What is Avodart?
Avodart capsules contain the active ingredient dutasteride, which belongs to a group of medicines known as anti-androgens. Anti-androgens block the actions of the male sex hormone testosterone. Avodart decreases the amount of testosterone that is converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the prostate gland to swell and press on the urethra and bladder. This can cause urinary symptoms. By shrinking the prostate, Avodart reduces these symptoms.
What is Avodart used for?
Avodart is used to relieve prostate problems. The prostate is a gland located around the urethra. An enlarged prostate causes pressure on the urethra and bladder, restricting the urine from flowing freely. This can cause urinary symptoms such as:
- An increased need to urinate even though the bladder is not yet completely full;
- Bladder control problems;
- Involuntary discharge of urine (incontinence);
- An interrupted urinary stream;
- Dribbling of urine after urination.
Avodart shrinks the prostate gland, relieving pressure on the urethra. This helps to reduce or eliminate urinary symptoms.
How to use Avodart
Avodart capsules should be taken whole with plenty of fluid at the same time each day. Do now chew them. Avodart can be taken with or without food. It may take a while for the benefits of this medicine to appear. You should continue taking Avodart, even if your symptoms do not seem to be improving. If your symptoms have not improved after several months, you should talk to your doctor.
Unless otherwise prescribed by the doctor, the usual dose in adults is:
- one capsule (0.5 mg) a day for at least six months.
Be sure to read the package leaflet before you start using this medicine. The doctor will tell you how long you need to take it. Always follow the prescription exactly – never take more or less than the doctor recommends. Avodart should not be used in women and children.
Avodart is generally well tolerated, but in some cases it may cause side effects. The most commonly reported side effects include:
- Erectile dysfunction and decreased sex drive (these side effects will disappear once you stop taking this medicine);
- Breast enlargement (contact your doctor if you experience this side effect).
See package leaflet for a complete list of possible side effects.
When not to use Avodart
Avodart is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to dutasteride or any other anti-androgen;
- You have a severe liver disease.