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All about: Avodart

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Generic Name: Dutasteride (du-TAS-tur-ide)
Brand Name: Avodart

Avodart is used for:

Treating conditions as determined by your doctor.It is also used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH or enlargement of the prostate gland) and to reduce the risk of urinary blockage and the need for prostate surgery.

Avodart is a 5 alpha-reductase enzyme inhibitor. It works by lowering levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a major cause of prostate growth. Lowering DHT leads to shrinkage of the enlarged prostate gland.

Do NOT use Avodart if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Avodart or other 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors (eg, finasteride)
  • you are pregnant or a female of childbearing age

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Avodart :

Some medical conditions may interact with Avodart . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver disease, prostate cancer, urinary tract disease, or problems urinating

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Avodart . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Certain medicines that act on the liver (eg, ritonavir, ketoconazole, verapamil, diltiazem, cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, troleandomycin) because they may increase the risk of Avodart 's side effects

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Avodart may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Avodart :

Use Avodart as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Avodart . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Take Avodart by mouth with or without food.
  • Swallow Avodart whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
  • It may take 3 to 6 months for Avodart to work.
  • If you miss a dose of Avodart , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Avodart .

Important safety information:

  • Avodart is absorbed through the skin. Women who are or may potentially be pregnant must not handle crushed or broken tablets because it may cause harm to the fetus. If contact is made with leaking capsules, the contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water and a doctor should be consulted.
  • Avodart stays in the blood stream for 4 to 6 months after you stop taking it. Do not donate blood for at least 6 months after your last dose of Avodart to prevent exposure through a blood transfusion to a pregnant woman.
  • Avodart may decrease your volume of ejaculate. This does not appear to interfere with normal sexual function.
  • Avodart may interfere with certain lab tests, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for the screening of prostate cancer. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Avodart .
  • Lab tests may be performed while you take Avodart . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Avodart should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not take Avodart if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. It is not known if Avodart is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine.

Possible side effects of Avodart :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Breast enlargement and/or tenderness, decreased sex drive; decreased volume of ejaculate; inability to have an erection.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Avodart :

Store Avodart at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Avodart out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Avodart , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Avodart is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Avodart . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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