do not open, crush, or chew the capsule.
- Avodart can be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
- Avodart is intended for use by adult men only and should not be handled by children, pregnant women, or women who may become pregnant.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Avodart?
Take it as soon as you remember, but do not double-up and take two doses at a time.
How long do I need to take Avodart to see the effects?
Most men need to take Avodart every day for six months to start seeing a benefit, but some men can see an effect after only three months. Medical studies show that it should be continued for at least two years.
Can I use Avodart if I have a liver impairment?
Yes, but you tell your doctor if you have a history of liver problems. They may decide to switch you to a different medication.