Precautions and Warnings With Dutasteride

There are certain people who should not take dutasteride, including women, children, and those who are allergic to dutasteride or its inactive components. Also, some people may experience sexual side effects (such as impotence or a decreased sex drive) while taking dutasteride. A few other precautions and warnings with dutasteride include potential drug interactions, the safety of taking dutasteride if you have liver problems or severely decreased urine flow, and the fact that dutasteride can lower your PSA levels.

Dutasteride: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking dutasteride (Avodart®) 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:
 
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
     
It's also important to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
 

Some Precautions and Warnings With Dutasteride

Some dutasteride warnings and precautions to be aware of include:
 
  • Dutasteride is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that dutasteride is very dangerous for use during pregnancy. Pregnant women (and women who may be pregnant) should not take dutasteride and should not come into contact with dutasteride capsules (see Avodart and Pregnancy for more information).
     
  • It is not known if dutasteride is passed through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.
     
  • Before you start dutasteride, your healthcare provider should make sure your enlarged prostate symptoms are not caused by another condition, such as prostate cancer or bladder problems.
     
  • Men with severely decreased urine flow, or men who can only empty very little of their bladder at a time, should be closely monitored by their healthcare providers. For these men, dutasteride may not be the best option.
     
  • Men who take dutasteride should not donate blood until at least six months after they have stopped taking dutasteride. This is to prevent pregnant women from being exposed to dutasteride through donated blood.
     
  • Dutasteride can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Dutasteride).
     
  • Dutasteride does not prevent prostate cancer. Men can have both BPH and prostate cancer at the same time.
     
  • Dutasteride can lower your PSA levels. The PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test is a common way to screen for prostate cancer (see Prostate Cancer Screening). Your healthcare provider will need to adjust your PSA test result (by doubling it) if you are taking dutasteride. Or, your healthcare provider can use a slightly different blood test (the "percent free PSA" test) that does not need to be adjusted. Any increase in PSA while taking dutasteride (even if still within the normal range) should be further evaluated, as this may be a possible sign of prostate cancer.

 

  • Studies have shown that dutasteride (one of the active ingredients in dutasteride) may increase the risk of a serious type of prostate cancer. You should discuss this risk with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Interestingly, dutasteride appears to decrease the risk of less serious prostate cancers.

  

  • If you have liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking dutasteride. The liver helps to clear dutasteride from the body, and dutasteride could build up in people with liver problems.
     
  • Dutasteride can cause sexual side effects, including a decreased libido (sex drive), erectile dysfunction (ED or impotence), and a decreased ejaculation amount. Usually, a decreased ejaculation amount does not interfere with sexual function (see Avodart and Impotence for more information).
     
4 Reasons BPH Affects Your Libido

Dutasteride Drug Info

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