A New Treatment For Male Pattern Baldness

The last decade or so has seen several effective treatments to slow down or reverse the condition of male pattern baldness. One of the most recent medications to show excellent results in slowing down hair loss and promoting regrowth in men is Dutasteride (brand name: Avodart), produced by GlaxoSmithKline.

Approved in 2002 by the FDA for the treatment of non-cancerous prostate gland enlargement, this oral medication has also been shown to be effective in treating Male Pattern Baldness. Dutasteride (Avodart) works by interfering with the 5-alpha-reductase enzymes that cause the break down of testosterone and turn it into dehydrotestosterone (DHT) which itself causes hair loss. Another DHT inhibitor called Finasteride (brand name: Propecia) has been used to successfully treat hair loss for over 20 years. However, Dutasteride / Avodart appears to be more effective because it inhibits two types of 5-alpha reductase enzymes, as opposed to just one, in the case of Finasteride. In recent trials, Dutasteride / Avodart was shown to be up to 30 percent more effective.

Currently, Finasteride is the only oral medication approved by the FDA to treat hair loss, but a doctor can prescribe Dutasteride / Avodart to men seeking treatment for Male Pattern Baldness. GlaxoSmithKline has completed Dutasteride's Phase II trials for the FDA for the treatment of hair loss. Generic versions of Dutasteride are available under the brand names of Dutas, Duprost, and Dutagen.

The recommended dosage of Dutasteride / Avodart for treating Male Pattern Baldness is 2.5 mg per day. This amount has been demonstrated to block close to 100 percent of DHT that is responsible for hair loss. In most men, the medication will increase the number of scalp hairs and delay additional hair loss. Dutasteride / Avodart is not safe for women or children. As well, the capsules should not be handled by women who are pregnant or who are planning to become pregnant because of the potential risk of birth defects. The side effects of Dutasteride / Avodart are usually mild and disappear while on the medication. Impotence and decreased libido are the most common complaints.

The price of Dutasteride / Avodart can vary depending on where it is purchased. On average, a month's supply of the medication can cost US$100 to $150. Most health insurance plans in Western countries do not cover the costs associated with hair loss treatment.

If you are thinking of taking a course of Dutasteride / Avodart remember to consult with your health professional first, especially if you are considering purchasing the product over the Internet.