Dutasteride is a drug used for the treatment of an enlarged prostate in males.
Dutasteride which is sold under the brand names Avodart and Duodart among others is a treatment primarily used to treat an enlarged prostate. It requires several months of use before any benefits occur.
Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Dutasteride is a drug prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men suffering from an enlarged prostate.
Dutasteride helps to improve the urinary flow and can also help in the reduction of any need for prostate surgery at a later date.
Dutasteride is a 5 alpha-reductase enzyme inhibitor known as a hormone antagonist that helps prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
It actually works by lowering the levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is known to be the major cause of prostate growth.
Lowering DHT helps in the shrinkage of an enlarged prostate gland.
Dutasteride is often prescribed with another medication called Tamsulosin.
As with all medication always be careful to read the instructions provided with each of your prescriptions.
Dutasteride for Hair Loss
As seen in the chart above it works like Finasteride in suppressing which is why it is thought to be beneficial for hair loss.
It is important to check with your doctor before you start using Dutasteride:
Some medical conditions may interact with Dutasteride. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
if you have heart failure, urinary tract problems, or problems urinating
if you have a history of abnormal liver function tests, prostate cancer increased serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels or liver problems
Take by mouth with or without food.
Swallow Dutasteride whole. Do not break, crush, chew, or open before swallowing.
Take Dutasteride on a regular schedule to get the most benefit from it.
Continue to take medication even if you feel unwell. Do not miss any doses.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible if you remember the same day.
Dutasteride works in a similar way to finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia (finasteride) hair loss treatment. They are both oral tablets, taken daily, that work by inhibiting the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme that is responsible for converting testosterone to DHT. DHT is the hormone associated with male pattern hair loss and prostate gland enlargement.
Dutasteride also inhibits an additional 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which means in theory that it is a stronger treatment than finasteride. This also means that the side effects can be stronger too.
There have so far been no UK clinical trials conducted into the safety and effectiveness of dutasteride in the treatment of hair loss. It is approved in the US for the treatment of BPH, but isn’t currently approved in the US or the UK for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Dutasteride isn’t available for the treatment of hair loss, but you can buy Propecia which contains the active ingredient finasteride, which slows hair loss and promotes the growth of new hair.
Dutasteride is approved for the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia in *South Korea and Japan at a dosage of 0.5 mg per day. It has been found in several studies to improve hair growth in men more rapidly and to a greater extent than 2.5 mg/day finasteride.
The superior effectiveness of dutasteride relative to finasteride for this indication is considered to be related to the fact that the inhibition of 5α-reductase and consequent prevention of scalp DHT production is more complete with dutasteride. Dutasteride has also been used off-label in the treatment of female pattern hair loss.
Finasteride or Dutasteride
Finasteride and Dutasteride are both inhibitors of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase which impedes the change of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
In a clinical trial men with hair loss between eighteen and forty years of age received 0.5 mg dutasteride or 1 mg of finasteride on a daily basis for twenty four weeks.
The primary efficacy variables were hair counts in the target area from global photography evaluation by blind and non-blind investigators.
The secondary variable was an assessment using questionnaire. Patients were evaluated monthly for side effects.
Both of the test groups displayed very similar side effect profiles, the most common and reversible side effect was sexual disfunction.
Dutasteride was found to be more effective than Finasteride and the side effects were comparable.