Dutasteride is indicated for the management of symptoms associated with enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) in men. Its mechanism of action involves reducing the size of the enlarged prostate, which results in the relief of BPH symptoms such as hesitancy, weak stream, and nocturia. This medication may also reduce the need for surgical intervention for BPH.
Dutasteride is not approved for the prevention of prostate cancer and its use may slightly increase the risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Patients are advised to discuss the potential benefits and risks with their healthcare provider prior to initiation of therapy. This medication is contraindicated in women and children.
Uses and Dosage
Dutasteride is administered orally in the form of a capsule. It is typically taken once daily, with or without food, at the same time each day. Patients should carefully adhere to the dosage instructions provided on the prescription label, and take dutasteride exactly as prescribed, without altering the dose or frequency of administration.
The capsules should be swallowed whole and should not be chewed, crushed, or opened.
Improvement in symptoms may be noticeable after 3 months of dutasteride therapy, but maximum benefits may take up to 6 months or longer to manifest. Patients should communicate any concerns about their treatment progress to their physician.
While dutasteride may alleviate symptoms associated with BPH, it does not provide a cure for the underlying condition. Continue taking dutasteride even if symptoms improve, and do not discontinue the medication without consulting with a healthcare provider.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- inability to have or maintain an erection
- decrease in sex drive
- problems with ejaculation
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- changes in the breasts such as increased size, lumps, pain, or nipple discharge
- swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- peeling skin
Prior to initiating dutasteride therapy, patients should inform their healthcare provider if they have any known allergies, particularly to dutasteride or finasteride, or if they have a history of allergies to any other substances. Inactive ingredients present in the product can also cause allergic reactions or other complications.
Disclose one’s medical history to the physician or pharmacist before commencing dutasteride therapy.
Individuals taking this medication should refrain from donating blood while taking it and for at least 6 months following cessation to prevent the possibility of transmitting the drug to a pregnant woman.
This medication should not be used by women, especially during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as it may pose a risk of harm to the developing fetus or infant. Patients are advised to consult their healthcare provider for more detailed information on the potential risks of this medication.
Form and Strength
Avodart is available in the following forms and strengths:
What are the benefits of Avodart?
Avodart helps improve urinary flow and may also reduce the need for prostate surgery later.
How long does it take for Avodart to shrink the prostate?
Prostate volume starts to decrease from 1 month after starting Avodart; maximum effect on symptoms and prostate size can take up to 6–12 months.