Avodart 0.5mg Capsules
1. What Avodart is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Avodart
PACKAGE LEAFLET: INFORMATION FOR THE USER AVODART® 0.5MG Soft Capsules / DUTASTERIDE 0.5MG Soft Capsules
This product is available as the above name but will be referred to as Avodart throughout this leaflet.
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.
• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
• If you have any further questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
• This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
• If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
1 What Avodart is and what it is used for
2 What you need to know before you take Avodart
3 How to take Avodart
4 Possible side effects
5 How to store Avodart
6 Contents of the pack and other information
Avodart is used to treat men with an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) - a non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland, caused by producing too much of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone.
The active ingredient is dutasteride. It belongs to a group of medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
As the prostate grows, it can lead to urinary problems, such as difficulty in passing urine and a need to go to the toilet frequently. It can also cause the flow of the urine to be slower and less forceful. If left untreated, there is a risk that your urine flow will be completely blocked (acute urinary retention). This requires immediate medical treatment. In some situations surgery is necessary to remove or reduce the size of the prostate gland. Avodart lowers the production of dihydrotestosterone, which helps to shrink the prostate and relieve the symptoms. This will reduce the risk of acute urinary retention and the need for surgery.
Avodart may also be used with another medicine called tamsulosin (used to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate).
• if you're allergic to dutasteride, other 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, soya, peanut or to any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6)
• if you have a severe liver disease.
^ If you think any of these apply to you, don't take this medicine until you have checked with your doctor.
Talk to your doctor before taking Avodart.
• In some clinical studies, more patients taking dustasteride and another medicine called an alpha-blocker, like tamsulosin experienced heart failure than patients taking only dustasteride or only an alpha-blocker. Heart failure means your heart does not pump blood as well as it should.
• Make sure your doctor knows about liver problems. If you have had any illness affecting your liver, you may need some additional check-ups while you are taking Avodart.
• Women, children and adolescents must not handle leaking Avodart capsules, because the active ingredient can be absorbed through the skin. Wash the affected area immediately with soap and water if there is any contact with the skin.
• Use a condom during sexual intercourse. Dutasteride has been found in the semen of men taking Avodart. If your partner is or may be pregnant, you must avoid exposing her to your semen as dutasteride may affect the normal development of a male baby. Dutasteride has been shown to decrease sperm count, semen volume and sperm motility. This could reduce your fertility.
• Avodart affects a blood test for PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which is sometimes used to detect prostate cancer. Your doctor should be aware of this effect and can still use the test to detect prostate cancer. If you are having a blood test for PSA, tell your doctor that you are taking Avodart. Men taking Avodart should have their PSA tested regularly.
• In a clinical study of men at increased risk of prostate cancer, men taking Avodart had a serious form of prostate cancer more often than men who did not take Avodart. The effect of Avodart on this serious form of prostate cancer is not clear.
• Avodart may cause breast enlargement and tenderness.
If this becomes troublesome, or if you notice breast lumps or nipple discharge you should talk to your doctor about these changes as these may be signs of a serious condition, such as breast cancer.
^ Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about taking Avodart.
Tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken, or might take any other medicines.
Some medicines can react with Avodart and may make it more likely that you'll have side effects. These medicines include:
• verapamil or diltiazem (for high blood pressure)
• ritonavir or indinavir (for HIV)
• itraconazole or ketaconazole (for fungal infections)
• nefazodone (an antidepressant)
• alpha-blockers (for enlarged prostate or high blood pressure).
^ Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines. Your dose of Avodart may need to be reduced.
Avodart can be taken with or without food.
Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility
Women who are pregnant (or may be) must not handle leaking capsules. Dutasteride is absorbed through the skin and can affect the normal development of a male baby. This is a particular risk in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Use a condom during sexual intercourse. Dutasteride has been found in the semen of men taking Avodart. If your partner is or may be pregnant, you must avoid exposing her to your semen. Avodart has been shown to reduce sperm count, semen volume and sperm movement. Therefore male fertility may be reduced.
^ Contact your doctor for advice if a pregnant woman has come into contact with dutasteride.
Avodart is unlikely to affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
This medicine contains lecithin from soya, which may contain soya oil. If you are allergic to peanut or soya, do not use this medicinal product.
3. How to take Avodart
■ Allergic reaction
The signs of allergic reactions can include:
— • skin rash (which can be itchy)
“ • hives (like a nettle rash)
• swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, arms or legs.
^ Contact your doctor immediately if you get any of these | symptoms, and stop using Avodart.
■ Common side effects
These may affect up to 1 in 10 men taking Avodart:
• not able to achieve or maintain an erection (impotence), this may continue after you stop taking Avodart • decreased sex drive (libido), this may continue after you stop taking Avodart
• difficulty with ejaculation, this may continue after you stop taking Avodart
• breast enlargement or tenderness (gynecomastia)
• dizziness when taken with tamsulosin.
5. How to store Avodart
6. Contents of the pack and other information
Always take Avodart exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you to. If you do not take it regularly the monitoring of your PSA levels may be affected. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
The recommended dose is one capsule (0.5 mg) taken once a day. Swallow the capsules whole with water. Do not chew or break open the capsule. Contact with the contents of the capsules may make your mouth or throat sore.
Avodart is a long term treatment. Some men notice an early improvement in their symptoms. However, others may need to take Avodart for 6 months or more before it begins to have an effect. Keep taking Avodart for as long as your doctor tells you.
Contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you take too many Avodart capsules.
Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose. Just take your next dose at the usual time.
Don't stop taking Avodart without talking to your doctor first. It may take up to 6 months or more for you to notice an effect. ^ If you have any further questions on the use of this product, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
These may affect up to 1 in 100 men taking Avodart:
• heart failure (heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood around the body. You may have symptoms such as shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and swelling in your ankles and legs).
• hair loss (usually from the body) or hair growth
The frequency cannot be estimated from the available data:
• depressed mood
• pain and swelling in your testicles
side effects not listed in this leaflet, please tell your doctor
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Keep out of the sight and reach of children.
Don't store Avodart above 30°C.
Don't use Avodart after the expiry date which is stated on the carton or the foil blister strip. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.
If you have any unwanted Avodart capsules, don't dispose of them in waste water or household rubbish. Take them back to your pharmacist, who will dispose of them in a way that won't harm the environment.
The active substance is dutasteride. Each soft capsule contains 0.5mg dutasteride.
There are also some inactive ingredients in your medicine.
The solution inside the capsule shell contains mono and diglycerides of caprylic/capric acid and butylated hydroxytoluene (E321).
The capsule shell contains gelatin, glycerol, titanium dioxide (E171), yellow iron oxide (E172), triglycerides, lecithin and black printing ink.
Avodart 0.5mg Soft Capsules are oblong opaque, yellow soft gelatin capsules printed 'GX CE2' on one side in black printing ink.
They are available in packs containing 30 capsules.
GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals S.A. Ul. Grunwaldzka 189 60-322 Poznan Poland.
Aspen Bad Oldesloe GmbH Industriestrasse 32-36 23843 Bad Oldesloe Germany
Product Licence holder: G Pharma Ltd, Salford M50 2PU.
‘Avodart’ is a registered trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.