Avodart May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
Study Shows Fewer Cancers Diagnosed in Men Who Took the Drug
In a trial involving more than 8,000 men from 42 countries, those who took the drug Avodart had a 23% lower risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer over four years of treatment, compared to men who did not take the drug.
The risk reduction was similar to that seen in an earlier large trial of Proscar, another drug in the chemical class known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.
The drugs work by blocking the conversion of testosterone into a key hormone associated with prostate growth.
While the studies suggest a role for Avodart and Proscar in the prevention of prostate cancer, experts tell WebMD that important questions remain about using the drugs for this purpose.
“We now have two studies showing that two different drugs in this category can reduce the overall risk of prostate cancer,” American Cancer Society Director of Prostate and Colorectal Cancers Durado Brooks, MD, tells WebMD. “But we don’t have studies saying that they decrease the risk of death from prostate cancer.”
A total of 8,231 men between the ages of 50 and 75 took part in the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
All of the men had elevated blood levels of prostate specific antigen , which indicated an increased risk for prostate cancer. But none had evidence of cancer when biopsies were performed within six months of entering the trial.
The Path To Better Prostate Health
Because the PAE procedure does not involve surgery or physical removal of part of the prostate, patients will not see results immediately. The first changes are seen most commonly one to two months after the procedure, with continued improvement until about four months.
The most common side effects of PAE immediately after the procedure include urethral burning and increased urinary frequency. These side effects usually stop within a week.
The good news? According to Dr. Isaacson, about 75 to 80 percent of men treated with PAE experience a significant and lasting improvement.
UNC Medical Center is one of just a few hospitals in the U.S. that offers PAE to patients who are not enrolled in a clinical trial. Appointments for evaluation are available in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Hillsborough and Siler City. You can make an appointment or .
More Common Side Effects
The more common side effects that can occur with dutasteride include:
- trouble getting or keeping an erection
These effects may continue after you stop taking dutasteride.
Another common side effect is enlarged or painful breasts. This may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If its severe or doesnt go away, or if you notice breast lumps or nipple discharge, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
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Who Can And Can’t Take Tamsulosin
Tamsulosin can be taken by adults .
Do not give this medicine to children, unless on the advice of a specialist.
Tamsulosin is not suitable for some people. To make sure this medicine is safe for you, tell a doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to tamsulosin or any other similar medicine in the past
- have orthostatic hypotension, a form of low blood pressure that can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded when you stand up
- have severe liver or kidney problems
- are having eye surgery for cataracts or glaucoma
Psa Test Better Predicts Cancer In Men Taking Prostate
The PSA screening test for prostate cancer is not perfect. It can indicate cancer when none is present and miss life-threatening tumors. But a new study suggests the test is more reliable in men taking dutasteride , a drug widely prescribed to shrink an enlarged prostate gland.
Dutasteride lowers PSA levels by about half within six months. But the researchers found that even a slight rise in PSA levels among men taking the drug was a stronger indicator of prostate cancer, particularly aggressive tumors that require early diagnosis and treatment, than rising PSA levels in men who took a placebo.
Dutasteride stabilizes the amount of PSA that comes from enlarged prostates and low-grade cancers, says lead author Gerald Andriole, MD, the Robert Killian Royce, MD, Distinguished Professor and chief of urologic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This enhances a rising PSAs ability to detect high-grade cancers that require early diagnosis and treatment, while reducing the discovery of tumors that are unlikely to cause harm if left untreated.
The study is now available online and will be published in January in the Journal of Urology.
The Gleason scoring system measures tumor aggressiveness based on biopsy results and can range from 2-10, with 10 being the most aggressive.
In contrast, PSA levels tended to decrease or remain stable in men taking dutasteride who either had low-grade tumors or no cancer at all.
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What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition in which the prostate, a walnut-sized body part made of glandular and muscular tissue, grows in size. The prostate surrounds part of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine and sperm out of the body. The benign condition is also called benign prostatic enlargement .
The prostate is located directly beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. The urethra passes through the prostate, so if the prostate becomes enlarged, it can keep urine or semen from passing through the urethra.
