I came across this in another forum by a long term and respected poster. I say that because being acquainted on the forums a very long time, his words are reliable to me.
Please read the following as it is a Medical Director’s point of view on Dutasteride, its side effects, and most importantly effecting new born babies while on the drug.
My sister in law has her PhD in Pharmacy from University of RI and is now the managing director of an international pharmaceutical firm that specializes in consulting on drug interactions.
I asked about the long term effects of Avodart and the hormonal effect on testosterone, etc. Here is her response:
Since Avodart is also used to treat enlarged prostate, it does have similar side effects as Propecia. Detailed below:
Since it is used to treat enlarged prostate it would most likely alter your PSA levels, which is a measurement specific to your prostate. (when your prostate is enlarged, the PSA is higher and results in urinary retention and other symptoms. Also, elevated PSA is often a marker for prostate cancer, so when you use Avodart for enlarged prostate it helps relieve the urinary retention and decreases the PSA).
Guidelines recommend that you DO NOT donate blood while taking Avodart or for at least 6 months after discontinuation due to risk of fetal harm (birth defects) for pregnant women who receive transfusions with the blood. Also, I don’t think that you’re planning on having any more babies () but just in case Avodart is contraindicated due to the risk of fetal harm
Possible sexual dysfunction problems and breast enlargement (based on effects on testosterone). (The drug works by inhibiting the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT). In clinical trials, it did not have a statistically significant effect on estrogen levels, cholesterol levels or bone mineral density (ie. Test for osteoporosis); however, it did have significant effects on testosterone and TSH (a thyroid hormone)- Your doctor could test this with a simple blood test to ensure it is not altered. After discontinuation of Avodart, these blood levels returned to normal.
It is heavily metabolized through the liver so could be concerns with long-term use (no data seems alarming and they don’t recommend any blood test for monitoring, but it could be of concern- since you were asking for long-term risks). (Also, lots of drug interactions so if you ever take any other medications ask the pharmacist/doctor about possible interactions)
I couldn’t find anything on fluid retention and based on the drug’s mechanism of action it shouldn’t cause a problem. There are rare reactions that can cause localized edema (swelling) but you would have already experienced that if it were going to happen.
So far, it seems like you are not experiencing the side effects experienced with Propecia and usually if these side effects are going to happen it occurs in the beginning and resolves by 3-6 months. If you are concerned about your general practitioner monitoring any blood levels, they could test your PSA, TSH, testosterone and liver enzymes to make you feel better about any risks it may potentially have on blood levels.
So I followed up with this question to which you will see her response:
“however, it did have significant effects on testosterone and TSH (a thyroid hormone)”
The effects on testosterone: did it lower the testosterone level ? and what did it do to the TSH ? How will this impact me ? If my testosterone level is lower I think my sense of overall well being is altered and my workouts will be impacted as well ?
Decreases testosterone thus effects on libido and sexual dysfunction. I would think could effect your stamina/energy for workouts. If you experience a decreases in TSH could make you feel tired and could also make you end up gaining weight but TSH changes are less common.
As an avid gym rat and outdoor guy I was not thrilled with the decreased testosterone level’s – given that I will be 48 years old at the end of the month and my levels drop each year on their own as it is.
Thoughts or comments ?
9/17/04 - 6279 Graphs
1/11/07 - 4128 Graphs