Avodart, otherwise known as dutasteride is a drug used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) a disease that is also known as an enlarged prostrate. Avodart is a member of the class of the drugs referred to as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.
The enlargement of the prostate gland is caused by male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). In this situation, the testosterone is converted into DHT by the activities of 5-alpha reductase enzyme. Avodart is used in this situation to prevent the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. It does this by shrinking prostrate tissue and prevent further prostate enlargement.
Men with an enlarged prostrate can use Avodart to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This health condition causes difficulty in urinating and may lead to some urine dribbling. Avodart helps to improve urinary flow and can as well lead to reduction in the need for prostate surgery later on.
Avodart was certified and approved for use by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. This drug is sometimes given with another drug known as tamsulosin (Flomax) for optimal performance.
Avodart Warning: What You Should Know About Avodart
- Pregnant Women and Children
Avodart is not meant for use by a child or a woman and they should never take it on any condition. This drug has the ability to be absorbed through the skin; it is therefore advisable for women and children to stay away from handling the capsules. Avodart can lead to birth defect if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy. On no occasion should a woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant in future handle Avodart. A woman or a child that comes in contact with Avodart should immediately wash the area affected immediately with soap and water.
- Avoid Chewing
Avodart can irritate your mouth, lips or throat if you swallow a broken or an opened capsule. Avoid chewing, opening or crushing this drug. Instead, you should swallow it directly.
- Cancer Risk
Let your doctor know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to Avodart. This drug may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. It is important that your doctor perform test to ensure that you do not possess other health conditions that can lead to developing prostate cancer as a result of taking dutasteride.
Dutasteride (Avodart) usually comes in capsules which contains 0.5 milligrams (mg) of dutasteride.
It is highly advisable that you take Avodart as exactly prescribed by your doctor. Avoid taking larger or smaller amount or taking this drug for a longer period than recommended by your doctor. Ensure that you strictly follow the instructions at your prescription label at all times.
Avodart can be taken with or without food. However, avoid crushing, chewing or opening the capsule to avoid irritation of the mouth, lips and throat. Swallow the capsule whole.
Note: Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, avoid taking more than one, 0.5 mg capsule of dutasteride a day.
To preserve Avodart well; store in a room temperature away from heat and moisture. If affected by heat, the capsules may become leaky and soft or even stick together. Avoid using any of the Avodart capsules that is leaking or cracked.
What to do when you miss your dose?
If there is still enough time between your next doses, take the missed dose immediately. However, avoid taking the dose if it is almost time for your next dose.
Note: On no occasion should you take extra medicine to make up for the dose you missed.
Too much of Avodart is very risky. Quickly call an emergency room at 911 if you think you may have taken too much of Avodart. You can as well call your local Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What To Avoid When Taking Avodart
- Donating Blood
Traces of Avodart can still remain in your blood during treatment and even 6 months after your treatment. During this period, do not donating blood. It can cause a serious birth defect if a pregnant woman receives it through blood transfusion
Avoid taking alcohol when treating yourself with Avodart. Alcohol has the potential to leave you dehydrated and make urinating quite difficult for you. When you have a BPH condition; taking alcohol while treating yourself with Avodart can worsen your symptoms.
- Grapefruit Juice
Avoid taking grapefruit juice while taking Avodart. The juice reduces the speed the body breaks down Avodart. This could lead to Avodart blood levels to rise to a dangerous level.
Avodart Side Effects
The common Side effects of Avodart includes
- Reduced sex drive
- Breast tissue changes
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced sperm count
- Decreased amount of semen released during sex
The serious side effects include;
- Fast-growing prostrate cancer
- Allergic reaction to Avodart such as hives and other serious skin reactions
- Birth defects in male fetuses
There have also been some rare occasions where Avodart causes some side effect such as
- Heart failure
- Pain and swelling of the testicles
Before taking Avodart, let your doctor know about other drugs you are taking. Whether it is prescription, over-the-counter or just supplements, you doctor must know about it.
Ask your doctor if it is safe to Avodart along with the following drugs;
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Imatinib (Gleevec)
- Nefazodone (Serzone)
- An antidepressant such as nefazodone
- Conivaptan (Vaprisol);
- HIV/AIDS medications, such as tipranavir (Aptivus) and ritonavir (Norvir)