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Side Effects of Dutasteride (Avodart)


Description: Avodart is used to treat benign protastatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate gland), or BPH. Pharmaceutically, this medication blocks testosterone’s actions in the body. It is a type of antiandrogen, used primarily in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness.


The problem some men experience is that as the prostate gland, which surrounds the urethra (the duct that transports and discharges urine from the bladder out of the body) gets bigger, it may squeeze off or partly block the urethra. This often causes difficulty with urinating. BPH occurs in almost all men as they age. Avodart works by reducing the size of the enlarged prostate.

Serious Avodart Side Effects

According to the Avodart label as reported by the FDA (2008), Avodart should not be used by women or children. The medication can be absorbed through the skin and cause birth defects in women who may or may not become pregnant. If the medication is accidentally absorbed through the skin by a female, it should be immediately be washed off with soap and water.

Common Side Effects of Avodart

The most common side adverse reaction was involved with the reproductive system. This includes, according to the Avodart label:

  • decreased libido
  • ejaculation disorder
  • Gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men)
  • impotence
  • Less Common Side Effects of Avodart

    These reactions have been reported by users of the medication but hasn’t been recorded in a clinical study. However, due to the frequency of the user reporting and seriousness of the reaction; these reactions should noted by user of the medication:

  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Localized edema
  • Rash
  • Pruritus
  • Urticaria
  • Angioedema
  • Serious skin reactions
  • Understand Your Risk for Side Effects with the Rxight® PGx Testing Program

    Your physician can determine the dose and frequency of Avodart, preferably before you begin treatment, by utilizing pharmacogenetic testing. The Rxight® PGx (pharmacogenetic) testing program from MD Labs determines your individual genetic susceptibility to adverse effects from over 200 drugs and over-the-counter products.


    You only need to be tested once for your physician to employ this precision medicine tool – and it will serve as your “medication blueprint.” Ask your participating pharmacist about the Rxight® program before taking Avodart and any other medications, so that precision medicine can be applied to your personal care. The result of the Rxight® pharmacogenetics test allows your provider to prescribe a drug treatment plan that is personalized to you. Depending on how well you metabolize a particular medication, the dose may be adjusted, or a safer alternative medication found.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    Pharmacogenetics is a field that has come of age from the completion of the human genome over ten years ago. Pharmacogenetics research has determined genetic variability among humans where the genes tested are responsible for the enzymes that process or metabolize the medications you may be taking. If you are what is called a “slow metabolizer,” you will be at higher risk for side effects or toxicty. If you are a “rapid metabolizer” you will be at risk of not receiving benefit from the medication at standard doses. Once you get the results of the Rxight® pharmacogenetic test, your physician will have the knowledge to prescribe drugs in such a way as to potentially minimize any side effects or adverse reactions by either adjusting the dose or frequency, or changing the medication entirely, if the genetic test warrants that decision.


    Contributors to this Article:
    Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

    Read more about Rxight® pharmacogenetics