Brand names: Avodart
Avodart is used to treat prostate enlargement, a condition that is medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
The prostate is a chestnut-shaped gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It produces a liquid that forms part of the semen. This gland completely encloses the upper part of the urethra, the tube through which urine flows out of the bladder. Many men over age 50 suffer from a benign (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate. The enlarged gland squeezes the urethra, obstructing the normal flow of urine. Resulting problems may include difficulty in starting urination, weak flow of urine, and the need to urinate urgently or more frequently. Sometimes surgical removal of the prostate is necessary.
By shrinking the enlarged prostate, Avodart may alleviate the various urinary symptoms, making surgery unnecessary. You will need to see your doctor for periodic examinations to assess your response to treatment. It may take several months before you notice an improvement in symptoms.
Avodart can be absorbed through the skin. Because the drug could affect a developing baby, pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and breastfeeding women should strictly avoid skin contact with the drug.
Take 1 capsule once a day. The capsule should be swallowed whole and can be taken with or without meals.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Avodart.
You should not take Avodart if you have ever had an allergic reaction to it or to similar drugs such as finasteride.
Women and children should not use Avodart.
If a pregnant or breastfeeding woman is exposed to Avodart, the drug may harm the developing baby (see "Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding").
You should not donate blood while taking Avodart or for 6 months after stopping treatment to avoid exposing pregnant or breastfeeding women to blood that contains the drug.
If Avodart is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. Check with your doctor before combining Avodart with other medication.
Use Avodart cautiously if you're taking HIV drugs such as ritonavir, since there is a theoretical chance of an interaction.
Because Avodart can be absorbed through the skin, pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and breastfeeding women should strictly avoid skin contact with the drug. If Avodart is accidentally absorbed by a pregnant woman who is carrying a male fetus, the drug could cause abnormal development of the baby's genital organs. Because it's not known if Avodart appears in breast milk, breastfeeding women must also avoid handling the drug.
Take one 0.5-milligram capsule once a day. The capsule should be swallowed whole.
Avodart has not been evaluated for use in children under 18.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.