Dutasteride is a prescription medicine primarily used to treat males with symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland. Although an effective drug for this condition, there are some commonly reported dutasteride side effects. Some patients may experience temporary feelings of aches and pains, but the most common dutasteride side effects fall into two general categories: sexual dysfunctions and breast changes.
Sexual dysfunction was the most frequent of the dutasteride side effects reported in clinical trials and observational studies. Males taking this medication have reported a decrease in the amounts of semen produced, abnormal ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and a decreased sex drive. Of these side effects, impotence is most commonly reported, while a lessened sex drive and ejaculation problems are observed somewhat less often.
When experienced as a side effect of dutasteride, impotence or erectile dysfunction ranges from problems maintaining an erection through an erratic ability to have one to a complete inability to do so. As an issue distinct from erectile dysfunction where there is desire but a physical inability, males have also reported a lack of desire to engage in sexual intercourse. Ejaculation disorders, as a side effect of this medication, include problems with orgasms, producing a decreased volume of semen, a lowered sperm count, and a reduction in sperm motility. Potentially, dutasteride side effects may reduce a male’s fertility and ability to father a child while he is on the medication.
Another common side effect some individuals experience is disorders involving the breast. According to medical research, a small but statistically significant percentage of men will experience either breast tenderness or enlargement. Some may go on to have a breast discharge or develop breast lumps.
Drug interactions are another common concern when taking a prescription medication. There is a possibility for dutasteride to interact with several different classes of frequently-prescribed drugs. It may interact with certain antibiotics, high blood pressure medications, prescription pain medicines, antidepressants, and anti-fungal drugs as well as some medications used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
At the beginning of taking dutasteride, some patients may have a few side effects that temporarily affect how they feel. Headache, dizziness, muscle aches and pains as well as ear, nose, and throat infections are common but usually temporary side effects. An individual might just not feel generally well at the start. Physicians recommend that, although many dutasteride side effects may pass as an individual gets used to the medication, a doctor should be consulted about side effect that linger or are serious.