What Avodart is and what it is used for
Avodart is used to treat men with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia)
•a non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland, caused by producing too much of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone. The active ingredient is dutasteride. It belongs to a group of medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. As the prostate grows, it can lead to urinary problems, such as difficulty in passing urine and a need to go to the toilet frequently. It can also cause the flow of the urine to be slower and less forceful. If left untreated, there is a risk that your urine flow will be completely blocked (acute urinary retention). This requires immediate medical treatment. In some situations surgery is necessary to remove or reduce the size of the prostate gland. Avodart lowers the production of dihydrotestosterone, which helps to shrink the prostate and relieve the symptoms. This will reduce the risk of acute urinary retention and the need for surgery. Avodart may also be used with another medicine called tamsulosin (used to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate).
How to take Avodart
Always take Avodart exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you to. If you do not take it regularly the monitoring of your PSA levels may be affected. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. How much to take The recommended dose is one capsule (0.5 mg) taken once a day. Swallow the capsules whole with water. Do not chew or break open the capsule. Contact with the contents of the capsules may make your mouth or throat sore. Avodart is a long-term treatment. Some men notice an early improvement in their symptoms. However, others may need to take Avodart for 6 months or more before it begins to have an effect. Keep taking Avodart for as long as your doctor tells you. 3 If you take more Avodart than you should Contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you take too many Avodart capsules. If you forget to take Avodart Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. Just take your next dose at the usual time. Don’t stop Avodart without advice Don’t stop taking Avodart without talking to your doctor first. It may take up to 6 months or more for you to notice an effect. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
The signs of allergic reactions can include:
• skin rash (which can be itchy)
• hives (like a nettle rash)
• swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, arms or legs. Contact your doctor immediately if you get any of these symptoms, and stop using Avodart.
Common side effects These may affect up to 1 in 10 men taking Avodart:
• not able to achieve or maintain an erection (impotence), this may continue after you stop taking Avodart
• decreased sex drive (libido), this may continue after you stop taking Avodart
• difficulty with ejaculation, such as a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex, this may continue after you stop taking Avodart
• breast enlargement or tenderness (gynecomastia)
• dizziness when taken with tamsulosin.
Uncommon side effects These may affect up to 1 in 100 men taking Avodart:
• heart failure (heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood around the body. You may have symptoms such as shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and swelling in your ankles and legs)
• hair loss (usually from the body) or hair growth.
Not known side effects The frequency cannot be estimated from the available data:
• pain and swelling in your testicles.
Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine
How to Store Avodart
Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of children. Don’t store Avodart above 30°C. Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which is stated on the carton or the foil blister strip. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month. Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw away medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment
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