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Effects on Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) and the Use of PSA in Prostate Cancer Detection
In clinical trials, AVODART reduced serum PSA concentration by approximately 50% within 3 to 6 months of treatment. This decrease was predictable over the entire range of PSA values in subjects with symptomatic BPH, although it may vary in individuals. AVODART may also cause decreases in serum PSA in the presence of prostate cancer. To interpret serial PSAs in men taking AVODART, a new PSA baseline should be established at least 3 months after starting treatment and PSA monitored periodically thereafter. Any confirmed increase from the lowest PSA value while on AVODART may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if PSA levels are still within the normal range for men not taking a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor. Noncompliance with AVODART may also affect PSA test results.
To interpret an isolated PSA value in a man treated with AVODART for 3 months or more, the PSA value should be doubled for comparison with normal values in untreated men. The free-to-total PSA ratio (percent free PSA) remains constant, even under the influence of AVODART. If clinicians elect to use percent free PSA as an aid in the detection of prostate cancer in men receiving AVODART, no adjustment to its value appears necessary.
Coadministration of dutasteride and tamsulosin resulted in similar changes to serum PSA as dutasteride monotherapy.
Increased Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer
In men aged 50 to 75 years with a prior negative biopsy for prostate cancer and a baseline PSA between 2.5 ng/mL and 10.0 ng/mL taking AVODART in the 4-year Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events (REDUCE) trial, there was an increased incidence of Gleason score 8-10 prostate cancer compared with men taking placebo (AVODART 1.0% versus placebo 0.5%) [see INDICATIONS AND USAGE, ADVERSE REACTIONS]. In a 7-year placebo-controlled clinical trial with another 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor (finasteride 5 mg, PROSCAR), similar results for Gleason score 8-10 prostate cancer were observed (finasteride 1.8% versus placebo 1.1%).
5 alpha-reductase inhibitors may increase the risk of development of high-grade prostate cancer. Whether the effect of 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors to reduce prostate volume or trial-related factors impacted the results of these trials has not been established.
Evaluation for Other Urological Diseases
Prior to initiating treatment with AVODART, consideration should be given to other urological conditions that may cause similar symptoms. In addition, BPH and prostate cancer may coexist.
Exposure of Women—Risk to Male Fetus
AVODART Capsules should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who could become pregnant. Dutasteride is absorbed through the skin and could result in unintended fetal exposure. If a woman who is pregnant or who could become pregnant comes in contact with leaking dutasteride capsules, the contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water [see Use in Specific Populations].
Men being treated with AVODART should not donate blood until at least 6 months have passed following their last dose. The purpose of this deferred period is to prevent administration of dutasteride to a pregnant female transfusion recipient.
Effect on Semen Characteristics
The effects of dutasteride 0.5 mg/day on semen characteristics were evaluated in normal volunteers aged 18 to 52 (n = 27 dutasteride, n = 23 placebo) throughout 52 weeks of treatment and 24 weeks of post-treatment follow-up. At 52 weeks, the mean percent reductions from baseline in total sperm count, semen volume, and sperm motility were 23%, 26%, and 18%, respectively, in the dutasteride group when adjusted for changes from baseline in the placebo group. Sperm concentration and sperm morphology were unaffected. After 24 weeks of follow-up, the mean percent change in total sperm count in the dutasteride group remained 23% lower than baseline. While mean values for all semen parameters at all time-points remained within the normal ranges and did not meet predefined criteria for a clinically significant change (30%), 2 subjects in the dutasteride group had decreases in sperm count of greater than 90% from baseline at 52 weeks, with partial recovery at the 24-week follow-up. The clinical significance of dutasteride's effect on semen characteristics for an individual patient's fertility is not known.
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION).
Physicians should inform patients that AVODART reduces serum PSA levels by approximately 50% within 3 to 6 months of therapy, although it may vary for each individual. For patients undergoing PSA screening, increases in PSA levels while on treatment with AVODART may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Increased Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer
Physicians should inform patients that there was an increase in high-grade prostate cancer in men treated with 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors (which are indicated for BPH treatment), including AVODART, compared with those treated with placebo in trials looking at the use of these drugs to reduce the risk of prostate cancer [see Indications and Usage, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, ADVERSE REACTIONS].
Exposure of Women—Risk to Male Fetus
Physicians should inform patients that AVODART Capsules should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who could become pregnant because of the potential for absorption of dutasteride and the subsequent potential risk to a developing male fetus. Dutasteride is absorbed through the skin and could result in unintended fetal exposure. If a pregnant woman or woman of childbearing potential comes in contact with leaking AVODART Capsules, the contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Use In Specific Populations].
