Dutasteride is the generic name for a new dual 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, developed and manufactured by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. The drug has been marketed under the name Avodart™ in the United States and Avolve™ in Europe since December 2002.
The FDA has approved Dutasteride for treating BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia), the same condition that Proscar™, by made Merck, is used for. Dutasteride, like Finasteride, the active ingredient in Proscar and Propecia, also has the added benefit of being able to be used to treat genetic hair loss in men, also known as male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia.
The difference between Dutasteride and Finasteride, is that Dutasteride inhibits the activities of both the type 1 and type 2 5AR enzymes, unlike Finasteride which only inhibits type 2. These enzymes are responsible for the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the primary cause of prostate growth and hair loss, and Dutasteride decreases levels of DHT by 90 percent after only two weeks, making it a powerful weapon against hair loss.
How often do I take Dutasteride?
Dutasteride capusules are taken once daily. Continual usage for 3-6 months is crucial before results start to show.
Are there any side effects?
Dutasteride is very well tolerated in men, however a small proportion of patients do suffer some side effects. These can include headaches, allergic reaction, impotency and decrease in libido. These are however, often temporary and resolve when medication is stopped. Official figures show that only 2% of men experience any side effects.