Heart failure (the heart does not pump blood as well as it should) was reported more often in patients taking dutasteride and an alpha-blocker, tamsulosin, in clinical studies than in patients taking dutasteride. It is not known if taking dutasteride and an alpha-blocker caused heart failure.
BEFORE the patient uses APO-DUTASTERIDE, talk to the doctor or pharmacist if: The patient has or has had liver problems; The patient has or has had prostate cancer or urinary tract disease.
Special precautions about APO-DUTASTERIDE: Do not donate blood while taking APO-DUTASTERIDE and for at least 6 months after taking APO-DUTASTERIDE has been stopped in order to prevent giving dutasteride to a pregnant woman through blood transfusion.
In a clinical study of men aged 50 to 75 years with a recent negative biopsy for prostate cancer and an increased prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, men taking dutasteride had a serious form of prostate cancer more often than men who did not take dutasteride.
The patient must see the doctor regularly: While taking APO-DUTASTERIDE, the patient must have regular checkups, including digital rectal examination and PSA examination. Follow the doctor's advice about when to have these checkups.
Checking for prostate cancer: A man can have BPH and prostate cancer at the same time. Prior to treatment with APO-DUTASTERIDE, the patient should have a thorough urological evaluation to determine the severity of the condition, and to rule out the need for immediate surgery or the possibility of prostate cancer.
About Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA): If a doctor asks the patient to have a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test which is used for screening prostate cancer, the patient should tell the doctor that he is taking APO-DUTASTERIDE.
APO-DUTASTERIDE can lower the PSA test result. A low PSA level may give a false sense of security about the risk for prostate cancer. The doctor is aware of this effect and can still use PSA to see if the patient might have prostate cancer.
Increases in the PSA levels while on treatment with APO-DUTASTERIDE (even if the PSA levels are in the normal range) should be evaluated by the doctor.