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Breastfeeding: Not suitable
Dutasteride (in Avodart) is an active agent in an oral medication that effectively treats genetic male pattern hair loss on the top of the head and the mid-scalp area. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.
Dutasteride was developed to treat symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men. Chemically similar to Finasteride - the active compound in
Dutasteride is an inhibitor of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase which converts testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Unlike finasteride, which only inhibits the Type II form of the enzyme, dutasteride inhibits both the Type I and Type II forms. This dual effect makes dutasteride more effective than finasteride (Propecia).
As with other hair-loss medications, patients taking Avodart should take expect to wait a year or more before evaluating Avodart’s effectiveness.
During the first six months of treatment, you may observe some thinning of your existing hair. This may be due to the progression of your hair loss before dutasteride had a chance to work, or some shedding of miniaturized hair that makes way for the new hair growth. It is important to be patient during this period.
Effects on Hair Growth
Avodart is normally prescribed to treat enlarged prostate, however, it can also be prescribed 'off-label' to treat hair loss in men.
Click here to read studies on the effectiveness of Avodart in treating male hair loss 'off label'. 'Off label' means that the medicine is being used to treat a condition other than those that it was initially licensed to treat. For example, Avodart has been licensed to treat enlarged prostate but can also be used 'off-label' to treat male hair loss. This means that there is less established data regarding the effectiveness of this treatment for the condition which it is prescribed and means that the instructions contained in the product information leaflet will not match the condition you are treating. You should always follow the instructions on the dispensing label on your medicine and contact us if you have any questions.
Hair loss occurs when testosterone in the scalp mixes with 5 alpha-reductase and produces dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT is a potent derivative of testosterone and is believed to cause male pattern baldness when it binds to the receptor sites in hair follicles. Over time the DHT binds with these receptors, slowly choking the follicles’ ability to produces healthy hairs.
Side effects with Avodart can include:
Common side effects
These may affect up to 1 in 10 men:
If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in a different way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
0.5 mg dutasteride
Mono and diglycerides of caprylic/capric acid and butylated hydroxytoluene (E321).
Read the following warnings to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Do not take Avodart if:
Talk to your doctor before taking Avodart.
Contact you doctor or pharmacist with any questions about Avodart.
Other medications and Avodart
Tell your doctor if you take, have recently taken, or might take any other medication.
Some can react with Avodart and include side-effects. These medicines include:
Inform your doctor if you are taking any of these medications as you may need a reduced dose of Avodart.
Avodart with food and drink
Take Avodart with or without food.
Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility
Women who are pregnant or may be pregnant must not handle leaking Avodart capsules. They can absorb Dutasteride through the skin which can affect a male baby’s normal development. This is a severe risk in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Contact your doctor if a pregnant woman has touched dutasteride.
Driving and using machines
Avodart is unlikely to affect your ability to drive or operate machinery.
Avodart contains lecithin from soya
This may contain soya oil. If you have a peanut or soya allergy, do not use this product.
Read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medication and inform your doctor of medicines take or intend to take.
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Should you be unable to collect your missed delivery or arrange for your medication to be redelivered by Royal Mail, the pharmacy can resend your medication to the same, or a different address provided it has been returned to us and this happens within a
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You have the right to cancel your order up to the point when your treatment is dispatched. The pharmacist must destroy any medication within 30 days of it being returned, even un-opened boxes, so we are not able to offer refunds once your treatment has been dispatched.
We are currently unable to ship orders outside of the UK.
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Avodart contains dutasteride as the active ingredient and is only available as 0.5mg capsules.
Avodart 0.5mg capsules can be used to treat different conditions:
At The Independent Pharmacy is can be prescribed to reduce hair loss & promote hair regrowth in men.
It can also be used in patients that have an enlarged prostate. This is known as BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. For use in treating BPH, Avodart should be prescribed by your GP. This is because men with enlarged prostates require regular prostate exams and blood tests to ensure their treatment is safe and effective.
