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What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking dutasteride (Avodart)?
Using dutasteride may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. Your doctor will perform tests to make sure you do not have other conditions that would prevent you from safely using dutasteride.
Before taking dutasteride, tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this medication, or to a similar medicine called finasteride (Propecia, Proscar).
Dutasteride should never be taken by a woman or a child. Dutasteride can be absorbed through the skin, and women or children should not be permitted to handle dutasteride capsules.
Although dutasteride is not for use by women, this medication can cause birth defects if a woman is exposed to it during pregnancy. Dutasteride capsules should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant.
If a woman accidentally comes into contact with this medication from a leaking capsule, wash the area with soap and water right away.
How should I take dutasteride (Avodart)?
Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take dutasteride with a full glass of water.
Dutasteride can be taken with or without food.
Do not chew, crush, or open a dutasteride capsule. Swallow the capsule whole. Dutasteride can irritate your lips, mouth, or throat if the capsule has been broken or opened before you swallow it.
It may take up to 6 months of using this medicine before your symptoms improve. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Do not stop taking dutasteride without talking to your doctor.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your doctor will also test your prostate specific antigen (PSA) to check for prostate cancer. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store dutasteride at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Dutasteride capsules may become soft and leaky, or they may stick together if they get too hot. Do not use any capsule that is cracked or leaking. Call your pharmacist for instructions on how to safely dispose of a leaking dutasteride capsule.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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