Avodart is a pretty serious name for a hair-loss treatment. That’s because Avodart is a prescription drug that was originally engineered as a treatment for prostate enlargement. Tests have shown that it could also be a major contender in the world of hair-loss prevention. No idea how on earth these guys made the leap from prostate to baldness, but we’ll run with it.
Unlike topical hair-loss treatments such as shampoos or gels, Avodart is an oral medication that claims to treat hair-loss from the inside out. Avodart is the brand name for the drug dutasteride, the primary active ingredient, which is also used to treat prostate enlargement. Avodart prevents hair-loss by blocking the male hormone that seems to cause hair-loss, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Avodart prevents two enzymes from converting regular testosterone to DHT, thereby preventing hair-loss and prostate enlargement.
Avodart is similar to other drugs that are also designed to treat prostate enlargement and hair-loss. However, Avodart has the ability to block two different kinds of enzymes, while its competitors only contain one enzyme blocker, arguably making Avodart twice as effective.
In addition to dutasteride, Avodart also contains the following ingredients:
Caprylic/capric acid, butylated hydroxytoluene, gelatin (from certified, BSE-free, nonporcine sources), glycerol, iron oxide yellow, lecithin, medium chain triglycerides, titanium dioxide, and iron oxide red.
When taking Avodart for hair-loss, the dosage requirements may be higher than when taking it to treat prostate enlargement. The standard dose is 0.5 mg per day, with or without food and the capsule should be swallowed whole. Consult your doctor as to what dose you should take for the drug to be effective. Avodart is also designed to be taken once a day at the same time each day. If you miss a dose, don’t double up the next day. Consult your doctor about how to resolve your missed dose.
Avodart can cost as much as $100 for a 30-day supply (0.5 mg per day). If you are taking a higher dose to treat hair-loss, the cost per month can be more.
Like almost all prescription medications, Avodart can have serious to mild side-effects. Some men taking Avodart may experience breast tenderness, decreased sexual desire or erectile dysfunction. However, you should stop taking Avodart and see a doctor if you experience tightness in your chest, difficulty breathing, a rash, hives, or itching, or swelling in the face, eyes, or lips.
Also, don’t forget to do your homework. Tell your doctor what other medications you are taking and investigate whether Avodart can be taken safely with your other medications. Some medications just don’t mix.
On a serious note, Avodart is for men ONLY. Women should never take Avodart and should not even handle the tablets as the drug can be absorbed through the skin. Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant should avoid Avodart as it can cause serious birth defects.
Effectiveness of Avodart
As a hair-loss prevention treatment, Avodart has had mixed reviews. Some users tout it as a miracle drug, an answer to prayer to end their hair-loss woes. Others reported that their results have been less than impressive: while they have seen a decrease in hair loss, they also experienced some of Avodart’s unpleasant side effects. These users wonder if the benefit is worth the price.
Some physicians are concerned with Avodart’s undetermined and—to date—under researched side effects. Avodart is not yet approved by the FDA as a treatment for hair-loss, which means there are still questions that must be answered.
Overall, Avodart is a very effective treatment for hair-loss, but may also come with unsavory side effects. Your success with Avodart may depend on your individual reaction to the drug. Thorough research and conversations with your doctor will help you determine whether Avodart is a fit for you.