This post on reviews from people taking oral Dutasteride (Avodart) to treat their hair loss is the most useful one on this site. At least till a hair loss cure arrives. There are close to 450 comments as of 2021, and I will delete most unrelated discussions. Originally published in February 2015.
Update: June 2021 — New Dutasteride and Finasteride study sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Involved some esteemed scientists and advisors, including Dr. Manabu Ohyama.
“Dutasteride may be more potent than finasteride in modulating the expression levels of key hair growth genes (e.g. FGF7, IGF1 and WNT5a). This study provides supporting evidence that type I 5AR may be involved in hair growth in addition to type II 5AR”.
Dutasteride (Avodart) for Hair Loss
I have written about Dutasteride (brand name Avodart) many times before on this blog. This drug was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostates).
Dutasteride has not yet been officially approved to treat hair loss in the US or EU. However, it was approved for that purpose in South Korea in 2010, and in Japan in 2015.
It seems like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) does not want to go through the approval process any more. They did do some clinical trials on Dutasteride and androgenetic alopecia. The results were published in 2018 and deemed a success.
In any event, the approval in South Korea and Japan is still a huge development. To date, only two drugs (Minoxidil in 1988 and Finasteride in 1997) have ever been approved by the US FDA to treat pattern hair loss. It has been almost 25 years since the last US approval of a drug to treat male pattern hair loss!
Before and After Photos
Make sure to see some before and after photos of people taking Dutasteride to treat their hair loss. Some of those are in people taking it in combination with Minoxidil. In the US, many people use generic Dutasteride (or Avodart) off-label to treat their hair loss. The most famous of these is Ashton Kutcher. Also see this favorable Avodart experience from Rick Rosner.
Hair Growth Prospects and Side Effects
Based on many existing studies and anecdotal evidence, it is virtually guaranteed that Dutasteride will result in superior hair growth/regrowth in comparison to Finasteride. However, the former will also result in higher rates of side effects compared to the latter. These higher rates of side effects are unlikely to be drastic enough for the FDA to deny GlaxoSmithKline permission to market Dutasteride for hair loss.
One 2013 article that reviewed numerous recent Finasteride and Dutasteride related studies suggests a 5-9 percent chance of erectile dysfunction. In most cases, such side effects are not permanent, although some people have seen permanent problems even after complete cessation of drug ingestion.
The big question is whether GSK will deem it worthwhile to produce and market Avodart for hair loss. Potential market and revenue prospects might not be sufficient enough to proceed. And they will also have to consider potential losses based on recent lawsuits against Merck regarding Propecia (Finasteride) side effects. Dutasteride will definitely have more people complaining of side effects in comparison to Finasteride.
Dutasteride for Hair Loss Reviews
In the meantime, rather than wait for the FDA and GSK, I have decided to write this post. I hope to see numerous comments from people who have tried to use Avodart to treat hair loss. Success and failure testimonials are both welcome.
By now, there must be well over 100,000 men around the world who have used Avodart off-label to try to regrow hair. When the drug was first approved in 2002 to treat enlarged prostates, people on online hair loss forums went berserk with excitement.
I hope to see many testimonials and comments to this post in the coming years. I will try to only allow specific comments and concerns related to the drug itself. Including opinions about side effects, cost (including the cost of generic Dutasteride), dosage and so forth.
I hope that this post and your helpful Avodart for hair loss reviews ends up becoming extremely useful. On hair loss forums: Dutasteride related testimonials are either not broken out in a separate subcategory; or swamped in number by Finasteride related posts.
It should also be noted that balding older men who have taken Avodart to treat their enlarge prostates have sometimes noticed hair regrowth in areas of their scalps that have been totally barren for many decades. You can read some of these encouraging testimonials in several of the below links.
Regrowing hair in totally bald scalps is extremely difficult and akin to a miracle with weak existing treatments. Even when effective, current hair loss treatments usually only maintain hair. At best, they regrow only recently lost hair.
Dutasteride (Avodart) Reviews: Links of Interest
- Hairsite has some good sections on Dutasteride testimonials.
- Drugs.com reviews (all for BPH) have a few interesting ones regarding hair growth as a side effect.
- Webmd.com reviews (all for BPH) have a few interesting ones regarding hair growth as a side effect.
- Rxlist.com reviews (all or BPH) have a few interesting ones regarding hair growth as a side effect.
- Dutasteride and Finasteride dosage discussion.
Note: Dutasteride is not meant to be used by women who are planning to get pregnant.