Generic Name: Dutasteride Brand Name: Avodart
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate enlargement is a common scenario among men of more than 55 years of age. There are various treatment options available for treating BPH. You may either go for drugs like alpha-blockers or alpha-reductase inhibitors. Whatever option you select, you should be aware of the benefits and disadvantages of the treatment before starting it. Avodart (Dutasteride) is a popular and potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor manufactured and marketed by GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company.
Dutasteride which is the generic name of Avodart prevents the activity of 5-alpha reductase enzyme that converts testosterone into a form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It inhibits both type 1 and type 2 isoforms of reductase enzyme, unlike Finasteride that inhibits only one. High levels of DHT in the body cause problems like BPH and male-pattern baldness. Avodart helps to decrease the DHT level and consequently, the size of the prostate gland. Various BPH symptoms, such as difficulty in urination, excess frequency of urination and inability to empty the bladder also get improved with the shrinkage of the prostate gland. Dutasteride is often recommended for the treatment of male-pattern baldness which is the loss of hair from the vertex region of the scalp. Its effectiveness in reducing the risk of prostate cancer is also being studied through various clinical trails.
Avodart is usually supplied in the form of soft gelatin capsules and contains 0.5mg of Dutasteride which is the active ingredient in this medication. Each capsule shell also contains inactive excipients such as gelatin (from certified BSE-free bovine sources), glycerin, and ferric oxide (yellow).
INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Avodart (Dutasteride) is indicated for the treatment of symptomatic BPH in men who have an enlarged prostate. Several benefits can be derived from such treatment such as improvement in BPH symptoms, reduction in the risk of acute urinary retention and also reduction in the risk of the requirement for BPH-related surgery. Combined with the alpha-blocker Flomax (Tamsulosin), Avodart is also indicated in men with symptomatic BPH or an enlarged prostate. Its off-label indication includes the treatment of androgenetic alopecia or male-pattern baldness in the vertex region of the scalp. Various researches are still going on to explore the possibility of Dutasteride reducing the risk of prostate cancer.
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION
Avodart is orally administered with or without food. The maximum prescribed dosage is 1 capsule of 0.5 mg taken once per day. The same dosage and frequency of Avodart is recommended when combined with an alpha-blocker like Tamsulosin (0.4 mg). Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water. Do not chew or open the capsule as touch with the capsule excipients may leave you with the irritation of the oropharyngeal mucosa.
Take Dutasteride capsules regularly to derive maximum benefit. Do not discontinue the medicine without consulting your doctor. You have to take capsules for 3 to 6 months continuously before witnessing any improvements in your BPH symptoms or male-pattern baldness.
Avodart (Dutasteride) is contraindicated for use in pregnant women. Dutasteride inhibits the action of 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is required for the normal development of male genitalia. So, Avodart may cause damage to the male fetus when dispensed to a pregnant woman. It is also contraindicated in women with childbearing capability. Pediatric patients are also barred from taking this drug. Patients who have known history of hypersensitivity to Avodart or other 5-alpha reductase inhibitors should refrain from using it.