Dutasteride is used alone or with another medication (tamsulosin [Flomax]) to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH; enlargement of the prostate gland). Dutasteride is used to treat symptoms of BPH and may reduce the chance of developing acute urinary retention (sudden inability to urinate). Dutasteride may also decrease the chance that prostate surgery will be needed. Dutasteride is in a class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. It works by blocking the production of a natural substance that enlarges the prostate.
Dutasteride comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take dutasteride at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take dutasteride exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the capsules whole; do not open chew, or crush them.
Your symptoms may improve after you have taken dutasteride for 3 months, but it may take 6 months or longer for you to see the full benefit of dutasteride. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment.
Dutasteride may control your symptoms but will not cure your condition. Continue to take dutasteride even if you feel well. Do not stop taking dutasteride without talking to your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Talk to your doctor about drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.
If you remember the missed dose that same day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if you do not remember until the next day, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses in one day or take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
inability to have or maintain an erection
decrease in sex drive
problems with ejaculation
changes in the breasts such as increased size, lumps, pain, or nipple discharge
swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
difficulty breathing or swallowing
Taking dutasteride may increase the risk that you will develop high-grade prostate cancer (a type of prostate cancer that spreads and grows more quickly than other types of prostate cancer). Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking dutasteride.
Dutasteride may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Dutasteride capsules that are stored at high temperatures may become deformed or discolored. Throw away any capsules that are deformed, discolored, or leaky and any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your body's response to dutasteride.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking dutasteride.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 01/15/2012
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2014. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.