When making the best decisions for your health, you want to have all of the best information you can get before taking any medications or supplements. In this case, you may be wondering about dutasteride and how it can help you. This is a medication that serves various purposes that could potentially benefit you. This article aims to help you take a closer look at dutasteride and the other essential information you need to decide whether or not this is the right medication for your needs.
What is Dutasteride?
Dutasteride, sold under various brand names, including Avodart, is primarily used to treat an enlarged prostate. This medication can be used by itself or in combination with tamsulosin. Dutasteride is a medication that is only available by prescription from a doctor. Women of childbearing should not use or even handle dutasteride capsules. This is because this medication can lead to congenital disabilities in male fetuses. Dutasteride is available in soft gelatin oral capsules containing 0.5 mg of dutasteride per tablet.
Why is Dutasteride Prescribed?
Dutasteride is a medication that is prescribed for a few different reasons. This section will take a closer look at the most common reasons why this medication is prescribed.
Most commonly, this medication is used to treat an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a problem that can cause some significant issues. With an enlarged prostate, a sufferer could end up with issues like the inability to urinate, which can impact your quality of life.
There is some evidence that using dutasteride could offer a 25%-26% reduction of risk in people developing prostate cancer as a 5α-reductase inhibitor. However, it’s essential to know while this can help reduce the risk of developing cancer, it could also increase the risk of developing some rare but aggressive types of prostate cancer. There are currently not enough data to determine whether or not this medication affects the mortality rate of prostate cancer.
Scalp Hair Loss
Dutasteride is also a medication used to manage hair loss in men and women. In some places, it is approved to treat male androgenic alopecia and female pattern hair loss. This can be considered among the best options for this purpose.
Transgender Hormone Therapy
This can be part of a treatment plan for transgender women and other hormones like estrogen or other antiandrogens.
How to Use Dutasteride
This medication is taken as a capsule, which is taken orally daily. Dutasteride could be taken either with or without food. It’s recommended that this medication be taken simultaneously every day. You should be sure to take this prescription exactly as directed by your doctor. You should never take any more or any less than the amount prescribed by your doctor. If you have questions, your doctor or pharmacist can help you understand how to take your medication correctly.
You should always swallow these capsules whole. These pills should not be crushed or chewed. You won’t start noticing any improvements in your symptoms until you take this medication regularly and according to instructions by your doctor for at least 3 months, but up to 6 months. Your doctor will monitor you throughout this treatment to ensure that you are safe and the medication is working as intended.
It’s important to know that this medication can help control your symptoms but won’t cure your condition. It’s also important to know that you should not stop taking this medication without talking to your doctor.
Precautions with Dutasteride
Just with any other medication, you must take special precautions before you take this medication. Before taking this medication, you should take the following precautions:
- Let your doctor and pharmacist know if you are allergic to dutasteride, finasteride, and any other medications, as well as any of the ingredients in these dutasteride capsules.
- Let your doctor know about any medications (prescription or OTC) you plan on taking, as well as any other supplements or herbal products you intend to take. This is especially true for medications like antifungals. The doctor might need to change the doses of medications that you are currently on or find alternative options, as well as monitor you for any side effects resulting from drug interactions.
- If you forget a dose, take your dosage as soon as you remember to. However, if you don’t know until the next day, you should not take 2 doses in one day. You should skip this dosage and stick to your current dosing schedule.
Be sure to store this medication according to the instructions, as well as take the medication as prescribed. This ensures that you get the optimal effects from this medication.
Potential Side Effects
Dutasteride is generally considered a safe medication, but there is always a risk of side effects. Let your doctor know if you are experiencing these symptoms and they are severe and aren’t going away:
- Decreased sex drive
- Issues with ejaculation
- Inability to get or maintain an erection
There is a risk for some potentially severe side effects. If you experience any throat swelling or difficulty breathing, call your doctor and seek emergency medical attention.
As you can see, there are some great uses for dutasteride. You and your doctor should discuss this medication to see if this is the right choice for your needs. Everyone has their own needs, and this medication has some side effects. This is why it’s essential to consult a medical professional before starting any medication. This is to ensure that this medication doesn’t have any adverse interactions with your current medications and will be adequate for your needs.
Are you ready to see if dutasteride is the right treatment for you? Contact EVOLVE patient care to learn more!