By Paul Taylor
Most Avodart side effects are exactly the same as those for Propecia. These include risks relating to reproductive organs, libido and depression (1).
However, there are a few extra risks you need to know about. This review reveals what they are, and also takes a look at generic Avodart.
Both dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Propecia and Proscar) are FDA approved prescription only drugs.
Avodart and Proscar treat men with an enlarged prostate gland, and Propecia treats men with hair loss (androgenetic alopecia).
And dutasteride and finasteride also work the same way too (by suppressing the enzyme 5-alpha reductase from converting testosterone into the much stronger dihydrostestosterone).
So, straight away, it’s easy to see
why most Avodart side effects are similar to those of finasteride. Learn about the side effects of finasteride?
However, there is a big difference between these two drugs.
Dutasteride blocks both 5-alpha reductase types 1 and 2, whereas finasteride only blocks type 2 (1).
This makes dutasteride more effective and so only a smaller amount is needed to treat the prostate – just 0.5 mg of dutasteride (as an Avodart capsule) compared with 5 mg of finasteride (as a Proscar pill).
As for hair loss, finasteride is prescribed at a much smaller dose (a 1 mg Propecia pill).
But, dutasteride does not have FDA approval to treat hair loss. So, whilst the optimum dose of dutasteride to treat hair loss will obviously be less than 0.5 mg, the exact dose is unknown.
This creates all sorts of problems for any man who finds finasteride ineffective and then wants to try dutasteride instead:
1. He will first need an off-label (i.e., for use not as shown on the label) prescription by a doctor who’s willing to help provide him with a drug outside its intended use.
2. If a doctor did help him (some do by the way) he would then need to somehow split each Avodart capsule (which contains dutasteride as a messy gel) into smaller portions so he can get a regular daily dose.
3. But, since the optimum dose is unknown, he might then take a higher dose than he needs (which, of course, can increase the risk of Avodart side effects developing).
4. Dutasteride stays inside the body much longer than finasteride
does. This means that it can easily accumulate if the dose is too high.
So, if Avodart side effects do develop, they’re likely to last
It’s quite clear then, that using drugs to treat hair loss can create many potential problems.
Some men who fail to get their doctor to prescribe Avodart for their hair loss (which will probably be almost all doctors) may be tempted to try and get hold of the drug from the Internet instead (i.e., perhaps where no prescription is needed, and it’s a lot cheaper).
So would the side effects be any different if you tried a generic version of Avodart?
In theory, the side effects from generic Avodart should be exactly the same as they are for the brand name version.
But, there is a possibility that some other excipient ingredient (i.e., something that the brand name version does not contain) might cause some other adverse reaction.
Clearly, if any
man who chose to use dutasteride for his hair loss were to overdose,
he should report this to his doctor (i.e., even if he
didn’t notice any side effects).
Suppose someone had been taking Propecia for quite some time* but not seen any hair regrowth effects. They could start wondering whether blocking 5-alpha reductase type 1 as well as type 2 would make a difference.
So they might then start thinking about trying Avodart instead.
* It could take a year before you know whether Propecia is working (2).
But if they can't get a doctor to prescribe Avodart for them (or are worried about any of the problems mentioned in this review) they might try taking saw palmetto alongside Propecia instead. That's because, like dutasteride, saw palmetto also blocks both 5-alpha reductase type 1 and type 2 (3).
Note though, that saw palmetto is a much weaker anti-androgen than drug products. So, depending on the dose taken, saw palmetto will most probably have a much lesser effect than dutasteride.
Hair loss can make many men feel truly desperate for a solution. And willing to try almost anything to keep their hair, or promote hair regrowth to get it back.
But hopefully this review has shown that choosing Propecia, Proscar or Avodart may carry risks, can involve a degree of complexity and, overall, might not be such a good idea.
This is page 2 of 2.
Read previous page? Finasteride side effects.
(1) Adverse Effects and Safety of 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors (Finasteride, Dutasteride): A Systematic Review. J.M. Hirshburg, P.A. Kelsey, et al. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016 Jul; 9(7): 56–62. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5023004/
(2) Finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride Male Pattern Hair Loss Study Group. Kaufman KD, Olsen EA, Whiting D, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Oct;39(4 Pt 1):578-89. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9777765
(3) Comparison of the potency of 10 different brands of Serenoa repens extracts. Scaglione F, Lucini V, et al. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012;16:569–574. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22774395
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