Physicians should inform men treated with AVODART that they should not donate blood until at least 6 months following their last dose to prevent pregnant women from receiving dutasteride through blood transfusion [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Serum levels of dutasteride are detectable for 4 to 6 months after treatment ends [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
A 2-year carcinogenicity study was conducted in B6C3F1 mice at doses of 3, 35, 250, and 500 mg/kg/day for males and 3, 35, and 250 mg/kg/day for females; an increased incidence of benign hepatocellular adenomas was noted at 250 mg/kg/day (290-fold the MRHD of a 0.5-mg daily dose) in female mice only. Two of the 3 major human metabolites have been detected in mice. The exposure to these metabolites in mice is either lower than in humans or is not known.
In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in Han Wistar rats, at doses of 1.5, 7.5, and 53 mg/kg/day in males and 0.8, 6.3, and 15 mg/kg/day in females, there was an increase in Leydig cell adenomas in the testes at 135-fold the MRHD (53 mg/kg/day and greater). An increased incidence of Leydig cell hyperplasia was present at 52-fold the MRHD (male rat doses of 7.5 mg/kg/day and greater). A positive correlation between proliferative changes in the Leydig cells and an increase in circulating luteinizing hormone levels has been demonstrated with 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors and is consistent with an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis following 5 alpha-reductase inhibition. At tumorigenic doses, luteinizing hormone levels in rats were increased by 167%. In this study, the major human metabolites were tested for carcinogenicity at approximately 1 to 3 times the expected clinical exposure.
Dutasteride was tested for genotoxicity in a bacterial mutagenesis assay (Ames test), a chromosomal aberration assay in CHO cells, and a micronucleus assay in rats. The results did not indicate any genotoxic potential of the parent drug. Two major human metabolites were also negative in either the Ames test or an abbreviated Ames test.
Impairment of Fertility
Treatment of sexually mature male rats with dutasteride at 0.1- to 110-fold the MRHD (animal doses of 0.05, 10, 50, and 500 mg/kg/day for up to 31 weeks) resulted in dose- and time-dependent decreases in fertility; reduced cauda epididymal (absolute) sperm counts but not sperm concentration (at 50 and 500 mg/kg/day); reduced weights of the epididymis, prostate, and seminal vesicles; and microscopic changes in the male reproductive organs. The fertility effects were reversed by recovery week 6 at all doses, and sperm counts were normal at the end of a 14-week recovery period. The 5 alpha-reductase–related changes consisted of cytoplasmic vacuolation of tubular epithelium in the epididymides and decreased cytoplasmic content of epithelium, consistent with decreased secretory activity in the prostate and seminal vesicles. The microscopic changes were no longer present at recovery week 14 in the low-dose group and were partly recovered in the remaining treatment groups. Low levels of dutasteride (0.6 to 17 ng/mL) were detected in the serum of untreated female rats mated to males dosed at 10, 50, or 500 mg/kg/day for 29 to 30 weeks.
In a fertility study in female rats, oral administration of dutasteride at doses of 0.05, 2.5, 12.5, and 30 mg/kg/day resulted in reduced litter size, increased embryo resorption, and feminization of male fetuses (decreased anogenital distance) at 2- to 10-fold the MRHD (animal doses of 2.5 mg/kg/day or greater). Fetal body weights were also reduced at less than 0.02-fold the MRHD in rats (0.5 mg/kg/day).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category X. AVODART is contraindicated for use in women of childbearing potential and during pregnancy. AVODART is a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor that prevents conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone necessary for normal development of male genitalia. In animal reproduction and developmental toxicity studies, dutasteride inhibited normal development of external genitalia in male fetuses. Therefore, AVODART may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If AVODART is used during pregnancy or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking AVODART, the patient should be apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
Abnormalities in the genitalia of male fetuses is an expected physiological consequence of inhibition of the conversion of testosterone to DHT by 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors. These results are similar to observations in male infants with genetic 5 alpha-reductase deficiency. Dutasteride is absorbed through the skin. To avoid potential fetal exposure, women who are pregnant or could become pregnant should not handle AVODART Soft Gelatin Capsules. If contact is made with leaking capsules, the contact area should be washed immediately with soap and water [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Dutasteride is secreted into semen. The highest measured semen concentration of dutasteride in treated men was 14 ng/mL. Assuming exposure of a 50-kg woman to 5 mL of semen and 100% absorption, the woman's dutasteride concentration would be about 0.0175 ng/mL. This concentration is more than 100 times less than concentrations producing abnormalities of male genitalia in animal studies. Dutasteride is highly protein bound in human semen (greater than 96%), which may reduce the amount of dutasteride available for vaginal absorption.