The main function of the prostate is to produce fluid for the semen, the milky fluid in which sperm swims. Sperm is produced in the testicles, which also make the main male hormone testosterone. During puberty, testosterone stimulates the growth and function of the prostate, and helps with the production of fluid for semen.
Which Drugs Interact With Dutaseride Vs Finasteride
- Medications such as ketoconazole , cimetidine , diltiazem , verapamil , ritonavir and clarithromycin slow down the breakdown of dutasteride. This may lead to increased levels of dutasteride in the body, increasing side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and impotence.
- Medications such as carbamazepine and primidone increase the breakdown of dutasteride in the body. This may lead to decreased levels of dutasteride in the body, lowering the beneficial effects of the medication.
Finasteride drug interactions generally are no problem.
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Using Medication To Reduce Symptoms
What Other Drugs Will Affect Avodart
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:
an antibiotic such as clarithromycin , erythromycin , or telithromycin ;
an antifungal medication such as itraconazole , ketoconazole , miconazole , or voriconazole ;
an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
heart or blood pressure medication such as nicardipine or quinidine ; or
HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir , delavirdine , indinavir , nelfinavir , saquinavir , or ritonavir .
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Avodart. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
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What Is Dutasteride
Dutasteride is a prescription drug. It comes only as an oral capsule.
Dutasteride is available as the brand-name drug Avodart. Its also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, the brand-name drug and the generic version may be available in different forms and strengths.
Dutasteride may be used as part of a combination therapy. That means you need to take it with other drugs.
Who Is It For
Dutasteride monotherapy, and dutasteride-with-tamsulosin fixed-dose combination, are indicated for treating men with symptomatic BPH and an enlarged prostate.7,16 Consider dutasteride-with-tamsulosin combination therapy for men 50 years who are at increased risk of disease progression .1,2,1719/p>
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Dutasteride May Inhibit Genital Organ Development In A Male Foetus
Dutasteride can be absorbed through the skin. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant, children and adolescents should not handle leaking capsules or tablets, as suppressing circulating levels of DHT may inhibit genital organ development.7,16,33 Using a condom is recommended if the man’s sexual partner is pregnant or likely to become pregnant, as dutasteride is excreted in semen.7
Table 5 Description Of Bph Drugs And Their Side Effects
|Type of medication|
|Alpha-blockers||Relaxes muscles in bladder|
|Shrinks prostate tissue by blocking a hormone||
Decreased sex drive
Decreased ability to get and keep an erection
With the older drugsdoxazosin, terazosin, and prazosinyour doctor should start you on a low dose and build up to a higher dose over a period of a few weeks to give your body time to adjust to the medicine. That process is not necessary with the newer alpha-blockers .
Low blood pressure caused by the alpha-blocker medicines can fall to dangerous levels if youre also taking a high blood pressure drug or erectile dysfunction medicines such as sildenafil , vardenafil , and tadalafil . So dont take an alpha-blocker with those other drugs without first discussing it with your doctor.
Men with prostate enlargement who are planning to have cataract surgery should be aware that all alpha-blockers can cause a complication called intra-operative floppy iris syndrome, or IFIS. This condition causes the iris of the eye to become limp due to increases in fluid levels in the eye. This is a concern because it can raise the risk of a painful and extended recovery period from cataract surgery, and a reduction in visual acuity or sharpness after the surgery. You should alert your eye surgeon that you are taking alpha-blockers if you plan on having this surgery.
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If doxazosin does not bring enough relief, you could try terazosin next. Or you could also try adding finasteride.
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What Is Dutasteride What Is Finasteride How Do They Work
Dutasteride is a synthetic 4-azasteroid compound that is a selective inhibitor of both the type 1 and type 2 isoforms of steroid 5 alpha-reductase used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia in men with an enlarged prostate. The drug works by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the body, which helps improve urinary flow and may also reduce the need for prostate surgery later. Dutasteride is sometimes given with tamsulosin , which is used to treat signs and symptoms of enlarged prostate.
