Let’s start at the beginning by first describing what Avodart is. Avodart is a prescription medication that is available on the market to treat multiple conditions such as difficulty urinating, reducing the size of your prostate and more. Its generic name is Dutasteride, which you might be more familiar with. Avodart was approved in South Korea to treat male pattern hair loss in 2009, however, in the United States it has not been approved by the FDA as a hair loss treatment.
It is used commonly as an off-label drug, but it has been proven effective in treating hair loss for men and women. While many have seen positive results from this drug, it is controversial due to some side effects. Read on to learn more about it.
How Does Avodart Work?
Men who have male pattern hair loss have high levels of DHT (the hormone dihydrotestosterone). As a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, Avodart blocks the production of DHT, which in turn can increase the hair count and fill in thin areas of the scalp.
While the results of taking Avodart will vary depending on the person, most users will not fully regrow all the hair that they have lost. They will, however, see an improvement in new hair growth.
Is Avodart Effective?
There is one prescription on the market that is cleared for use by the FDA, and that is Finasteride. When comparing the two drugs, Avodart has shown to block 90+ percent of DHT, where Finasteride blocks only 70 percent.
This was found in a study with 399 patients. When using the same 5mg daily dose, researchers found that dutasteride (generic Avodart) blocked 98.4 percent +/-1.2 percent of DHT. Finasteride only blocked 70.8 +/- 18.3 percent with the same dosage.
The study also found that dutasteride (Avodart) was more consistent at blocking DHT. The group who took dutasteride had a level of variability of +/- 1.2 percent, which shoed almost a full elimination of DHT. This was far less of a variation as the finasteride group had a +/- 18.3 percent level of variability.
So what does this mean? It means that Avodart is more consistent and more effective at blocking DHT than the current prescription drug on the market, finasteride. However, once again it’s important to note that finasteride is the only drug that has been approved by the FDA for hair loss.
Side Effects of Avodart
When taking any prescription medication, you run the risk of seeing potential side effects; Avodart is no different. The reason that there are side effects with this 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor is because they do more than simply reduce your DHT level on your scalp. Instead, they reduce DHT levels throughout your entire body, which means that you will see overall lower levels of the hormone, which can cause problems including:
- Low libido
- Difficulty orgasming
- Low testosterone
- Low sperm count
- Irregular ejaculation
Because Avodart is stronger at decreasing DHT than finasteride is, you are more likely to experience these problems when you take it.
The other issues that you could face include:
- Increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer
- Masks the detection of early-stage prostate cancer
- Chance of Gynecomastia
- Swelling of the face
- Trouble breathing and severe dizziness (a serious allergic reaction)
How To Get Avodart
Currently, there is no way to get a prescription for Avodart. In a current hair loss study for Avodart/Dutasteride, results have been released to the American Academy of Dermatology and the results are very promising. They have been submitted to the FDA.
This means that Avodart might be available for a hair loss treatment sometime in the next year. Until then, the only way you’ll be able to try Avodart for your hair loss is if you also have a problem pertaining to your prostate.
Now that the clinical studies have been completed, Avodart is on pace to become the latest hair loss treatment in 2020 (hopefully). It has been proven to be a more effective treatment than the current option available through the pharmacy, however, like all drugs it does come with side effects.
Once approved, if you’re ready to give Avodart a try, speak with your doctor to discuss if this is the right treatment to help reverse your hair loss.