What is Avodart?
Avodart prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Avodart is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate.
Avodart may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Avodart?
Before taking Avodart, tell your doctor if you have liver disease. You may not be able to take Avodart, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during therapy.
Do not donate blood while taking Avodart and for at least 6 months after the last dose to prevent pregnant women from receiving Avodart through blood transfusion.
Avodart is intended for use by men only.
Avodart is not intended for use by women. Do not handle this medication if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. Avodart is in pregnancy category X. This means that it is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Women who are or who may become pregnant must not take Avodart and must not handle Avodart capsules. The medication can be absorbed through the skin and may cause birth defects in the unborn baby. If contact is made with leaking capsules, the contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water.
Avodart is not intended for use by women. It is not known whether Avodart passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication if you are breast-feeding a baby.
What are the possible side effects of Avodart?
Stop taking Avodart and seek emergency medical attention if you experience a rare allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives).
Other, less serious side effects have been reported but may resolve with continued treatment. Continue to take Avodart and notify your doctor if you experience
Decreased Libido (sex drive);
Decreased amount of semen released during sex;
Impotence (trouble getting or keeping an erection);
Breast tenderness or enlargement
Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.
What other drugs will affect Avodart?
Many drugs may affect the way that Avodart is metabolized ("broken down") in the body, leading to higher or lower than expected levels of the medication in the blood. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products, during treatment with Avodart.
Hair Loss Issues - It is believed that Phase III trials for hair loss are underway by GSK. The excitement around Avodart stems from the fact that it has a much greater and longer inhibition of DHT than Propecia (Finasteride) in early testing. A larger question ultimately will be is it better than Propecia and whether side effects will be greater or more serious. It's currently approved a 0.5 mg softgel form. The drug is expected to be on the market for hair loss in 2006 if approved. Avodart, a second-generation 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, is the first and only medicine to inhibit both the type 1 and type 2 enzymes responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the primary cause of prostate growth. Avodart's dual inhibition decreases levels of DHT by 90 percent at two weeks and 93 percent at two years. By reducing DHT levels, Avodart reduces the size of an enlarged prostate. This reduction in prostate volume was seen as early as one month with reductions continuing through treatment. Shrinking the enlarged prostate relieves urinary obstruction and improves urinary flow. Avodart also improves urinary symptoms and reduces the risk of AUR (the sudden complete inability to urinate) and BPH-related surgery, two potential long-term serious consequences of BPH. The pivotal phase III study data were published in this month's edition of the journal Urology.1 "With avodart, we now have a medicine that reduces the production of DHT by more than 90 percent, helping to shrink the prostate," said Claus Roehrborn, MD, a principal trial investigator and professor and chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. "By taking Avodart, patients can improve urinary symptoms and reduce their risk of suffering from acute urinary retention - where you suddenly can't urinate at all - or needing BPH-related prostate surgery."