Finasteride is an inhibitor of steroid Type II 5a-reductase used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia in men with an enlarged prostate. Finasteride works by decreasing the amount of a natural body hormone dihydrotestosterone that causes growth of the prostate, which lowers blood and tissue DHT levels and helps reduce the size of the prostate gland. While finasteride can result in reductions in the size of the prostate gland in virtually all patients who take it, only half will have improvement in the symptoms of BPH. Many patients respond to finasteride within several weeks, but it can take up to 6 months for patients to experience the full effects of the drug.
Pharmacist Tips For Avodart
Don’t take or touch the capsule if it is bent, changes color, or is leaking. Swallow pills whole. Don’t chew or open them because the powder can irritate your mouth.
Don’t donate blood while you are taking Avodart and within 6 months of your last dose. Medication in the blood can harm the babies of pregnant women who might receive the blood transfusion.
Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant must not touch the capsules. Medication absorbed through the skin can harm the unborn baby. If they do come in contact with a leaky capsule, that area of the skin should be washed right away with soap and water.
Taking allergy or cold/flu medications may make your BPH symptoms worse. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other options.
Prices for Avodart start at just $11.38 with a GoodRx coupon. Theyre fast, easy-to-use and free!
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Your Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Medication: When To Consider A Change
If you are like many of the 14 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia , youve probably been taking the same medication, at the same dose, for years. If so, consider the experiences of two patients, both of whom were taking some type of medication for BPH. Their names have been changed, but all other details are accurate .
About Half Of Men Older Than 50 Have An Enlarged Prostate Here Are Some Of The Basic Facts You Need To Know About This Common Condition
As men age, many experience prostate gland enlargement. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia .
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the hollow tube that carries urine out of the body. When the prostate gets bigger, it can squeeze or partially block the urethra, which leads to problems urinating.
BPH is quite common in older men. In fact, the condition impacts about 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60. For men 80 and older, the prevalence of BPH is approximately 90%, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
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Prostate Drug Dutasteride Shrinks Prostate And Penis
Dutasterice has a powerful effect on the prostate gland. The history of this medication and its chemical cousin finasteride is a medical mystery. It all started in the Dominican Republic over 40 years ago. Researchers reported on a number of male pseudohermaphrodites .; They were born with ambiguity of the external genitalia. Their levels of dihydrotestosterone were low because the activity of the enzyme 5a-reductase was also low. This discovery led to the development of finasteride, a drug that shrinks prostate glands.
What Is Avodart
Avodart prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the body. DHT is involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia .
Avodart is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia in men with an enlarged prostate. It helps improve urinary flow and may also reduce your need for prostate surgery later on.
Avodart is sometimes given with another medication called tamsulosin . Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications.
Avodart may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
How To Take It
Swallow your tamsulosin capsules or tablets whole with a glass of water.
Do not break, chew or crush them.
If you can, take tamsulosin in the morning, after breakfast or the first meal or snack of the day. This is so the highest levels of medicine are in your body during the day and gives you the most benefit when you are most likely trying to pee.
It’s best to take it at about the same time each day.
Who Needs A Drug
As we have already mentioned, many men with BPH dont have symptoms or their symptoms can be managed with lifestyle changes. About half of men of any age who have BPH will have symptoms that require attention and treatment that may involve taking one of the drugs we evaluate in this report. The percentage of men requiring treatment increases with age:
One in four men in their late 50s can expect to have symptoms that are bothersome enough to seek medical attention or treatment;
One in three men in their late 60s can expect to have symptoms that are bothersome enough for them to seek medical attention or treatment, and
One in two men in their late 70s and beyond can expect to have symptoms bothersome enough to seek medical attention or treatment.
This means that millions of men are regularly taking drugs or using other treatment options to ease the symptoms of BPH.
The first advice wed give to any man bothered by problems when urinating is to see a doctor. Many men are reluctant to talk about urination problems with their doctor, but its important to get these issues evaluated as early as possible to prevent any complications that may be present, whether or not the patient is aware of them. Its important to note that some men dont notice any symptoms of BPH and their enlarged prostate is only discovered by their physician during a routine examination.
Getting a diagnosis
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