Avodart (generic name: dutasteride) is the first dual acting 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor. It is found to be effective in reduction of the prostate size, improvement of urination, reduction of the risk of acute urinary retention and the need for surgical treatment.
Avodart is prescribed for the treatment of moderate and severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) of the prostate gland. It is also used to reduce the risk of acute urinary retention and the need for surgical treatment in people with moderate and severe symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia of the prostate gland. It is also used to stop hair loss caused by androgenic alopecia.
Mechanism of action
Avodart contains the active ingredient – dutasteride, which is a second generation 5-alpha reductase enzyme inhibitor, the enzyme that converts testosterone to showing much stronger action 5-α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Dutasteride is able to slow down both (1 and 2 type) of enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and reduce the concentration of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in serum. DHT has been considered a factor causing both symptoms of BPH and male pattern baldness. As Dutasteride reduces the level of DHT, it is effective in treating the symptoms of BPH and male pattern baldness. As compared to a similar medication – Propecia (Finasteride), also acting preemptively on the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone – Dutasteride reduces DHT production by over 93%, while Propecia – only 66%. Inhibiting production of DHT leads to a reduction of dihydrotestosterone volume in prostate, resulting in a reduction in symptoms and reduce the risk of acute urinary retention and the need to surgical intervention.
BPH is a progressive disease. There are a lot of scientific observations that exactly determined that fact. Therefore the need for long-term course of Avodart therapy is not a manifestation of the “weakness” of dutasteride against BPH. Meanwhile Dutasteride begins to act quickly – within the first month many patients reported improvement in urination. And only 6 months of the treatment will be sufficient for an objective evaluation of the effect of the therapy. 0.5 mg daily in the first week of treatment is enough to reduce DHT levels by 85% and after 2 weeks – 90%.
Clinical efficacy of Avodart evaluated in three large-scale, placebo-controlled randomized studies. Two of them (ARIA3001, ARIA3002) conducted in the United States, and the third (ARIA3003) – in 19 countries. The total study involved 400 medical centers.
Dosage and administration
The capsules should be taken as a whole. Avodart can be taken with or without food. The effect is quite fast, but treatment should be continued for at least 6 months in order to objectively evaluate the effect of the drug.
Dutasteride capsules are for oral administration only. The dose and frequency of use of the medicine are determined by your doctor. Most often the prescribed dosage is one capsule of dutasteride (0.5 mg) daily. It may be taken either with or without food. The capsules should be swallowed whole and not chewed or opened, as contact with the contents of capsules may cause irritation of the mucous membrane of the mouth and throat. Before using this medicine, check the expiry date stated on the package and the blister. Do not use it after expiry date. Store the drug in a tightly closed container, out of the reach and sight of children, as required by the manufacturer. This medicine has been prescribed by your doctor to treat a specific disease. It should not be given to other persons or use in other circumstances without consulting your doctor.
If you missed a dose
Take the missed dose as soon as
possible unless it is almost due time for your next dose. In
this case you should skip missed dose. Do not take extra capsule
to make up the missed dose.
Common side effects: erection disorder, decreased libido, difficulty with ejaculation, pectoral glands soreness, dizziness when used with tamsulosin (Flomax).
Rare side effects: allergic
reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: rash,
hives, swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, hands and feet. A
drug used in accordance with the recommendations of the
efficiency does not affect psychomotor performance, the ability
to drive vehicles and operate mechanical devices.
Tell the doctor:
- when you have a hypersensitivity to dutasteride, or any of the compounds of the drug or have severe liver dysfunction;
- If you take other medications. Tell your doctor about all the medicines taken recently, even those available without a prescription.
Please Note! Women who are or may get pregnant must avoid contact with damaged capsules, because of the potential absorption through the skin and potential risk to the male fetus. If your partner is or may be pregnant she should avoid exposure to contact with your sperm (e.g. by the use of a condom).
Patients taking Avodart with Verapamil or Diltiazem rarely increase the concentration of Dutasteride in the serum (1.6-1.8 times). Long-term use of Dutasteride with potent CYP3A4 inhibitors (ritonavir, indinavir, nefazodone, ketoconazole, itraconazole) may cause an increase in the concentration of Dutasteride in serum. The drug does not affect the pharmacokinetics of warfarin, digoxin, tamsulosin, and terazosin.
There is actually no difference between Generic Avodart and brand-name Avodart, except the price and trade name. Both drugs contain the same ingredient, dutasteride, which provides the desired effects in the treatment.
A generic version of Avodart
BARR has been
approved by the FDA in December 2010. It is sold as 0.5mg
oral dutasteride capsules. But this does not mean that the
generic Avodart is available at any online pharmacy because of
patents and exclusivity.
Avodart is not available without a prescription (it is not over the counter medication).