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Dutasteride (Avodart)

Dutasteride, brand name Avodart, is a non-FDA approved oral medication treatment for male and female pattern hair loss.

Dutasteride

The Skinny


Average Recovery

0 days

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Pill

Surgical

No

Cost

$28 - $630

The Specifics


What is dutasteride?

Dutasteride (brand name: Avodart) is a prescription oral medication that is sometimes used for the treatment of hair loss, though it is not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dutasteride is a type I and type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that reduces the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and conversion of testosterone.

Anatomy of the Hair Follicle

Hair Follicle Anatomy Illustration

DHT is an androgen (male sex hormone) that lessens the size of hair follicles and leads to unhealthy hair. There are multiple common side effects associated with this therapy, most notably sexual dysfunction. Unlike Finasteride (Propecia) or Minoxidil (Rogaine), Dutasteride is not FDA approved for male pattern hair loss. This DHT inhibitor treats thinning hair, a receding hair, and bald spots. Dutasteride is also a formulation for BPH (an enlarged prostate).

What cosmetic concerns does dutasteride treat?

  1. Hair Loss: Through changes to DHT levels in the blood, dutasteride enhances hair shaft diameter and growth rate.

Who is the ideal candidate for dutasteride?

The ideal candidate for dutasteride is in the early stages of hair thinning or loss. Dutasteride is not recommended for individuals with liver disease, high grade prostate cancer, males with breast cancer, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (due to risk of birth defects).

What is the average recovery associated with dutasteride?

There is no recovery time from dutasteride use. Those on this hair loss treatment should regularly consult with their medical provider to ensure continued efficacy, appropriateness of use, and the possible discontinuation of therapy.

What are the potential side effects of dutasteride?

Possible side effects of dutasteride use include sexual dysfunction (impotence), decreased libido (sex drive), difficulty achieving orgasm, ejaculation dysfunction, edema in the breasts, hands, and feet, breast tenderness, changes in mood, dizziness, headache, runny nose, and skin rash (hives).

What can someone expect from the results of dutasteride?

The results of Dutasteride will develop gradually with about three months of regular and consistent use. To maintain results, the medication is taken indefinitely.

What is the average cost of dutasteride?

The average cost of Dutasteride is $25 to $630, but may be dependent on insurance. The actual cost of the dutasteride will vary by location, healthcare provider, and individual candidate needs.

Pros

increased hair growth

Cons

must use indefinitelycan cause birth defects

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
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Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Dutasteride can be used off-label for the treatment of male and female pattern hair loss. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after hair loss treatment with Dutasteride.

The Takeaway


Dutasteride, or brand name Avodart, is a non-FDA approved oral prescription drug used as a male pattern baldness hair loss treatment. Dutasteride affects the production of DHT to encourage hair growth and healthy hair follicles.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association Hair Loss: Tips for Managing aad.org
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff Hair Loss Symptoms and Causes MayoClinic.org
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