How risky/safe is taking Avodart (Dutasteride)?

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My urologist asked me to take Avodart for 3 months to see how much it can shrink my 71 gram prostate, then possibly follow up with the Rezum procedure.  My prostate grew from 60 grams to 71 grams in the 16 months between MRI's.  (Prostate cancer ruled out with biopsy about 18 months ago, but did find I have a median lobe.)

Long story overall, but I'm 54 years old, urination difficulties started about 3 years ago, and it's very intermittent.  Most days urination is decent, I only get up once per night, but then about one day per week I'll have a day or two where I can barely urinate at all, and might be in the bathroom every hour until it finally starts to flow.  I've had a few mornings where I couldn't urinate at all for several hours, despite a massive urge. 

My question is about the risk of taking Avodart.  I've seen studies that show the majority of side effects occur in the first few months of taking it, and can be permanent. And I've seen a few comments in this forum from people who've had problems, and call it "chemical castrations".

I'd definitely appreciate any inputs based on experiences with this drug...

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  • Posted

    I can't report on the basis of having taken it, but in laying it before me as a possible option the consultant was at pains to emphasise that though not every patient would suffer all the potential side-effects, if I were to go on Dutasteride I would have to be prepared to accept the possibility that I might experience significant breast development and inability to achieve an erection.

    As my biopsies were negative I decided on the basis of the information available to me to continue with a suprapubic catheter.   The idea of having my chest irradiated in order to reduce the risk or extent of breast growth didn't exactly appeal to me either.

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    • Posted

      My breast growth reverted to normal after stopping it. There are other drugs that can also cause breast growth.
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    • Posted

      Indeed there are other drugs which can cause breast growth.  And there's the fact, uncomfortable as it may be, that something like 70% of 60 year old males have significant breast growth.

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    • Posted

      I had not noticed that on our local beach. But Is it breast growth or fat?

      I've had tenderness quite a few times and growth on about three occasions.

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    • Posted

      Hi, 

      I started taking dutasteride at about age 56 in conjunction with Tamsulosin but in a 13 years period I only took it for a total of about 16 months. I would take it for a few months in which time it had shrunk the prostate so that I was almost peeing normally again and then stop for a year os so until the problems came back and I would go on it again, and so on. The longest I took it for was some 7 months during the second half of the last year when my prostate had got to 70 mgrammes and thats when my breasts started to get tender. That's when I pushed for a HoLEP procedure and so glad I did.

      I should have had it done earlier to save myself a desperate, sleepless last 6 months before the op and possibly damage from the long term use of these pills. The pills do work effectively and buy you time before getting the op of your choice.

      Good luck in your decision, only you can make the decision but If I had private health I would have got seen to ealrlier.

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  • Posted

    I changed Urologists because he put me on finisteride abd rapaflo.  Definitely lost Morning wood and responsiveness which has come back.
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    • Posted

      I tried both of those drugs after a kidney stone incident about 4 years ago, and they both immediately caused retrograde ejaculation, which luckily went away when I stopped taking them.
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  • Posted

    I was on Avodart for 1.5 years about 5 years ago.  It caused an incident of ED.  After I stopped taking it the effects lingered for a year or more.  When I was taking it my PSA dropped from 3.6 to 1.5.  since then it has slowly crept back up to 2.8.  The drop in PSA was probably a good thing but the ED was definitely not a good thing.
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  • Posted

    Second best thing I ever did was not taking any of those drugs. Once you are on it is not easy to stop. First best thing was doing all my procedure research and then getting an FLA procedure from an Interventional radiologist who specializes in prostate procedures only and staying as  far away from a Urologist as I could. 

    the drugs cause long lasting sexual side effects not good for a 54 year old man. 

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    • Posted

      I totally get this.  I've done a fair amount of research, and honestly nothing looks all that safe or effective.  I talked to one of the four urologists I've seen about FLA, and he was pretty much against it.  Did you have any permanent side effects after FLA?

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    • Posted

      No side effects from my procedure everything works just as I wanted it to work. That my number one interest. If I had not been confident of that then I would not have done the procedure . Of course also I never took any of the drugs that a lot of the guys on this thread talk about. I did not take them because I was afraid of the side effects. I truly believe the side effects from those drugs are to some degree are ever lasting and I did not want any of that.

      No urologist will ever recommend FLA procedure. They will not even tell you about it to replace a blind 12 needle biopsy which it can you do very easily and much more effectively. Most of them have never heard of it or of the prostate artery embolization .

      Yes you talked to 4 urologist who were all against f l a procedure did you by chance ask any of them if they had any education in it or were able to do the f l a laser procedure or even run the 3T MRI? They are not trained in this and they do not understand it furthermore they are all concerned it may cut into their revenue . I have a good friend who is a urologist in Indiana and who is about to go on the Senior Golf Tour he admitted that urologist know nothing about doing a procedure on the prostate using an MRI guided device. This is is the main reason urologist are this procedure, they cannot perform it. If they could they would have adopted it a long time ago especially FLA for cancer. I will look up the statistics again but I believe the number the last time I looked at it there was 15,000 urologist across the medical industry. In U.S. and 2.300 Interventional Radiologist. We got about 5 that specialize in prostate treatments. Don't expect much support. They have had 11 years of good FLA results in cancer treatment. The urologist look at you strange if you mention it for PCa.

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  • Posted

    I took finisteride for about three months for prostatitis and had to stop. ED issues, mental fog and incredibly bad insomnia. The ED and mental fog went away after stopping but it took months to get over the insomnia. Everyone reacts differently though.
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  • Posted

    In the UK NHS urologists will prescribe it as it is a cheaper option than any of the surgical procedures or to reduce prostate size over a few months to make surgery easier. 
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