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As men approach the age of 50, there is a chance that benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) will develop, which is the enlargement of the prostrate. It is noncancerous, but it does block the flow of urine by pressing on the urethra.

The prostrate is a gland that forms part of the male reproductive system, producing a part of the seminal fluid that comprises about 30% of what is known as semen, the remaining parts made up of spermatozoa. The prostate also helps expel semen during ejaculation. The gland is located at the upper part of the urethra, which works fine as long as the prostate is of normal size. Once it becomes enlarged, however, problems with urination occurs including frequent and urgent calls of nature, upon which there is difficulty in actually starting the flow as well as producing a rather pathetic amount of urine at the end of it all. It can get so bad that surgery to remove the prostate may become inevitable because acute urinary retention can have serious consequences.

In order to avoid surgery, a prescription drug called Avodart (active ingredient dutasteride) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2001 for the shrinkage of an enlarge prostate. Developed and sold by GlaxoSmithKline, the treatment protocol has to be overseen by a physician and regular periodic examinations are necessary to assess the efficacy of the drug. If it is, surgery may not be necessary, but it may take some time to notice any improvement or
alleviation of the urinary problems.

Avodart’s Specific use

Avodart is for the use of adult men only, and are contraindicated for women and children. The active ingredient dutasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, which blocks the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which may lead to BPH. It is also speculated that Avodart may have some significant effect on preventing male pattern baldness, but its present main function is to treat enlargement of the prostate. Avodart can be absorbed through the skin so pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid any contact with the drug at all to eliminate the risk of developing birth defects, probably in the genital organs, in a male baby. Men taking the drug should not donate blood at least six months after the last dose to avoid passing on the dutasteride in their blood.

The most common side effects of Avodart are impotence, reduced sex drive, gynecomastia or breast enlargement and reduced semen release during intercourse. Taking two doses to make up for a missed dose is a mistake, as the drug is very potent and may overburden the system adversely. For men taking HIV
medication, there is a possible chance of interaction.


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