Avodart as an Alternative Hair Loss Treatment

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The best known treatments for the most common hair loss condition – hereditary baldness – are Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride). These are the only drugs that have received an FDA approval for treating this condition. Rogaine is suitable for both sexes but Propecia can be only prescribed to male hair loss patients. Minoxidil, an active substance in Rogaine, is a hair growth stimulant whereas finasteride (Propecia) protects hair follicles from miniaturization caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the main culprit in causing hereditary baldness. Although there is no other treatment or drug approved by the FDA for treating hair loss (except for HairMax laser comb) there is a drug similar to Propecia which is being prescribed off-label to treat hair loss in men.

The name of this medication is Avodart (dutasteride) and it is an antiandrogen, in its effects similar to the aforementioned finasteride and thus also used to shrink enlarged prostates in men. Dutasteride exhibits yet stronger antiandrogenic properties than finasteride due to the fact that it is a dual 5-alpha reductase inhibitor so it inhibits both isoforms of this enzyme that help convert testosterone into the hair follicle harming DHT. Dutasteride was subjected to all three phases of human clinical testing to be approved for treating hair loss but the final study results have not been yet released and are not known to the public. Preliminary results showed, though, that dutasteride can significantly improve the hair loss condition and it might also help protect hair in the frontal scalp area.

However, dutasteride, being more effective in reducing the DHT levels and protecting the hair, could also have more severe side effects. Although preliminary study results have not confirmed that its side effects would be worse than those of finasteride, it is known to stay longer in human body after discontinuing the treatment. While the public is being kept waiting for the final study results to be released, some hair restoration doctors prescribe Avodart already now for hereditary baldness to patients who have been using Propecia for many years and can no longer expect further improvement. Dutasteride can also be prescribed to patients who no longer adequately respond to finasteride after many years of continued use of this drug. Some male hair loss sufferers who have used Propecia and no longer get satisfactory results from this pill buy Avodart (dutasteride), hoping it can give their hair some additional protection and regrowth. Like Propecia, Avodart is not suitable to women as it could damage the male fetus in pregnant women.