Avodart capsules contain the active ingredient dutasteride, which is a type of medicine called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.
Dutasteride works by inhibiting the action of a compound in the body called 5-alpha reductase. This compound is called an enzyme, and is responsible for converting the male hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a more active form of testosterone.
The enlargement of the prostate gland, (known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia), which often occurs in men with advancing age, is dependent upon testosterone being converted to DHT within the prostate gland. In the absence of DHT the prostate gland shrinks. By decreasing the amount of testosterone that is converted into DHT, dutasteride therefore helps to shrink the prostate gland.
The prostate gland is found only in men and lies at the top of the tube connecting the bladder to the outside (urethra). Enlargement of the prostate causes it to press on the urethra and bladder and can cause urinary symptoms such as difficulty passing urine and increased need to urinate, particularly at night. By shrinking the prostate, dutasteride relieves the pressure on the bladder and urethra. This allows urine to flow freely past the prostate and relieves the urinary symptoms associated with this condition.
Dutasteride is used to relieve moderate to severe symptoms of BPH and to reduce the risk of developing a complete inability to pass urine (acute urinary retention) that may require surgery.
You may see an improvement in your symptoms soon after starting treatment with this medicine, but most men will need to take it for at least six months to see if it helps.
Avodart is used to relieve moderate to severe symptoms of BPH and to reduce the risk of developing a complete inability to pass urine (acute urinary retention) that may require surgery.
This medicine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy. If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this medicine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people using this medicine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the medicine's manufacturer. For more information about any other possible risks associated with this medicine, please read the information provided with the medicine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist what medicines you are already taking, including those bought without a prescription and herbal medicines, before you start treatment with this medicine. Similarly, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medicines while taking this one, to ensure that the combination is safe.
The following medicines may increase the level of dutasteride in the blood by interfering with its breakdown by the body:
Let your doctor know if you experience any new or increased side effects if you are taking any of these medicines in combination with dutasteride. Your doctor may ask you to take the dutasteride less frequently to resolve this.
There are currently no other medicines available in the UK that contain dutasteride as the only active ingredient.
Combodart contains dutasteride in combination with another medicine called tamsulosin, which is also used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland.