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Dutasteride (Avodart)  

Dutasteride (Avodart) is a drug which is used in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a prostatic condition where the prostate gland gets enlarged. Therefore, the medication aims at reducing the size of the enlarged prostate.  


Indications: Avodart is indicated for BPH. Symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia usually include difficulty in the flow of urine, urinary retention, urinary urgency, and others. The need for surgery may also be reduced with the use of this drug. This means the medication is only for men; it should not be used by women or children. 


Dosage: Dutasteride is to be taken orally with or without food. The recommended dose of the drug is 1 capsule of 0.5 mg to be taken once on daily basis.  Any allergic reaction must be reported to doctor before taking this medicine.   This medicine is in capsule form that should never be crushed or chewed. It must be swallowed as whole with water lest its powdery form will irritate mouth lips or throat.  


The drug is absorbed through the skin and hence it should not be handled by pregnant women lest it may cause birth defects to baby. In case skin comes in contact with the powder of the drug, that area should be washed with soap and water.  


Contraindications: This drug may be contraindicated in patient is having any allergic reaction to dutastereide, finasteride or any of the components of these drugs. Avodart should not be taken if blood has been donated recently. PSA test, a test performed to determine the PSA levels present in the blood, and often performed as a screening test for the prostate cancer, should be performed before starting taking the medication. If the level of PSA is high in the blood, further investigations and verifications may be done. The intake of this drug usually increases the level of PSA in the blood. Frequent monitoring of PSA level should be done in order to get the best results.  


Mechanism of Action (MOA): Dutasteride belongs to the drug group of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This drug inhibits development of both types of isoforms of 5-alpha reductase. Avodart works by reducing the size of the enlarged prostate and helps in alleviating of many symptoms of urinary infections, difficulty of flow of urine. 


Interactions: If this drug is taken in combination with some other drugs or medications or any herbal products, the effects of the drugs may change, causing many serious side effects. The doctor may prevent the usage of this drug if it shows minor to major interactions with any other medicines. No other medications used with this drug should be stopped before the prior approval of the doctor. Tamsulosin (0.4 mg) is a drug which can be taken once daily along with Dutasteride.  


Side Effects: Some of the common side effects of Dutasteride are decrease in sperm count, erectile dysfunction or lack of libido (decrease in sexual interest or ability), increase in breast size, or tenderness of breast. Doctor must be consulted if some of the following severe side effects are experienced – skin rashes with itching or swelling, dizziness, or troubled breathing.