What Is Dutasteride Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is dutasteride used for?" Dutasteride is licensed to help improve symptoms of an enlarged prostate, decrease the risk of acute urinary retention, and decrease the chances of needing surgery for an enlarged prostate. There are also currently some off-label uses of dutasteride, including the treatment of prostate cancer after surgical removal of the prostate and the treatment of male pattern baldness. Dutasteride has not been approved for use in children.

What Is Dutasteride Used For?

Dutasteride (Avodart®) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed to treat an enlarged prostate (known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH). Dutasteride has received approval to be used alone or in combination with tamsulosin (Flomax®), another medication for BPH.
 

Understanding BPH

The prostate gland, located below the bladder, is part of the male reproductive system. Importantly, the urethra (the canal that takes urine out of the body) runs through the prostate.
 
An enlarged prostate (known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH) is very common among older men. The prostate begins growing during puberty and continues to grow throughout most of adulthood. Usually, this is not a problem until men reach their 50s or 60s. When the prostate becomes too large, it can press against the urethra, causing problems with urination. Specific BPH symptoms may include: frequent urination (which is especially noticeable at night), difficulty fully emptying the bladder when urinating, and other problems.
 
One of the most common ways to detect an enlarged prostate is by the digital rectal exam. During a digital rectal exam, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the size and shape of the prostate. Some men can have a BPH diagnosis without having any symptoms.
 
Treatment for BPH includes "watchful waiting" (doing nothing, especially if the symptoms are not bothersome), medication, and surgery. Dutasteride is one of the medications used for the treatment of BPH.
 
(Click Avodart Alternatives for more information about other options for treating BPH.)
 
The Dirty, Messy Part of BPH

Dutasteride Drug Info

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