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Medical Treatment of Hair Loss

February 25th, 2008

Q: I heard that there is a new drug on the market called Avodart for prostate enlargement which might help with hair loss as it blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT better than Finasteride and is more effective than Propecia. Do you recommend taking it and if so what is the dose? — Y.B., Orlando, Florida

A: I am currently not recommending that patients take Dutasteride for hair loss, although it is more effective than Propecia, finasteride 1mg. (Dutasteride 0.5, the dose generally used for hair loss, seems to be slightly more effective than finasteride 5m in reversing miniaturization.)

The reasons that I am hesitant to prescribe it at present are outlined in the Hair Restoration Answers question, “Is Avodart Safe?

In addition to the reasons that I listed in that response, I would also consider that: Dutasteride, unlike finasteride, decreases sperm counts, it can result in persistent decreased sex drive and the incidence is greater than with finasteride. Finally there are a significant number of alpha-type 1 receptors in brain, those affected by dutasteride, but not finasteride.

However, since Dutasteride is approved for older men with prostatic disease, using it for hair loss in this age group (usually in a lower dose) is reasonable.

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Updated 2017-12-11


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