WHAT AVODART IS AND WHAT IT’S USED FOR
Avodart is used to treat men with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) – a non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland, caused by producing too much of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone. The active ingredient is dutasteride. It belongs to a group of medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. As the prostate grows, it can lead to urinary problems, such as difficulty in passing urine and a need to go to the toilet frequently. It can also cause the flow of the urine to be slower and less forceful. If left untreated, there is a risk that your urine flow will be completely blocked (acute urinary retention). This requires immediate medical treatment. In some situations surgery is necessary to remove or reduce the size of the prostate gland. Avodart lowers the production of dihydrotestosterone, which helps to shrink the prostate and relieve the symptoms. This will reduce the risk of acute urinary retention and the need for surgery. Avodart may also be used with another medicine called tamsulosin (used to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate).
BEFORE YOU TAKE AVODART
Do not take Avodart – if you’re allergic (hypersensitive) to dutasteride or to any of the other ingredients of Avodart. – if you’re allergic to other 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. – if you have a severe liver disease. Tell your doctor if you think any of these apply to you. This medicine is for men only. It must not be taken by women, children or adolescents. Take special care with Avodart – Make sure your doctor knows about liver problems. If you have had any illness affecting your liver, you may need some additional check-ups while you are taking Avodart. – Women, children and adolescents must not handle leaking Avodart capsules, because the active ingredient can be absorbed through the skin. Wash the affected area immediately with soap and water if there is any contact with the skin. – Use a condom during sexual intercourse. Dutasteride has been found in the semen of men taking Avodart. If your partner is or may be pregnant, you must avoid exposing her to your semen as dutasteride may affect the normal development of a male baby. Dutasteride has been shown to decrease sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility. This could reduce your fertility. – Avodart can affect a blood test for PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which is sometimes used to detect prostate cancer. Your doctor should be aware of this effect and can still use the test to detect prostate cancer. If you are having a blood test for PSA, tell your doctor that you are taking Avodart. Contact you doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about taking Avodart. Taking other medicines.Tell your doctor if you’re taking, or have recently taken, any other medicines. This includes any medicines you’ve bought without a prescription. Some medicines can react with Avodart and may make it more likely that you’ll have side-effects. These medicines include: – verapamil or diltiazem (for high blood pressure) – ritonavir or indinavir (for HIV) – itraconazole or ketaconazole (for fungal infections) – nefazodone (an antidepressant) – alpha-blockers (for enlarged prostate or high blood pressure). Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines. Your dose of Avodart may need to be reduced. Food and drink with Avodart Avodart can be taken with or without food. Pregnancy and breast-feeding Women who are pregnant (or may be) must not handle leaking capsules. Dutasteride is absorbed through the skin and can affect the normal development of a male baby. This is a particular risk in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy. Use a condom during sexual intercourse. Dutasteride has been found in the semen of men taking Avodart. If your partner is or may be pregnant, you must avoid exposing her to your semen. Avodart has been shown to reduce sperm count, semen volume and sperm movement. Therefore male fertility may be reduced. Contact your doctor for advice if a pregnant woman has come into contact with dutasteride. Driving and using machines Avodart is unlikely to affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
HOW TO TAKE AVODART
Always take Avodart exactly as your doctor has told you to. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. How much to take – The usual dose is one capsule (0.5 mg) taken once a day. Swallow the capsules whole with water. Do not chew or break open the capsule. Contact with the contents of the capsules may make your mouth or throat sore. – Avodart is a long term treatment. Some men notice an early improvement in their symptoms. However, others may need to take Avodart for 6 months or more before it begins to have an effect. Keep taking Avodart for as long as your doctor tells you. If you take too much Avodart Contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you take too many Avodart capsules. If you forget to take Avodart Don’t take extra capsules to make up for a missed dose. Just take your next dose at the usual time. Don’t stop Avodart without advice Don’t stop taking Avodart without talking to your doctor first. It may take up to 6 months or more for you to notice an effect. If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Like all medicines, Avodart can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Very rare allergic reaction The signs of allergic reactions can include: – skin rash (which can be itchy) – hives (like a nettle rash) – swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, arms or legs. Contact you doctor immediately if you get any of these symptoms, and stop using Avodart. Common side effects These may affect up to 1 in 10 men taking Avodart: – impotence (not able to achieve or maintain an erection) – decreased sex drive (libido) – difficulty with ejaculation – breast enlargement or tenderness (gynecomastia) – dizziness when taken with tamsulosin. If any of the side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor or pharmacist.
HOW TO STORE AVODART
Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Don’t store Avodart above 30°C. Don’t use Avodart after the expiry date which is stated on the carton or the foil blister strip. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month. If you have any unwanted Avodart capsules, don’t dispose of them in waste water or household rubbish. Take them back to your pharmacist, who will dispose of them in a way that won’t harm the environment.
What Avodart contains The active substance is dutasteride. Each soft capsule contains 0.5 mg dutasteride. The other ingredients are: – inside the capsule: mono and diglycerides of caprylic/capric acid and butylated hydroxytoluene (E321). – capsule shell: gelatin, glycerol, titanium dioxide (E171), iron oxide yellow (E172), triglycerides (medium chain), lecithin – printed ink: iron oxide red (E172) as the colourant, polyvinyl acetate phthalate, propylene glycol and macrogol.
Avodart Medication Information
Avodart is a medication that was developed to help men who had enlarged prostates. This medication helps to stop the testosterone in the body turning into DHT. Once testosterone turns into the chemical DHT, it can help cause benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is the enlargement of the prostate. An enlarged prostate can cause a number of issues, especially for urinary functions. Those who have BPH tend to have frequent urination and large risk of the development of urinary tract infections. Another issue that BPH can cause is insomnia, which can affect other aspects of the body and health.
Avodart is a medication which can help to stop this process, helping with prostate or urinary health. Avodart can help decrease the possibility of needing surgery on the prostate due to issues with BPH. This medication must be prescribed by a physician. If you are having some of the listed symptoms or if you have an enlarged prostate, you should talk to your doctor about Avodart as an option.
Avodart is only prescribed for men with prostate issues. This medication should be placed out of reach of children and should not be touched or handled by women in any way. Women coming into contact with Avodart could cause birth defects; therefore, only men should physically handle or consume this medication.
Avodart pills come in gel capsules. This medication cannot be taken apart, crushed, or any other method of consumption. This pill must be taken whole in order to be effective. Those who are taking this medication must not donate blood at any time. Since the medication can cause birth defects and harm pregnant women, donating blood is not an option for Avodart users for safety reasons. Blood can be donated after a period of at least six months following the discontinued use of this medication.
If you are just starting Avodart or will remain on the medication, it is important to make a number of changes to help with the decrease in the size of the prostate. The first change that must be made is avoiding overindulgence of alcohol or caffeine. Caffeine can cause issues with the medication or possible increase insomnia symptoms. An urination schedule can also help Avodart users.
Some side effects of Avodart are a decreased libido or desire for sex. Those who are taking Avodart may also experience sensitivity in the breast area. Avodart may decrease the amount of semen production in men as well. Some may also have an allergic reaction to the Avodart medication, characterized by swelling of the lips