Dutasteride is a chemical substance similar to Propecia’s finasteride in terms of its chemical structure and effects. Its branded form, known as Avodart, is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia but dutasteride has recently also completed Phase III clinical trials for treating male pattern baldness. Dutasteride is considered to be a more powerful DHT blocker than finasteride at half dose and has been proven to work better in the frontal area of the scalp. The final study results are pending. Dutasteride can only be used by adult males.
How Does Avodart/Dutasteride Work?
Dutasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, a similar type of drug to Propecia’s finasteride. However, it blocks both isoforms of this enzyme and is thus considered to be a stronger defence against the harmful effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) than finasteride. It has so far been mainly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, but a recently-conducted clinical study of its effects on hair loss has shown improved results in the frontal scalp area when compared with finasteride. Dutasteride protects the hair follicles from DHT by reducing the levels of this biologically active metabolite of the male hormone testosterone in the human body. If the treatment with dutasteride is abandoned, the DHT levels rise to their original level and the balding process resumes.
Possible Side Effects of Avodart/Dutasteride
Recognized side effects include lower libido, ejaculation disorders, weight gain and, less often, gynecomastia (breast gland enlargement). If such reactions occur, you are advised to interrupt the treatment and consult your doctor. These side effects are not too common but since dutasteride is a newer drug than finasteride, the exact percentage of patients affected has yet to be established. It is estimated that these side effects could be occurring with around 1% of patients.
Applications and Dosage of Avodart/Dutasteride
The recommended daily dose for treating hair loss is 0.5mg of dutasteride, which is one capsule daily. Dutasteride is sold under the trade name Avodart and is also used to treat prostate enlargement at the same dose. Increasing the daily dose over 0.5mg will not improve or speed up hair regrowth. Dutasteride can only be used by adult men.