Avodart Side Effects
Commonly prescribed to men suffering from an enlarged prostate, Avodart (Dutasteride) is an effective treatment option with very few side effects. The men who do experience Avodart side effects usually suffer from sexual health symptoms such as impotence and breast tenderness. These side effects typically improve over time. The side effects of Avodart in women can be much more serious however, especially to those who are pregnant.
Common Avodart Side Effects
Most men never experience any side effects while taking Avodart. Those who do will typically suffer from mild sexual dysfunctions that subside as the treatment continues. These include:
- Difficulty obtaining or keeping an erection
- Decreased sex drive
- Reduced semen volume
- Tender breasts
- Increased breast size
Most patients who experience these side effects see an improvement within the first six months. If the problems persist, you may consider discussing your treatment options with your doctor.
Serious Avodart Side Effects
The only serious side effects of Avodart are those associated with an allergic reaction to the medication. Tell your doctor if you have ever had an adverse reaction to Dutasteride or to the similar drug, Finasteride. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical assistance immediately and discontinue use:
- Severe dizziness
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin rash
- Swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
A precautionary warning had been issued by the FDA in 2011 regarding an increased risk of high grade prostate cancer among Avodart users. While Avodart can effectively slow the growth of benign prostate tumors, it may also make it difficult to detect the early stages of prostate cancer. Because of this, a patient could develop high grade prostate cancer before the condition is diagnosed.
Avodart in Women
Avodart is not intended for use by women and can be extremely dangerous to those who are pregnant. Newborns that belong to women who came in contact with Avodart during pregnancy may have birth defects or other physiological concerns, especially male babies. Avodart is absorbed through the skin so pregnant women should never touch the medication with their bare hands. The same precautions should be taken for women who are breastfeeding. Because Avodart remains in the bloodstream for several months, men should wait at least half a year after the end of their treatment to donate blood. This will ensure that pregnant women do not receive blood with any trace amount of Avodart.
Avodart in Children
Children should not handle, touch, or consume Avodart either. The effects of the medication on developing bodies have not been studied, but Avodart is not prescribed to children and should always be stored out of their reach.
If a child accidentally ingests Avodart, call the Poison Control Center immediately or visit the local emergency room. In the case of physical contact with the capsule, wash the child’s hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Contact your doctor is any unusual behaviors are noticed.
Other Precautions for Avodart Users
The best way to minimize Avodart side effects and to be sure it is as effective as possible is to follow the doctor’s instructions. Take the required dosage with a full glass of water. It can be taken anytime, regardless of food consumption, but try to take the medication at the same time each day so that it is less likely to miss a dose. Most patients who take Avodart continue the treatment for an extended period. It may take up to 6 months before individuals see improvements in their symptoms; about the same time most side effects began to subside.
It is very important for patients to avoid puncturing the Avodart capsule. Never crush, chew, or open the capsule. Dutasteride may cause irritation to anything it comes in contact with, including skin, lips, the tongue, and throat.
The fact that there are very few serious side effects associated with Avodart (Dutasteride) makes it a viable treatment option for many men who suffer from an enlarged prostate. Be sure to discuss the possible risks with your doctor, and always remember to read your prescription label carefully to get the best results.