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Avodart is a drug used to treat an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, and is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

This content was reviewed by a clinician on

26 April 2022
dr daniel

Dr Daniel Atkinson

(GP Clinical Lead - GMC No. 4624794) 26 April 2022
Product information

Avodart is a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, engineered by GlaxoSmithKline. It contains an agent called dutasteride, which works by interfering with the conversion of testosterone in the body. The product is a soft capsule, and is a long-term, one a day course.

  1. Popular branded medication
  2. Leading treatment for BPH
  3. Daily course of one capsule

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as an enlarged prostate, is a condition mostly experienced by men over the age of 50. The prostate is a gland which plays an integral role in the generation of semen. It is situated between the penis and the bladder, and develops the white liquid which acts as a vehicle for sperm, made by the testes.

In some men, this small gland can become enlarged in later life. The reason for this is not completely understood, but it is thought to be linked to the increased production of dihydrotestosterone men experience during middle age. More common symptoms include difficulty when urinating, reduced force when expelling urine resulting in strain, increased frequency, and in rarer cases, the appearance of blood.

Enlarged prostate, or BPH, is not serious in most cases. However, it does require treatment, as symptoms can lead to complications that can cause severe discomfort; examples of these include kidney or bladder infections, or bladder stones. Left untreated, some of these illnesses may lead to a need for surgery, and complete prostate removal.

It is advisable to speak to your doctor if you notice any problems with urination, a BPH can sometimes be linked to prostate cancer. A doctor will need to rule these possible conditions out before issuing treatment. In particular, the presence of blood in urine is something you should seek advice about as soon as you notice it.

Because the condition involves the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, treatment for BPH aims at reducing this hormonal conversion. This is what dutasteride, the active ingredient in Avodart does. It performs this function by inhibiting the catalyst for this conversion, which is an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase.

We do not sell this treatment. If you think you may be developing symptoms indicative of BPH, we recommend that you see your GP in person.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022


In order to get the best possible results, it is vital to follow the instructions issued by your prescriber when administering this treatment. Adhering to the guidelines provided in the patient information leaflet will also help you to reduce the risk of associated side effects.

  1. Take as directed.
  2. In most cases, the typical dose will be one capsule per day.
  3. Swallow this whole with water.
  4. For most men, it is a long-term treatment. It may take as long as six months to produce noticeable effects.
  5. Do not take more than the amount prescribed for you.
  6. If you miss a dose, do not attempt to compensate by doubling up on your next one. Simply skip the dose you have missed and carry on as before.

The above does not constitute detailed directions and is only a summary. For further guidance, please refer to the leaflet supplied with the treatment.

Download PDF

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Avodart 500mcg

Side effects & Warnings

Side effects

If you notice anything which might constitute an allergic reaction, such as a skin rash, hives, or swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, arms or legs, tell your doctor right away.

Common (1 in 10 patients or less):

Impotence, ejaculatory problems and decreased libido, all of which which may continue after treatment has finished, gynecomastia, and dizziness when taken with tamsulosin.

Uncommon (1 in 100 patients or less):

Heart failure, hair loss (most typically from the body) or hair growth.

This is not a comprehensive account of the side effects associated with this product. For more information, refer to the supplied leaflet.

Taking it with other medicines

Let your prescriber know during consultation which, if any, other treatments you are currently using. The following may affect the function of Avodart or increase the risk of adverse effects: verapamil or diltiazem; ritonavir or indinavir; itraconazole or ketaconazole; nefazodone; or alpha-blockers.

Conditions to look out for

Some people may be unable to use this treatment if they have certain conditions. Those with an allergy to soya or peanut, or a severe liver disease should not use it. It may also not be suitable for those with a history of liver disease.

It should also be noted by the patient that the drug is not suitable for women, children or adolescents. The content of leaking capsules must not be handled by those who are unable to take them, as the active ingredient can be dermally absorbed. In addition to this, the user should also be aware that the medication can establish a presence in semen, therefore it is vital to use a condom during intercourse when taking this treatment.

Pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility

This medication is for male use only.

Capsules must not be handled by any woman who is pregnant or trying to conceive.

Dutasteride can be present in the semen of men who are taking this medicine. It is important to use a condom during sexual intercourse while taking Avodart if your partner is pregnant, may be pregnant or able to become pregnant.

If a pregnant woman comes into contact with this medicine, they must seek medical attention right away.

This medicine has been shown to lower sperm count, volume and movement. It may therefore have an effect on male fertility.

Driving and using machinery

This medication is not likely to inhibit your capacity to drive or operate machines.

Soya or peanut allergy

Avodart contains lecithin, which comes from soya. It must therefore not be taken or handled by anyone with an allergy to soya or peanut.

Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Avodart 500mcg


Can I still drink alcohol?

Yes. It is not thought that alcohol will affect the function of this item.

Will I still be able to drive?

Yes. Your judgment and motor skills are unlikely to be hindered. If you think you are having side effects and think that these may prove dangerous when driving, do not drive and let your doctor know as soon as possible.

Can I take the medicine while pregnant?

It is not suitable for women, and should only be used or handled by men.

How should I store it?

Keep it in a safe place below 30°C.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

The tablets consist of: dutasteride, mono and diglycerides of caprylic/capric acid and butylated hydroxytoluene (E321), gelatin, glycerol, titanium dioxide (E171), iron oxide yellow (E172), triglycerides (medium chain) and lecithin (may contain soya oil).

Do not use it if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

Is it available over-the-counter?

You will require a prescription to buy Avodart in the UK. This is so a doctor can make sure it is suitable for you.

Is it right for me?

Your GP or specialist will initiate the most appropriate prescription treatment based on your regular prostate review.

We do not supply this medication through our site. To renew your prescription for Avodart, we recommend you contact your GP.


Page last reviewed:  26/04/2022
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