In an embryo-fetal development study in female rats, oral administration of dutasteride at doses 10 times less than the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 0.5 mg daily resulted in abnormalities of male genitalia in the fetus (decreased anogenital distance at 0.05 mg/kg/day), nipple development, hypospadias, and distended preputial glands in male offspring (at all doses of 0.05, 2.5, 12.5, and 30 mg/kg/day). An increase in stillborn pups was observed at 111 times the MRHD, and reduced fetal body weight was observed at doses of about 15 times the MRHD (animal dose of 2.5 mg/kg/day). Increased incidences of skeletal variations considered to be delays in ossification associated with reduced body weight were observed at doses about 56 times the MRHD (animal dose of 12.5 mg/kg/day).
In a rabbit embryo-fetal study, doses 28- to 93-fold the MRHD (animal doses of 30, 100, and 200 mg/kg/day) were administered orally during the period of major organogenesis (gestation days 7 to 29) to encompass the late period of external genitalia development. Histological evaluation of the genital papilla of fetuses revealed evidence of feminization of the male fetus at all doses. A second embryo-fetal study in rabbits at 0.3- to 53-fold the expected clinical exposure (animal doses of 0.05, 0.4, 3.0, and 30 mg/kg/day) also produced evidence of feminization of the genitalia in male fetuses at all doses.
In an oral pre- and post-natal development study in rats, dutasteride doses of 0.05, 2.5, 12.5, or 30 mg/kg/day were administered. Unequivocal evidence of feminization of the genitalia (i.e., decreased anogenital distance, increased incidence of hypospadias, nipple development) of male offspring occurred at 14- to 90-fold the MRHD (animal doses of 2.5 mg/kg/day or greater). At 0.05-fold the expected clinical exposure (animal dose of 0.05 mg/kg/day), evidence of feminization was limited to a small, but statistically significant, decrease in anogenital distance. Animal doses of 2.5 to 30 mg/kg/day resulted in prolonged gestation in the parental females and a decrease in time to vaginal patency for female offspring and a decrease in prostate and seminal vesicle weights in male offspring. Effects on newborn startle response were noted at doses greater than or equal to 12.5 mg/kg/day. Increased stillbirths were noted at 30 mg/kg/day.
In an embryo-fetal development study, pregnant rhesus monkeys were exposed intravenously to a dutasteride blood level comparable to the dutasteride concentration found in human semen. Dutasteride was administered on gestation days 20 to 100 at doses of 400, 780, 1,325, or 2,010 ng/day (12 monkeys/group). The development of male external genitalia of monkey offspring was not adversely affected. Reduction of fetal adrenal weights, reduction in fetal prostate weights, and increases in fetal ovarian and testis weights were observed at the highest dose tested in monkeys. Based on the highest measured semen concentration of dutasteride in treated men (14 ng/mL), these doses represent 0.8 to 16 times the potential maximum exposure of a 50-kg human female to 5 mL semen daily from a dutasteride-treated man, assuming 100% absorption. (These calculations are based on blood levels of parent drug which are achieved at 32 to 186 times the daily doses administered to pregnant monkeys on a ng/kg basis). Dutasteride is highly bound to proteins in human semen (greater than 96%), potentially reducing the amount of dutasteride available for vaginal absorption. It is not known whether rabbits or rhesus monkeys produce any of the major human metabolites.
Estimates of exposure multiples comparing animal studies to the MRHD for dutasteride are based on clinical serum concentration at steady state.
AVODART is contraindicated for use in women of childbearing potential, including nursing women. It is not known whether dutasteride is excreted in human milk.
AVODART is contraindicated for use in pediatric patients. Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.
Of 2,167 male subjects treated with AVODART in 3 clinical trials, 60% were aged 65 years and older and 15% were aged 75 years and older. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
No dose adjustment is necessary for AVODART in patients with renal impairment [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
The effect of hepatic impairment on dutasteride pharmacokinetics has not been studied. Because dutasteride is extensively metabolized, exposure could be higher in hepatically impaired patients. However, in a clinical trial where 60 subjects received 5 mg (10 times the therapeutic dose) daily for 24 weeks, no additional adverse events were observed compared with those observed at the therapeutic dose of 0.5 mg [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/16/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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