Dutasteride is a treatment for enlarged prostate. Women, especially those who are or may become pregnant, should not handle dutasteride capsules.
Dutasteride is a prescription medication used alone or with another medication, tamsulosin (Flomax), to treat an enlarged prostate, known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Dutasteride belongs to a group of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. It works by blocking the production of a natural substance that causes prostate enlargement.
This medication comes in soft gelatin capsule form and is usually taken once a day, with or without food. Dutasteride should be swallowed whole.
Common side effects include a decrease in sex drive (libido), trouble having or maintaining an erection (impotence), or ejaculation problems. You should not donate blood while taking dutasteride or 6 months after you have stopped taking dutasteride.
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Uses of Dutasteride
Dutasteride is a prescription medicine used to treat an enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Symptoms of BPH include:
- frequent urination (especially at night)
- inability to empty your bladder completely
- stops and starts in the urine flow
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Dutasteride Drug Class
Dutasteride is part of the drug class:
Side Effects of Dutasteride
Dutasteride may cause rare and serious allergic reactions including:
- swelling of your face, tongue, or throat
- serious skin reactions, such as skin peeling
The most common side effects of dutasteride include:
- trouble having or maintaining an erection (impotence)
- a decrease in sex drive (libido)
- ejaculation problems
- enlarged or painful breasts. If you notice breast lumps or nipple discharge, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
Taking dutasteride may increase the risk that you will develop a type of cancer that spreads and grows more quickly than other types of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking dutasteride.
This is not a complete list of dutasteride side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following:
- antifungals such as ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- cimetidine (Tagamet)
- ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
- diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)
- ritonavir, (Norvir)
- troleandomycin (TAO)
- verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)
Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
This is not a complete list of dutasteride interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
You should not donate blood while taking dutasteride or for 6 months after you have stopped dutasteride. This is important to prevent pregnant women from receiving dutasteride through blood transfusions.
Do not take dutasteride if you are:
- pregnant or could become pregnant. Dutasteride may harm your unborn baby. Pregnant women should not handle dutasteride capsules as touching the contents of the capsules may harm the unborn baby. The contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water. Call your doctor right away.
- a child or a teenager.
- allergic to dutasteride or any of the ingredients in dutasteride.
- allergic to other 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors, for example, Proscar (finasteride) Tablets.
Dutasteride Food Interactions
Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of dutasteride there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving dutasteride.
Before taking dutasteride, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:
- are allergic to dutasteride, finasteride (Propecia, Proscar), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in dutasteride capsules.
- have or have ever had liver disease or prostate cancer.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Dutasteride and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.
This medication falls into category X. Dutasteride is for use only in men. Dutasteride should not be used during pregnancy. See "Precautions" section.
Dutasteride and Lactation
Dustasteride is for use only in men. Dustasteride should not be used while breastfeeding.
Dustasteride comes as a capsule to be taken by mouth once a day. Swallow dustasteride capsules whole. Do not crush, chew, or open dustasteride capsules because the contents of the capsule may irritate your lips, mouth, or throat. You can take dustasteride with or without food. If you miss a dose, you may take it later that day. Do not make up the missed dose by taking 2 doses the next day.
Take dustasteride exactly as your doctor has prescribed it. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
The recommended dose of dustasteride is 1 capsule (0.5 mg) taken once daily.
If you take too much dutasteride call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.
If dutasteride is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if overdose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.
Store dustasteride capsules at room temperature (59°F to 86°F or 15°C to 30°C). Dustasteride capsules may become deformed and/or discolored if kept at high temperatures. Do not use dustasteride if your capsules are deformed, discolored, or leaking. Safely throw away medicine that is no longer needed.