Dutasteride: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 2 of 3)

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Dutasteride is not indicated for use in women. There is no information available on the presence of dutasteride in human milk, the effects on the breastfed child, or the effects on milk production.

8.3 Females and Males of Reproductive Potential


Males: The effects of dutasteride 0.5 mg/day on semen characteristics were evaluated in normal volunteers aged 18 to 52 years (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 timepoints 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 [see Warnings and Precautions (5.6)].

8.4 Pediatric Use

Dutasteride is not indicated for use in pediatric patients. Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Of 2,167 male subjects treated with dutasteride 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 (12.3)].

8.6 Renal Impairment

No dose adjustment is necessary for dutasteride in patients with renal impairment [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Hepatic Impairment

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 (12.3)].


In volunteer trials, single doses of dutasteride up to 40 mg (80 times the therapeutic dose) for 7 days have been administered without significant safety concerns. In a clinical trial, daily doses of 5 mg (10 times the therapeutic dose) were administered to 60 subjects for 6 months with no additional adverse effects to those seen at therapeutic doses of 0.5 mg.

There is no specific antidote for dutasteride. Therefore, in cases of suspected overdosage, symptomatic and supportive treatment should be given as appropriate, taking the long half-life of dutasteride into consideration.


Dutasteride 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, an intracellular enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT.

Dutasteride is chemically designated as (5α,17β)-N-{2,5 bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl}-3-oxo-4-azaandrost-1-ene-17-carboxamide. The empirical formula of dutasteride is C27 H30 F6 N2 O2 , representing a molecular weight of 528.5 with the following structural formula:


Dutasteride is a white to pale yellow powder with a melting point of 242° to 250°C. It is soluble in ethanol (44 mg/mL), methanol (64 mg/mL), and polyethylene glycol 400 (3 mg/mL), but it is insoluble in water.

Each dutasteride capsule, administered orally, contains 0.5 mg of dutasteride dissolved in a mixture of mono-di-glycerides of caprylic/capric acid and butylated hydroxytoluene. The inactive excipients in the capsule shell are ferric oxide (yellow), gelatin (from certified BSE-free bovine sources), glycerin, and titanium dioxide. The capsules are printed with edible black ink containing black iron oxide, hypromellose and propylene glycol.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Dutasteride inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT. DHT is the androgen primarily responsible for the initial development and subsequent enlargement of the prostate gland. Testosterone is converted to DHT by the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase, which exists as 2 isoforms, type 1 and type 2. The type 2 isoenzyme is primarily active in the reproductive tissues, while the type 1 isoenzyme is also responsible for testosterone conversion in the skin and liver.

Dutasteride is a competitive and specific inhibitor of both type 1 and type 2 5 alpha-reductase isoenzymes, with which it forms a stable enzyme complex. Dissociation from this complex has been evaluated under in vitro and in vivo conditions and is extremely slow. Dutasteride does not bind to the human androgen receptor.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Effect on 5 Alpha-Dihydrotestosterone and Testosterone

The maximum effect of daily doses of dutasteride on the reduction of DHT is dose dependent and is observed within 1 to 2 weeks. After 1 and 2 weeks of daily dosing with dutasteride 0.5 mg, median serum DHT concentrations were reduced by 85% and 90%, respectively. In patients with BPH treated with dutasteride 0.5 mg/day for 4 years, the median decrease in serum DHT was 94% at 1 year, 93% at 2 years, and 95% at both 3 and 4 years. The median increase in serum testosterone was 19% at both 1 and 2 years, 26% at 3 years, and 22% at 4 years, but the mean and median levels remained within the physiologic range.

In patients with BPH treated with 5 mg/day of dutasteride or placebo for up to 12 weeks prior to transurethral resection of the prostate, mean DHT concentrations in prostatic tissue were significantly lower in the dutasteride group compared with placebo (784 and 5,793 pg/g, respectively, P <0.001). Mean prostatic tissue concentrations of testosterone were significantly higher in the dutasteride group compared with placebo (2,073 and 93 pg/g, respectively, P <0.001).

Adult males with genetically inherited type 2 5 alpha-reductase deficiency also have decreased DHT levels. These 5 alpha-reductase-deficient males have a small prostate gland throughout life and do not develop BPH. Except for the associated urogenital defects present at birth, no other clinical abnormalities related to 5 alpha-reductase deficiency have been observed in these individuals.

