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Dutasteride Capsules: Patient Information And Q&A

Patient information and frequently asked questions about prescription Dutasteride capsules.

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Dutasteride Compounded Capsules

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

What is Dutasteride?

Dutasteride is a medication that is FDA approved to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is also known as an enlarged prostate. You can find Dutasteride in the brand name medication Avodart. Dutasteride is also commonly used off-label to treat male pattern hair loss, or androgenic alopecia. Dutasteride is in the class of medications called 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors. Finasteride, which is FDA approved for male pattern hair loss treatment, is also in the same class as Dutasteride.

What is a compounded medication?

A compounded medication is a prescription that is mixed up specifically for you based on your doctor’s request for a specific strength and dosage form. Compounded medications are not manufactured, but made in compounding pharmacies that follow a formula ‘recipe’ customized to your condition to create an individualized medication for you.

How does Dutasteride work?

Dutasteride is a 5 Alpha-Reductase Inhibitor medication that is being used off-label for male pattern hair loss. Dutasteride works on the scalp by blocking the enzyme which converts Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It has been discovered that DHT can play a role in male pattern hair loss. Once DHT is indirectly blocked by Dutasteride, you may experience a reduction in hair loss and a general maintenance of the hair you currently have. Sometimes, Dutasteride will even regrow some of the lost hair, but the main goal is reducing additional hair loss.

How should I take Dutasteride compounded capsules?

Take your dose of Dutasteride capsules by mouth at the same time each day. You may take Dutasteride with or without food. If you miss a dose and are only off by a few hours, you may go ahead and take your missed dose. However, if you missed a dose and it has been more than a few hours skip your dose and continue on like usual the next day. Dutasteride will not work better if you take more than 1 daily, so take Dutasteride capsules exactly as prescribed and never take an extra dose. You may need to take Dutasteride for 3 months or more before you start seeing the benefits.  You will need to continue the medication to keep your hair growth results.

If I'm currently using another hair loss product, will a switch cause shedding?

There is not usually a shedding period if you are switching from an oral Finasteride or Dutasteride to topical Finasteride or Dutasteride, or from a topical to an oral form. However, if you have been using a topical Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) product and you are switching to a medication that does not contain Minoxidil, you may see shedding. To help avoid this shedding, you can do a slow taper of the Minoxidil product over 6-8 weeks while transitioning to the new product, or you can make sure there is Minoxidil in your new formula.

How to store Dutasteride compounded capsules?

Store your Dutasteride in a closed container at room temperature in a dry environment. Avoid bathroom storage due to a potentially high humidity environment. Store Dutasteride safely away from pets and children. Dutasteride is a category X medication, meaning that it can cause birth defects. For this reason, women should not handle even the unbroken Dutasteride capsules.

Is Dutasteride stronger than Finasteride for hair loss?

Dutasteride and Finasteride are both 5-alpha reductase inhibitor medications that are commonly used for hair loss in men by helping to block DHT production. Dutasteride has been found to block DHT more strongly than Finasteride, potentially because Dutasteride blocks both 5-alpha reductase type 1 & 2, while Finasteride only blocks 5-alpha reductase type 2. Both medications are effective for male pattern hair loss, but Dutasteride may lead to more hair regrowth than Finasteride.

Important Safety Information for Dutasteride Capsules

Compound Ingredients:

Dutasteride, Biotin  

Inactive ingredients: Microcrystalline cellulose, Riboflavin, Silica gel powder

Contraindications and warnings:

  • Dutasteride is a medication for men only, women and children should never take Dutasteride.
  • Dutasteride is not indicated for use in women or pediatric patients.
  • Women who are pregnant or potentially may be pregnant should not handle whole or crushed Dutasteride capsules due to the risk of birth defects in a male fetus. If a pregnant woman comes in contact with crushed or broken Dutasteride capsules, wash the contact area with soap and water right away and a healthcare provider should be contacted.
  • Dutasteride normally causes a decrease in PSA levels. If your PSA levels go up while you are taking Dutasteride it may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated by a physician.
  • 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors may increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
  • Do not take Dutasteride capsules if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the capsule.

Before taking this medication:

You should not use Dutasteride if you are allergic to it, or:

  • If you are a woman or a child.
  • If you are a woman who is pregnant or may be pregnant. Dutasteride may harm an unborn baby.

Tell your healthcare provider about:

  • Any health conditions that you have, including liver or prostate problems.
  • All other medications that you take, including over the counter medications or vitamins and supplements.
  • Keep a list of all medications you take to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist.

Drug Interactions:

  • Avodart/Propecia/Proscar: Do not take Dutasteride if you are also taking Avodart, Propecia, or Proscar, these medications contain the same active ingredient or an ingredient in the same class and you would be taking too much.
  • Dutasteride has no known serious or severe interactions with other drugs.
  • Moderate interactions with Dutasteride include: carbamazepine, cimetidine, clarithromycin, erythromycin, isoniazid, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, rifabutin, rifampin, and St.John’s wort.

Side Effects:

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Dutasteride:

  • Hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Potential side effects of Dutasteride capsules:

  • Decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. Dutasteride may lower your PSA levels. If your PSA levels increase during the time that you are taking Dutasteride, this may be a sign of the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if this increase is still within normal limits.

Less common side effects not requiring immediate medical attention:These side effects may occur during treatment with Dutasteride. These side effects may not require immediate medical attention and may reduce or go away as your body adjusts to the medication with time. Your doctor may be able to help you find ways to reduce or relieve these side effects. Always talk with your doctor about side effects that do not go away or that are bothersome to you.

  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Impotence
  • Decreased sexual interest
  • Decreased sexual performance or desire
  • Inability to develop or keep an erection
  • Discharge, swelling, soreness, or pain from the breast or breasts

Side effects requiring immediate medical attention:The following side effects are rare, but if they occur you need to seek immediate medical attention.

  • Discomfort or pain in the chest
  • Dilated neck vessels
  • Irregular breathing or heartrate
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Swelling of the face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unexpected weight gain
  • Decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. Dutasteride may lower your PSA levels. If your PSA levels increase during the time that you are taking Dutasteride, this may be a sign of the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if this increase is still within normal limits.

The following potential side effects have an unknown incidence, but if they do occur you should seek immediate medical attention.

  • Blistering, flaking, or peeling skin
  • Cough
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Itching, rash, hives, or welts
  • Hive-like swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Puffiness or swelling of the eyelids, face, eyes, lips, tongue
  • Skin redness
  • Chest tightness
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness

5 Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors may increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Additional Resources

The following links provide further information on the potential risks and benefits of this medication:

Disclaimer The drug and medical information provided on this website is not meant to cover all adverse effects, drug interactions, warnings, medical uses, directions and precautions. The information provided is a medical resource and the judgment of your physician and/or healthcare practitioner should not be substituted. Strut has made every effort to ensure the information on the website is accurate and current based on present medical literature. Strut does not make any guarantees regarding the drug and medical information, and does not assume responsibility regarding the content. The drug safety and drug information contained on the website may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a medical reference beyond the date hereof. The deficiency of a warning for prescription medications and vitamins provided on this website in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. If you have questions or concerns about your medications, please do not hesitate to contact us and/or your medical practitioner, including your pharmacist. If your medication was compounded:  compound prescription products have not been tested or approved by the FDA for their intended use. No claims are made as to the safety, efficacy or use of this compound. Active ingredients used are FDA approved and follow strict United States Pharmacopeia (USP) guidelines when pursuant to a valid prescription.

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