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All about: Avodart

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Generic Name: dutasteride (doo TAS ter ide)
Brand Names: Avodart

What is dutasteride?

Dutasteride prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Dutasteride is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate. This medicine helps improve urinary flow and may also reduce your need for prostate surgery later on.

Dutasteride may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about dutasteride?

Before taking dutasteride, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this medication, or to a similar medicine called finasteride (Propecia, Proscar). Dutasteride should never be taken by a woman or a child. Dutasteride can be absorbed through the skin, and women or children should not be permitted to handle dutasteride capsules. Although dutasteride is not for use by women, this medication can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy. Dutasteride capsules should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. If a woman accidentally comes into contact with this medication from a leaking capsule, wash the area with soap and water right away. Do not donate blood while taking dutasteride and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. Dutasteride can be carried in the blood and could cause birth defects if a pregnant women receives a transfusion with blood that contains dutasteride.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dutasteride?

Before taking dutasteride, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this medication, or to a similar medicine called finasteride (Propecia, Proscar). Dutasteride should never be taken by a woman or a child. Dutasteride can be absorbed through the skin, and women or children should not be permitted to handle dutasteride capsules. Although dutasteride is not for use by women, this medication can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy. Dutasteride capsules should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. If a woman accidentally comes into contact with this medication from a leaking capsule, wash the area with soap and water right away.

How should I take dutasteride?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Dutasteride can be taken with or without food.

Swallow the dutasteride capsule whole. Do not chew, crush or break the capsule.

It is important to take dutasteride regularly to get the most benefit.

Do not stop taking dutasteride without first talking to your doctor. It may take as long as 3 to 6 months of treatment with dutasteride before you notice improvement in your BPH symptoms.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition, your prostate will need to be checked on a regular basis. Your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) may also be tested to help detect prostate cancer. It is important that you not miss any scheduled visits to your doctor.

Store dutasteride at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Dutasteride capsules may become soft and leaky, or they may stick together if they get too hot. Do not use any capsule that is cracked or leaking. Call your pharmacist for instructions on how to safely dispose of a leaking dutasteride capsule.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of dutasteride is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.

What should I avoid while taking dutasteride?

Do not donate blood while taking dutasteride and for at least 6 months after your treatment ends. Dutasteride can be carried in the blood and could cause birth defects if a pregnant women receives a transfusion with blood that contains dutasteride.

Dutasteride side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Other, less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • decreased libido (sex drive);

  • decreased amount of semen released during sex;

  • impotence (trouble getting or keeping an erection); or

  • breast tenderness or enlargement.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect dutasteride?

Before taking dutasteride, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • HIV medicines such as indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), ritonavir (Norvir), or nelfinavir (Viracept).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use dutasteride, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect dutasteride. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about dutasteride written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Dutasteride is available with a prescription under the brand name Avodart. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Avodart 0.5 mg-oblong, opaque, dull yellow gelatin capsules

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.04. Revision Date: 6/27/06 5:19:56 PM.

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