Effects on Other Hormones

In healthy volunteers, 52 weeks of treatment with dutasteride 0.5 mg/day (n = 26) resulted in no clinically significant change compared with placebo (n = 23) in sex hormone-binding globulin, estradiol, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, thyroxine (free T4), and dehydroepiandrosterone. Statistically significant, baseline-adjusted mean increases compared with placebo were observed for total testosterone at 8 weeks (97.1 ng/dL, P <0.003) and thyroid-stimulating hormone at 52 weeks (0.4 mcIU/mL, P <0.05). The median percentage changes from baseline within the dutasteride group were 17.9% for testosterone at 8 weeks and 12.4% for thyroid-stimulating hormone at 52 weeks. After stopping dutasteride for 24 weeks, the mean levels of testosterone and thyroid-stimulating hormone had returned to baseline in the group of subjects with available data at the visit. In subjects with BPH treated with dutasteride in a large randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, there was a median percent increase in luteinizing hormone of 12% at 6 months and 19% at both 12 and 24 months.

Other Effects

Plasma lipid panel and bone mineral density were evaluated following 52 weeks of dutasteride 0.5 mg once daily in healthy volunteers. There was no change in bone mineral density as measured by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry compared with either placebo or baseline. In addition, the plasma lipid profile (i.e., total cholesterol, low density lipoproteins, high density lipoproteins, triglycerides) was unaffected by dutasteride. No clinically significant changes in adrenal hormone responses to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation were observed in a subset population (n = 13) of the 1-year healthy volunteer trial.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics


Following administration of a single 0.5-mg dose of a capsule, time to peak serum concentrations (Tmax ) of dutasteride occurs within 2 to 3 hours. Absolute bioavailability in 5 healthy subjects is approximately 60% (range: 40% to 94%). When the drug is administered with food, the maximum serum concentrations were reduced by 10% to 15%. This reduction is of no clinical significance.


Pharmacokinetic data following single and repeat oral doses show that dutasteride has a large volume of distribution (300 to 500 L). Dutasteride is highly bound to plasma albumin (99.0%) and alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (96.6%).

In a trial of healthy subjects (n = 26) receiving dutasteride 0.5 mg/day for 12 months, semen dutasteride concentrations averaged 3.4 ng/mL (range: 0.4 to 14 ng/mL) at 12 months and, similar to serum, achieved steady-state concentrations at 6 months. On average, at 12 months 11.5% of serum dutasteride concentrations partitioned into semen.

Metabolism and Elimination

Dutasteride is extensively metabolized in humans. In vitro studies showed that dutasteride is metabolized by the CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 isoenzymes. Both of these isoenzymes produced the 4′-hydroxydutasteride, 6-hydroxydutasteride, and the 6,4′-dihydroxydutasteride metabolites. In addition, the 15-hydroxydutasteride metabolite was formed by CYP3A4. Dutasteride is not metabolized in vitro by human cytochrome P450 isoenzymes CYP1A2, CYP2A6, CYP2B6, CYP2C8, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP2E1. In human serum following dosing to steady state, unchanged dutasteride, 3 major metabolites (4′-hydroxydutasteride, 1,2-dihydrodutasteride, and 6-hydroxydutasteride), and 2 minor metabolites (6,4′-dihydroxydutasteride and 15-hydroxydutasteride), as assessed by mass spectrometric response, have been detected. The absolute stereochemistry of the hydroxyl additions in the 6 and 15 positions is not known. In vitro , the 4′-hydroxydutasteride and 1,2-dihydrodutasteride metabolites are much less potent than dutasteride against both isoforms of human 5 alpha-reductase. The activity of 6β-hydroxydutasteride is comparable to that of dutasteride.

Dutasteride and its metabolites were excreted mainly in feces. As a percent of dose, there was approximately 5% unchanged dutasteride (~1% to ~15%) and 40% as dutasteride-related metabolites (~2% to ~90%). Only trace amounts of unchanged dutasteride were found in urine (<1%). Therefore, on average, the dose unaccounted for approximated 55% (range: 5% to 97%).

The terminal elimination half-life of dutasteride is approximately 5 weeks at steady state. The average steady-state serum dutasteride concentration was 40 ng/mL following 0.5 mg/day for 1 year. Following daily dosing, dutasteride serum concentrations achieve 65% of steady-state concentration after 1 month and approximately 90% after 3 months. Due to the long half-life of dutasteride, serum concentrations remain detectable (greater than 0.1 ng/mL) for up to 4 to 6 months after discontinuation of treatment.

Specific Populations

Pediatric Patients: Dutasteride pharmacokinetics have not been investigated in subjects younger than 18 years.

Geriatric Patients: No dose adjustment is necessary in the elderly. The pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of dutasteride were evaluated in 36 healthy male subjects aged between 24 and 87 years following administration of a single 5-mg dose of dutasteride. In this single-dose trial, dutasteride half-life increased with age (approximately 170 hours in men aged 20 to 49 years, approximately 260 hours in men aged 50 to 69 years, and approximately 300 hours in men older than 70 years). Of 2,167 men treated with dutasteride in the 3 pivotal trials, 60% were age 65 and over and 15% were age 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between these patients and younger patients.

