Compare Avodart vs. Flomax

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Avodart
(Dutasteride)

Flomax
(Tamsulosin)

Improves BPH symptoms and lowers your sense of urgency to urinate. Avodart (Dutasteride) can be helpful in lowering BPH symtoms and delaying your need for surgery.Makes it easier to urinate. Flomax (Tamsulosin) is a first-choice treatment for enlarged prostate, and it's available as a generic. However, it can cause changes in your sex drive and can take a while to kick in.
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Reviews & ratings
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Reviews for Flomax (Tamsulosin)
63%
37% vs. Avodart (Dutasteride)
44%
6% vs. Avodart (Dutasteride)
15%
15% vs. Avodart (Dutasteride)
Side effects
AvodartFlomax
  • Impotence 3%
  • Decreased libido 2%
  • Any side effect 1%
More Avodart side effects »
  • Inflammation inside the nose 10%
  • Dizziness 7%
  • Cough increased 3%
  • Infection 3%
  • Muscle weakness 3%
  • Back pain 2%
  • Sinus inflammation 2%
  • Drowsiness 2%
  • Nausea 1%
  • Tooth disorder 1%
More Flomax side effects »
How it works
AvodartFlomax
Avodart (Dutasteride) blocks the action of 5-alpha-reductase, an enzyme responsible for changing testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Lower DHT levels prevents the prostate from growing.Flomax (Tamsulosin) is an alpha-1 blocker. It specifically targets and relaxes muscles in your prostate, which makes it easier to urinate.
Type of medication
AvodartFlomax
Genitourinary
5-alpha reductase inhibitor
Prescription only
Alpha blockerPrescription only
Available as
AvodartFlomax
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
AvodartFlomax
Risk factors for serious side effects
AvodartFlomax
  • Men age 55 or older
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Breast-feeding
  • Men who are older
  • Taking medicines that cause sexual side effects
  • Medical conditions that cause sexual side effects
    Detailed Avodart (Dutasteride) risks & warnings »
    • Taking medications for high blood pressure
      • Cataract or glaucoma surgery
      • Alcohol use
      • Heavy exercise
      • Hot weather
        Detailed Flomax (Tamsulosin) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        AvodartFlomax
        XFDA pregnancy category (Unsafe)

        Research studies with real people or animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. If you’re pregnant, the risks to your unborn baby outweigh the benefits.

        See the FDA package insert
        BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

        Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.
        • People on Flomax (Tamsulosin) can be more likely to have heat stroke. Drink plenty of fluids if you're going to be in hot weather, especially if you're going to be exercising or drinking alcohol.
        Food
        • Take Avodart (Dutasteride) at the same time every day, with or without food.
        • Take this 30 minutes after the same meal every day.
        Kidneys and liver
        No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
        Sex
        • You might have a loss of sexual desire or arousal when you first start taking Avodart (Dutasteride).
        • It’s not that common, but some people had sexual side effects that continued after they stopped taking Avodart (Dutasteride) for BPH. Side effects included problems with erection and orgasm, low sex drive, and reduced amount of sperm. It was more likely to happen in older men, taking medicines that have sexual side effects, and who have conditions that cause sexual problems.
        • Can reduce sex drive.
        • Can cause changes in sex drive.
        • People on Flomax (Tamsulosin) can experience changes in their sex drive. Talk to your doctor if you find this bothers you.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        AvodartFlomax
        • Improves BPH symptoms, making it easier to urinate.
        • Patients taking Avodart (Dutasteride) in clinical trials had a 54-78% chance of seeing improvement in their symptoms.
        • If you're balding, Avodart (Dutasteride) can also help your hair grow back.
        • Most side effects go away after your body gets used to Avodart (Dutasteride).
        • Actually shrinks the size of your prostate, instead of only improving the symptoms like other BPH drugs (eg. Cardura or Hytrin).
        • Can be combined with Doxazosin (Cardura), an alpha-adrenergic antagonist, if your symptoms are more severe.
        • First-choice medication for relieving the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
        • Helps make urinating easier.
        • Available as a generic medication.
        • Also available in a combination form with another medication to treat more severe symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
        • Since it works only on the muscles around the prostate, it has fewer blood pressure and heart-related side effects than other medicines in the same class.
        Downsides and risks
        AvodartFlomax
        • Women who can get pregnant shouldn’t touch or handle Avodart (Dutasteride).
        • You need to take Avodart (Dutasteride) for at least 6 months before your prostate gets small enough for symptoms to improve.
        • Lowers your PSA level and can hide symptoms of prostate cancer.
        • Available as a generic medication.
        • Has to be taken the same time every day.
        • It can take up to one month to see the full effects of the medication.
        • Can reduce sex drive.
        • Flomax (Tamsulosin) can't be stopped suddenly, so you'll need to talk to your doctor about how to stop taking it safely.
        • It doesn't shrink the size of the prostate.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        AvodartFlomax
        • Take Avodart (Dutasteride) at the same time every day, with or without food.
        • Hang in there since it can take up to 3 months before you notice improvements.
        • You might have a loss of sexual desire or arousal when you first start taking Avodart (Dutasteride).
        • Swallow the capsule whole and don't open it since the powder can irritate your mouth.
        • Women who can get pregnant shouldn’t touch Avodart (Dutasteride).
        • Tell your doctor if you notice an unusual rash, swelling in your mouth, tightness in your chest, or trouble breathing.
        • Take this 30 minutes after the same meal every day.
        • Can cause dizziness, muscle pain, headache and stuffy/runny nose.
        • Can cause changes in sex drive.
        • Don't stop taking this medication suddenly without talking to your doctor.
        Learn more
        More about AvodartSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about FlomaxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert