A recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that Avodart (dutasteride) reduces the risk of prostate cancer along the same lines as finasteride did in earlier studies. The study also shows that in those men on Avodart, there was an increased incidence of heart failure.
Here’s a snippet from the Associated Press article:
Full results of a big study testing a drug for preventing prostate cancer show a higher risk of heart failure, a surprise finding that could dampen enthusiasm for expanding its use.
On Monday, GlaxoSmithKline PLC asked the federal Food and Drug Administration to approve its drug Avodart as a cancer preventive for men at higher-than-normal risk of the disease. The drug is already sold for urinary problems, and no heart failure risks have been seen with that use, doctors say.
Results of a study testing it as a cancer preventive were given at a medical conference last year, but the heart risk information had not been analyzed at that time so only the main results of the study were presented, a Glaxo spokeswoman said. Full results are being published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.
The study involved 6,700 men with high scores from PSA blood tests but no sign of cancer on biopsy. They were given Avodart or dummy pills and new biopsies four years later. Prostate cancer was found in 25 percent of those on dummy pills and 20 percent of those on Avodart.
Read the full article — Study finds possible heart risk with prostate drug
As the article does mention, the heart risk could be a fluke, but it is important to study this further. Just another reason why I can’t endorse dutasteride for users that wish to take it for treating hair loss.