Dutasteride vs. Finasteride

Name: Dutasteride vs. Finasteride

What is dutasteride? What is finasteride? How do they work?

Dutasteride (Avodart) is a synthetic 4-azasteroid compound that is a selective inhibitor of both the type 1 and type 2 isoforms of steroid 5 alpha-reductase used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate. The drug works by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body, which helps improve urinary flow and may also reduce the need for prostate surgery later. Dutasteride is sometimes given with tamsulosin (Flomax), which is used to treat signs and symptoms of enlarged prostate.

Finasteride (Proscar) is an inhibitor of steroid Type II 5a-reductase used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate. Finasteride works by decreasing the amount of a natural body hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that causes growth of the prostate, which lowers blood and tissue DHT levels and helps reduce the size of the prostate gland. While finasteride can result in reductions in the size of the prostate gland in virtually all patients who take it, only half will have improvement in the symptoms of BPH. Many patients respond to finasteride within several weeks, but it can take up to 6 months for patients to experience the full effects of the drug.

Which drugs interact with dutaseride vs. finasteride?

Dutasteride drug interactions

  • Medications such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), cimetidine (Tagamet), diltiazem (Cardizem), verapamil (Calan), ritonavir (Norvir) and clarithromycin (Biaxin) slow down the breakdown of dutasteride. This may lead to increased levels of dutasteride in the body, increasing side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and impotence.
  • Medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and primidone (Mysoline) increase the breakdown of dutasteride in the body. This may lead to decreased levels of dutasteride in the body, lowering the beneficial effects of the medication.

Finasteride drug interactions generally are no problem.

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