Dutasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, used for handling symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate. Dutasteride works by suppressing the transition of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It reduces urinary blockage and improves urine flow, and lessen the risk of the need for BPH-related surgery. Dutasteride is marketed under brand names, Avodart, Avidart, Avolve, Duagen, Dutas, Dutagen, and Duprost.

Researchers are making trials on Dutasteride to make it effective for the treatment of alopecia (hairloss). According to the Scottish Medicines Consortium, “Dutasteride has demonstrated similar efficacy and safety to alternative 5a-reductase inhibitors in reducing prostate volume in patients with BPH. Dutasteride is likely to be cost neutral to NHS Scotland in the treatment of BPH.”

The Northern and Yorkshire Drug and Therapeutics centre stated, “There are no published trials that have directly compared Dutasteride with finasteride. An unpublished, 1 year, randomized double-blind trial (n=1630) found no statistically significant difference in the effects of Dutasteride or finasteride on prostate volume, symptoms or urinary flow rates.”

The common side effects related to Dutasteride include impotency, decreased libido, ejaculation disorders, gynecomastia (breast tenderness), itchiness, difficulty in breathing; swelling on face, lips, throat or tongue. Talk to your physician, if any of these symptoms arise while taking the medication.

Before taking Dutasteride, you must inform your physician about all the prescription or non-prescription drugs you use. Don’t start using a new medication without informing your doctor. If you are using any of the HIV medicines, such as indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), ritonavir (Norvir), or nelfinavir (Viracept), you may not be able to use Dutasteride, or you may need dosage adjustments.

You can take Dutasteride once on a daily basis. It can be taken with or without food with a full glass of water. Do not take Dutasteride in larger quantities, or don’t stop taking it without discussing your doctor.

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