Dutasteride

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Dutasteride?

You should talk with your healthcare provider before taking this medication if you have:
 
  • Liver disease or failure, including cirrhosis
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
     
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
 
Tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you currently take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Dutasteride for more information on this topic, including information on who should not take this drug.)
 

How Does It Work?

Dutasteride works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), thereby decreasing the amount of DHT in the body. Since DHT is responsible for enlarging the prostate, using dutasteride to decrease DHT levels can treat an enlarged prostate. In most men, dutasteride can help shrink the enlarged prostate, helping to relieve their enlarged prostate symptoms.
 

Effects

There have been several studies looking at how well this medication treats an enlarged prostate. These studies showed the following effects related to dutasteride and men with BPH.
 
Symptoms of BPH
In these studies, the men were asked to rate the following symptoms of BPH:
 
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Frequent urination
  • Intermittent stops and starts in the urine flow
  • Feeling of urgency when needing to urinate
  • Weak urine stream
  • Having to get up to urinate frequently during the night.
     
The men who took dutasteride had significant improvement in their BPH symptoms compared with the men who did not take it. While some patients saw improvement right away, in general it took about 3 to 12 months to see the improvement for most men. This improvement lasted throughout the entire study period (two years).
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