Avodart Warnings and Precautions
Among the conditions you should tell your healthcare provider about prior to taking Avodart are liver disease or failure, as well as any allergies you may have. To reduce the risk of drug interactions, you should also tell your healthcare provider about all of the drugs you're currently taking. Some other Avodart precautions and warnings include the risk of sexual side effects in some people taking Avodart, the fact that the drug can lower your PSA levels, and the safety of taking it if you have severely decreased urine flow.
Avodart: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Avodart® (dutasteride) 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
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.
- Avodart is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that Avodart is very dangerous for use during pregnancy. Pregnant women (and women who may be pregnant) should not take Avodart and should not come into contact with Avodart capsules (see Avodart and Pregnancy for more information).
- It is not known if Avodart 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 Avodart, 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, Avodart may not be the best option.
- Men who take Avodart should not donate blood until at least six months after they have stopped taking Avodart. This is to prevent pregnant women from being exposed to Avodart through donated blood.
- Avodart can interact with certain other medications (see Avodart Drug Interactions).
- Avodart does not prevent prostate cancer. Men can have both BPH and prostate cancer at the same time.
- Avodart 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 Avodart. 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 Avodart (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 Avodart 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, Avodart 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 Avodart. The liver helps to clear Avodart from the body, and Avodart could build up in people with liver problems.
- Avodart 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).