Category Archives: GlaxoSmithKline

Dutasteride Works when Finasteride Fails

In 2021, the single most important drug in the fight against hair loss remains Dutasteride (brand name Avodart). However, it is not approved for that use by the US FDA. I have written numerous past posts on Dutasteride to treat male pattern hair loss.

The most useful one remains my Avodart reviews for hair loss post due to the vast number of reader comments. Also see my posts on Dutasteride injections (also knows as mesotherapy).

Dutasteride v/s Finasteride Dosage and DHT Reduction
Dutasteride reduces more Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) than Finasteride.

Dutasteride more Potent than Finasteride

Every week I search PubMed for the latest papers on Dutasteride and hair loss. This week, I discovered an important new June 2021 study that was just published. It is titled:

“Change in hair growth-related gene expression profile in human
isolated hair follicles induced by 5-alpha reductase inhibitors: dutasteride and finasteride.”

The findings of this study are quite interesting and related to something similar that I published in 2014 (see old post at bottom). Note that this latest work was led by Japanese researchers and funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of Avodart.

It is encouraging to see GSK still interested in Avodart for hair loss. They will almost certainly not try to get the drug approved to treat hair loss in the US or EU. To date, Japan and South Korea remain the only countries where you can officially use Dutasteride to treat hair loss.

In the rest of the world, the drug is prescribed to treat enlarged prostates (BPH) in older men. For hair loss, you need off-label prescriptions. Also note that on average, side effects from Dutasteride are worse than from Finasteride.

Although GSK is headquartered in the UK, this particular research was affiliated with the company’s Singapore subsidiary. Professor Manabu Ohyama (who I have covered in the past) gave advice on the study protocol and methodology.

Key Findings

The key findings of this latest paper on Dutasteride (and Finasteride) include:

  • Dutasteride and Finasteride both suppressed the negative effects of testosterone on hair-related gene expression.
  • In particular, the gene expression for growth factors FGF7, IGF1 and WNT5a.
  • Dutasteride may have a stronger inhibitory potency to increase growth factor expression than Finasteride.
  • Dutasteride’s greater efficacy on hair growth in comparison to Finasteride is possibly due to the inhibition of 5α-reductase Type 1; or due to greater inhibition of 5α-reductase Type 2 by Dutasteride when compared to Finasteride. My note: most likely both issues are at play per next conclusion.
  • The authors claim that there results suggest that: “Type I 5 alpha reductase may play an important role in hair growth along with Type II 5 alpha reductase.

I forgot that this issue of the significance of Type 1 5α-reductase in relation to hair loss is still unresolved. My guess is that Type 1 is significant, but not quite as significant as Type 2. Dutasteride attacks both Type 1 and Type 2, while Finasteride only attacks the latter.

Make sure to also read my post on destroying androgen receptors on the scalp.

June 8, 2014

Dutasteride Works when Finasteride Fails

An interesting study by South Korean scientists was recently published in “The International Journal of Dermatology”.  It measured the effect of Dutasteride on men with androgenetic alopecia unresponsive to treatment with Finasteride.

They took 35 balding people who did not see any improvement while on Finasteride 1 mg/day for 6 months. They then put those same people on Dutasteride 0.5 mg/day for 6 months.  31 of those patients completed the 6 months of treatment.  Hopefully, the 4 who stopped treatment did not stop due to experiencing significant side effects.

Over three-quarters of these 31 patients saw at least some increase in hair count. Only 1 patient had a marked improvement, while 6 patients had a moderate improvement and 17 patients had a slight improvement. The remaining 7 patients did not see any improvement or worsening.

Side effects included transient sexual dysfunction in 6 patients (17.1%).

Generic Dutasteride Cost

After I wrote a post on the cost of generic finasteride last year, I received several requests to write one on the cost of generic dutasteride. However, the reason for my not being able to do that right away was because the patent for Avodart (the original brand name dutasteride that is made by GlaxoSmithKline) only ran out late last year. It took a few more months before generic Avodart became readily available.

Generic Dutasteride (Avodart) varieties and types.
Generic Dutasteride.

Note that dutasteride has only been approved to treat hair loss in South Korea and Japan as of the time of writing this post. In the US and EU, it is approved to treat enlarged prostates, but not yet for hair loss. I am optimistic that this situation will change in the next several years, but no guarantees.

As I have mentioned many times on this blog before, dutasteride (see positive and negative reviews and testimonials) is likely to give substantially superior results in comparison to finasteride when it comes to treating hair loss. But at the same time, likely to cause more frequent side effects.

Do your research carefully before deciding to proceed with such a strong drug and always discuss taking it with your doctor before proceeding.  In rare cases, it seems like the side effects from both finasteride and dutasteride can be permanent.

Note that various online sites now offer coupons for drug purchases if you are buying them with cash and not paying via insurance. Perhaps the most popular one is GoodRx, which has coupons for numerous drugs, including for dutasteride. For those not in the US, feel free to provide your country’s prices and discount options in the comments to this post.

Note: Prices and brands at the same pharmacy chains may vary by US state. Also keep in mind that many stores may price match or have internal savings plans.

Generic Dutasteride Cost Table

Country of manufacture entries in the below table could be off and I have not tried to go through product brochure attachments on company websites for now to try to find out.

Teva Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Israel, but a pharmacist told me their generic dutasteride was made in the US. The Breckenridge Pharmaceuticals website says it is based in the US, but a Costco employee told me that the packaging on their generic dutasteride says its made in New Zealand.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals website says that 95 percent of its products are made in the US and 5 percent are made in India. GSK is headquartered in the UK, but it seems like the company’s Avodart is made in the US. Please let me know country of manufacture if you purchase any of the below and find errors in my table.

Pharmacy NameAvodart (0.5 mg) — 30 pillsCompany Name (Country of Manufacture)Generic Dutasteride (0.5 mg) — 30 pillsCompany Name (Country of Manufacture)
Costco$190GSK (US)$21Breckenridge
Pharmaceuticals (New Zealand)
CVS (Target now seems to house CVS)$207GSK (US)$172Teva Pharmaceuticals (US/Israel)
Rite Aid$222GSK (US)$173Amneal Pharmaceuticals (US)
Safeway$232GSK (US)$203Amneal Pharmaceuticals (US)
Sam’s Club$190GSK (US)$100Teva Pharmaceuticals (US/Israel)
Walgreens$206GSK (US)$182Amneal Pharmaceuticals (US)
Walmart$195GSK (US)$157Teva Pharmaceuticals (US/Israel)