Avodart is used for treating symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlargement of the prostate gland. It also helps to reduce the risk of urinary blockage and the need for prostate surgery. It may also be used along with other medicines (eg, tamsulosin). Avodart is a 5 alpha-reductase enzyme inhibitor. It works by lowering levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a major cause of prostate growth. Lowering DHT leads to shrinkage of the enlarged prostate gland.
Use Avodart as directed by your doctor.
- Take Avodart by mouth with or without food.
- Swallow Avodart whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing. Do not take capsules that are cracked or leaking. Avodart can irritate your lips, mouth, and throat.
- Take Avodart on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it. Taking Avodart at the same time each day will help you remember to take it.
- Continue to take Avodart even if you feel well. Do not miss any dose.
- If you miss a dose of Avodart, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Avodart.
Store Avodart at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Avodart out of the reach of children and away from pets.
AVODART MORE INFO:
Do NOT use Avodart if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Avodart or to other 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors (eg, finasteride)
- you are a woman or a child.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Avodart. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have liver disease, prostate cancer, urinary tract disease, or problems urinating.
Some medicines may interact with Avodart. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Cimetidine, ciprofloxacin, diltiazem, ketoconazole, ritonavir, troleandomycin, or verapamil because they may increase the risk of Avodart's side effects.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Avodart may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information:
- Avodart may increase the risk of certain birth defects, including abnormal formation of the genitals in male fetuses. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant must NOT handle the capsules. Avodart is absorbed through the skin and could result in unintended fetal exposure. If a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant comes in contact with leaking capsules, the contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water. If contact occurs, tell your doctor at once.
- Avodart stays in the blood stream for 4 to 6 months after you stop taking it. Do not donate blood for at least 6 months after your last dose of Avodart to prevent exposure through a blood transfusion to a pregnant woman.
- Avodart may decrease your volume of ejaculate. This does not appear to interfere with normal sexual function.
- Avodart may interfere with certain lab tests, including prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for the screening of prostate cancer. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Avodart.
- Lab tests and medical exams, including rectal exams, may be performed while you take Avodart. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Breast enlargement and/or tenderness; decreased sex drive; decreased volume of ejaculate; inability to have an erection.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.