Dutasteride (Avodart®)

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About This Drug

Dutasteride is used to treat benign enlargement of the prostate. It is given orally (by mouth).

Possible Side Effects

  • Impotence (erectile dysfunction)
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Ejaculation disorders
  • Swelling of your breasts and/or breast pain

Note: Each of the side effects above was reported in 1% or greater of patients treated with dutasteride. Not all possible side effects are included above.

Warnings and Precautions

  • This drug may raise your risk of getting high-grade prostate cancer

Important Information

  • Do not donate blood during treatment and for at least 6 months after treatment.
  • Women who are pregnant or could become pregnant should not handle this medicine or touch any open or broken capsules because this drug can cause harm to unborn male baby. If any of the content of a broken capsules get on their skin, they should wash their hands with soap and water right away.

How to Take Your Medication

  • Swallow the medicine whole with or without food. Do not chew or open capsules.
  • Missed dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you think about it on the same day. If not, continue with your regular dosing the next day; do not double up on the next dose.
  • If you vomit a dose, take your next dose at the regular time, and contact your physician. Do not take 2 doses at the same time and do not double up on the next dose.
  • Handling: Wash your hands after handling your medicine, your caretakers should not handle your medicine with bare hands and should wear latex gloves.
  • If any of the capsules are broken, do not touch them with bare hands. Carefully throw away the capsules and wash your hands after handling.
  • Storage: Store this medicine in the original container at room temperature. Discuss with your nurse or your doctor how to dispose of unused medicine.

Food and Drug Interactions

  • Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may raise the levels of dutasteride in your body. This could make side effects worse.
  • This drug may interact with other medicines. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the prescription and over the counter medicines and dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and others) that you are taking at this time. The safety and use of dietary supplements and alternative diets are often not known. Using these might affect your cancer or interfere with your treatment. Until more is known, you should not use dietary supplements or alternative diets without your cancer doctor's help.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have any of these symptoms and/or any new or unusual symptoms:

  • Lumps in your breasts or nipple discharge

Reproduction Warnings

  • Pregnancy warning: This drug can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Dutasteride is not indicated for use in women.
  • Breastfeeding warning: It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Dutasteride is not indicated for use in women.
  • Fertility warning: In men, this drug may affect your ability to have children in the future. Talk with your doctor or nurse if you plan to have children.Ask for information on sperm banking.

Revised February 2018

This information is intended to provide helpful health information to the general public and is not to be used in place of any medical, health, psychological, or any other kind of personal professional services. The information herein does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side effects, or interactions of the medicines mentioned, nor is the information intended as medical advice for individual problems or for making an evaluation as to the risks and benefits of taking a particular medication. The dose, method of administration and contraindications for any administered medication should be confirmed before use. UPMC specifically disclaims all responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any medication mentioned herein.