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Study Links Avodart to Heart Failure

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Avodart may pose a heart failure risk to men who take it to prevent prostate cancer.

According to the Associated Press, a study designed to test Avodart as a prostate cancer preventive found the higher heart failure risk. It involved 6,700 men with high scores from PSA blood tests but no sign of cancer on biopsy who were treated either with Avodart or a placebo.

While men in the study treated with Avodart were less likely to develop cancer, 30 men in that group developed heart failure, compared to only 16 treated with placebo.

Avodart was approved in 2002 is already approved to treat urinary problems, including enlarged prostate. On Monday, GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Avodart, asked the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the drug as a preventive treatment for men at high risk for prostate cancer.

GlaxoSmithKline acknowledged that the heart failure findings of the Avodart study were “unexpected.” However, the drug maker said the finding was inconsistent with other studies, and pointed out that further analysis suggests that men who developed heart failure while on Avodart also tended to be taking certain other drugs.

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