Male and Female Patients: Dutasteride is contraindicated in pregnancy and is not indicated for use in women [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. The pharmacokinetics of dutasteride in women have not been studied.

Racial and Ethnic Groups: The effect of race on dutasteride pharmacokinetics has not been studied.

Patients with Renal Impairment: The effect of renal impairment on dutasteride pharmacokinetics has not been studied. However, less than 0.1% of a steady-state 0.5-mg dose of dutasteride is recovered in human urine, so no adjustment in dosage is anticipated for patients with renal impairment.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment: 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.

Drug Interaction Studies

Cytochrome P450 Inhibitors: No clinical drug interaction trials have been performed to evaluate the impact of CYP3A enzyme inhibitors on dutasteride pharmacokinetics. However, based on in vitro data, blood concentrations of dutasteride may increase in the presence of inhibitors of CYP3A4/5 such as ritonavir, ketoconazole, verapamil, diltiazem, cimetidine, troleandomycin, and ciprofloxacin.

Dutasteride does not inhibit the in vitro metabolism of model substrates for the major human cytochrome P450 isoenzymes (CYP1A2, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4) at a concentration of 1,000 ng/mL, 25 times greater than steady-state serum concentrations in humans.

Alpha-adrenergic Antagonists: In a single-sequence, crossover trial in healthy volunteers, the administration of tamsulosin or terazosin in combination with dutasteride had no effect on the steady-state pharmacokinetics of either alpha-adrenergic antagonist. Although the effect of administration of tamsulosin or terazosin on dutasteride pharmacokinetic parameters was not evaluated, the percent change in DHT concentrations was similar for dutasteride alone compared with the combination treatment.

Calcium Channel Antagonists: In a population pharmacokinetics analysis, a decrease in clearance of dutasteride was noted when coadministered with the CYP3A4 inhibitors verapamil (-37%, n = 6) and diltiazem (-44%, n = 5). In contrast, no decrease in clearance was seen when amlodipine, another calcium channel antagonist that is not a CYP3A4 inhibitor, was coadministered with dutasteride (+7%, n = 4).

The decrease in clearance and subsequent increase in exposure to dutasteride in the presence of verapamil and diltiazem is not considered to be clinically significant. No dose adjustment is recommended.

Cholestyramine: Administration of a single 5-mg dose of dutasteride followed 1 hour later by 12 g cholestyramine did not affect the relative bioavailability of dutasteride in 12 normal volunteers.

Digoxin: In a trial of 20 healthy volunteers, dutasteride did not alter the steady-state pharmacokinetics of digoxin when administered concomitantly at a dose of 0.5 mg/day for 3 weeks.

Warfarin: In a trial of 23 healthy volunteers, 3 weeks of treatment with dutasteride 0.5 mg/day did not alter the steady-state pharmacokinetics of the S- or R-warfarin isomers or alter the effect of warfarin on prothrombin time when administered with warfarin.

Other Concomitant Therapy: Although specific interaction trials were not performed with other compounds, approximately 90% of the subjects in the 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled safety and efficacy trials receiving dutasteride were taking other medications concomitantly. No clinically significant adverse interactions could be attributed to the combination of dutasteride and concurrent therapy when dutasteride was coadministered with anti-hyperlipidemics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-adrenergic blocking agents, calcium channel blockers, corticosteroids, diuretics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), phosphodiesterase Type V inhibitors, and quinolone antibiotics.


13.1 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 Chinese hamster ovary 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 times the MRHD (animal doses of 0.05 mg/kg/day or greater for up to 31 weeks) based on mean serum concentration resulted in dose-and time-dependent decreases in fertility at all doses; 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 (cytoplasmic vacuolation of tubular epithelium in the epididymides and/or decreased cytoplasmic content of epithelium, consistent with decreased secretory activity in the prostate and seminal vesicles) in the reproductive organs at all doses in the absence of paternal toxicity. 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 microscopic changes were no longer present at Recovery Week 14 at 0.1 times the MRHD 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 treated males (10 to 500 mg/kg/day for 29 to 30 weeks) which are 16 to 110 times the MRHD based on mean serum concentration. No feminization occurred in male offspring of untreated female rats mated to treated male rats even though detectable blood levels of dutasteride were observed in the female rats.

In a fertility study in female rats with dosing 4 weeks prior to mating through early gestation, oral administration of dutasteride at doses of 0.05, 2.5, 12.5, and 30 mg/kg/day resulted in reduced litter size due to increased resorptions and in feminization of male fetuses (decreased anogenital distance) at 2 to 10 times the MRHD (animal doses of 2.5 mg/kg/day or greater) based on mean serum concentration, in the presence of maternal toxicity (decreased body weight gain). Fetal body weights were also reduced at approximately 0.02 times the MRHD (rat dose of 0.05 mg/kg/day or greater) based on mean serum concentration, with no no-effect level, in the absence of maternal toxicity.

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