dutasteride (Avodart)

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Enlarged Prostate Treatment

What is dutaseride? How does it work (mechanism of action)?

Dutasteride is a medication used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) also known as an enlarged prostate. Dutasteride belongs to a class of medication called 5-alpa reductase inhibitors. Male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is primarily responsible for development and enlargement of the prostate gland. Testosterone is converted into DHT by 5-alpha reductase enzyme. Dutasteride blocks 5-alpha reductase enzyme and prevents excessive DHT production in the prostate gland. This delays the progression of an enlarged prostate and improves symptoms of BPH.

The FDA approved dutasteride in November 2001.

What are the uses for dutasteride?

Dutasteride is used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. It improves symptoms of enlarged prostate, reduces retaining of urine, and reduces the risk of the need for prostate surgery.

What are the side effects of dutasteride?

Dutasteride causes many sexual side effects.

Common side effects are:

Allergic reaction such as swelling under the skin may occur. Dutasteride also increases risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Patients must contact their healthcare professional if unusual reactions to dutasteride occur.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Quiz: Test Your BPH IQ

What is the dosage for dutasteride?

The recommended dose of dutasteride is 0.5 mg once daily. Do not chew the medication and do not administer to pediatric patients.

Which drugs or supplements interact with dutasteride?

Medications such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), cimetidine (Tagamet), diltiazem (Cardizem), verapamil (Calan), ritonavir (Norvir) and clarithromycin (Biaxin) slow down the breakdown of dutasteride. This may lead to increased levels of dutasteride in the body, increasing side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and impotence.

Medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and primidone (Mysoline) increase the breakdown of dutasteride in the body. This may lead to decreased levels of dutasteride in the body, lowering the beneficial effects of the medication.

Is dutasteride safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

Dutasteride is not recommended to pregnant females because it can cause birth defects in the unborn child.

It is not known whether dutasteride enters breast milk.

What else should I know about dutasteride?

What preparations of dutasteride are available?

Dutasteride is available as 0.5 mg liquid-filled capsules.

How should I keep dutasteride stored?

Dutasteride capsules should be stored between 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F).

Dutasteride is available in generic form, but must be prescribed by a doctor or other health-care professional. The brand name available for dutaseride is Avodart.

REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Quiz: Test Your BPH IQ

Summary

Dutasteride (Avodart) is a prescription drug used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, enlarged prostate). Side effects, drug interactions, dosing and storage information, and pregnancy safety should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.

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Prevention & Wellness

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Reviewed on 10/25/2016
References
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.

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