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What Is Dutasteride

What Is Dutasteride

Introduction

A man’s prostate continues to grow throughout his lifetime. For some men, their prostate becomes so large that it begins to cause problems. This is a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is more commonly know as enlarged prostate. This condition typically develops in older men. Men with BPH may have symptoms such as the need to urinate more often, difficulty starting a urine stream, or decreased urine flow.

Drugs that treat BPH belong to a class called 5alpha-reductase inhibitors. Dutasteride and finasteride are two popular 5alpha-reductase inhibitors that are used to treat BPH. These drugs prevent male hormones from increasing the size of your prostate. You generally need to have been taking one of these drugs for at least 6 months before your BPH symptoms improve.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Dutasteride is used alone or with another medication (tamsulosin [Flomax]) to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH; enlargement of the prostate gland). Dutasteride is used to treat symptoms of BPH and may reduce the chance of developing acute urinary retention (sudden inability to urinate). Dutasteride may also decrease the chance that prostate surgery will be needed. Dutasteride is in a class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. It works by blocking the production of a natural substance that enlarges the prostate.

How should this medicine be used?

Dutasteride comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take dutasteride at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take dutasteride exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.Swallow the capsules whole; do not open chew, or crush them.Your symptoms may improve after you have taken dutasteride for 3 months, but it may take 6 months or longer for you to see the full benefit of dutasteride. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment.Dutasteride may control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to take dutasteride even if you feel well. Do not stop taking dutasteride without talking to your doctor.Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.

Risks to pregnant or breastfeeding women

Dutasteride and finasteride can harm a developing fetus. Women who are pregnant should avoid these drugs.These drugs can absorb through your skin when you handle them. Women who are pregnant should not handle them. Women who do touch a dutasteride capsule or a finasteride tablet should wash their hands immediately with soap and water.

Men who take this drug should take precautions not to transfer it. Men who take dutasteride should wait 6 months after their last dose to donate blood. Finasteride leaves your body a lot more quickly, so men who take finasteride should wait 72 hours after their last dose to donate blood. Waiting these periods can help you avoid exposing pregnant women to either drug if they receive your blood.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid?

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

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.

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