Dutasteride is a prescription drug used for treating an enlarged prostate. The drug works by lowering the body's levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for enlarging the prostate. In most men, the medication can help shrink the enlarged prostate, helping to relieve their enlarged prostate symptoms. It may take as long as 3 to 12 months of treatment before results can be seen. Potential side effects can include erectile dysfunction, a decreased sex drive, and breast enlargement.
What Is Dutasteride?Dutasteride (Avodart®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate is also known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. Dutasteride has been approved to be used by itself or together with tamsulosin (Flomax®), another BPH medicine.
(Click What Is Dutasteride Used For? for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Possible Side EffectsAs with any medicine, there are possible side effects with dutasteride. However, not everyone who takes it will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. When side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
The most common side effects of dutasteride include:
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence (see Avodart and Impotence)
- A decreased libido (decreased sex drive)
- Decreased ejaculate amount
- Breast enlargement or breast tenderness.
(Click Side Effects of Dutasteride to learn about the specific side effects of dutasteride, including serious side effects to look out for. You can also read about other possible side effects by going to: