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Dutasteride is the generic name of a medication that is typically used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with enlarged prostate. It is a triple 5a-reductase inhibitor that inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestostene (DHT) in the body, which is involved in the development of BPH. This medication has been used as treatment for other conditions but primarily it is used to treat BPH. Avodart is the brand name for dutasteride, which is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.
Dutasteride works to treat symptoms and improve conditions in men with BPH. It helps to improve urinary flow, which in turn may reduce the future need for prostate surgery. While the medication works to reduce the need for prostate surgery, it also may increase the risk for prostate cancer, which is a potential side effect of the medication. Doctors will do tests in advance of starting the medication to ensure that pre-existing conditions or contraindications with other medications do not interfere with the safe use of dutasteride.
It is always important before starting dutasteride to inform your doctor of all medical conditions and currently prescribed medication. Patients should also inform their doctor that if they have had allergic reactions to this medication as well as other similar medications such as finasteride also known as Propecia or Proscar. Dutasteride is sometimes given as a part of an entire medication regime. It is common to couple Dutasteride with a medication called tamsulosin or Flomax.