Male pattern baldness (hair loss) is caused bya combination of genetic factors and the male hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Blocking the production of DHT reduces hair loss and increases production of thicker hair.
The mode of action of Avodart is similar to Propecia. They both block the enzymes in the male body, 5-alpha reductase 1 and 2, that produce DHT. Propecia mainly blocks 5-alpha reductase 2 whilst Avodart blocks them both.
If you are going to have a prostate test, it is important to tell your doctor you are taking Avodart capsules. The unit of measurement for prostate measurement is your PSA or prostate specific antigen levels and Avodart can reduce these levels and effect the result.
To get the best results take one capsule daily. The capsule should be swallow whole with or without food. Ensure you do not chew or take a broken capsule as the contents can give you a sore mouth or throat.
Only take one capsule a day. Avodart is not any more effective if you exceed the recommended dose.
It best to start treatment as soon as possible after you have noticed hair loss and results are seen sooner if treatment is started within a year of hair loss.
Avodart normally causes the DHT levels to drop quickly but the hair follicles can then take months to recover and start growing thicker hair again. For this reason it is important to ensure you take Avodart every day and continue treatment for at least 6 months before assessing its true effect. It is a good idea to take photos of the areas affected by hair loss before you start treatment to allow you to compare them after 6 months and judge the effect.
It is important to start taking Avodart as soon as possible for hair loss. The more hair you have already lost, the harder it is to restarting the growth cycle.
During the inital stages of treatment you may find that you begin to shed some hair. This is a common side effect as damaged follicles shed thin or fine hair to enable thicker hair to grow in its place.
If you stop taking Avodart capsules, your DHT levels will return to their previous higher levels in less than a month. Over time you will then lose the hair you have regrown within 9-12 months.
Avodart 0.5mg capsules, like all medicines, carry some risks of side effects. These are usually low and typically affect around 1 in 100 men. They can include:
Difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection.
Decreased sexual desire.
Decreased production of seminal fluid (this does not effect sexual function).
Propecia and Avodart block the production of DHT. In a like-for-like study comparing Propecia 1mg tablets and Avodart 0.5mg Capsules, over 24 weeks, the results showed Avodart to have more hair; 94.6 hairs compared to Propecia which had 76.5 hairs.
The levels and effects of Avodart are increased with:
If your medication changes or you would like to take some over the counter remedies please check with us or a health professional first.
Avodart is not affected by alcohol.
Avodart does not cause drowiness nor does it affect your ability to drive.
It is thought to be safe to combine Avodart with the topical medicine Regaine. Regaine conatins monoxidil, which has a different mechanism of action to dutasteride (Avodart). Minoxidil increases blood flow to hair follicles. This helps more oxygen and nutrients to reach the area and increases the liklihood of hair growth. The combination of the two medicines may lead to more hair growth. Regaine is best started withtin five years of hair loss occurring, this makes it most likely to be effective.
Avodart and Propecia should never be used together.
Avodart is only for male use.
Avodart capsules should not be brought into contact with women of child bearing age. Dutasteride, the active ingredient, can be absorbed and go on to have effects on an unborn baby's sexual organs. If a woman of childbearing age comes into contact with Avodart capsules, especially if the capsules are broken, medical advice should sought immediately.
Avodart can sometimes be excreted in the ejaculate of men taking the medication. To help avoid the medicine coming into contact with women, a condom should be used whilst taking this medicine.
You need to stop the taking Avodart for at least 6 months before you intend to give blood. This is to ensure any blood given to pregnant women does not contain traces of the medication for reasons explained above.
There have not been any large studies to conclusively find the result of Avodart on male fertility. Current evidence available suggest that a small percentage of men (around 1%) will produce a lower volume of ejaculate wilst taking Avodart. This should be nothing to worry about, evidence suggest it is reversible on discontinuing the medicine and that it does not affect the abitlity to get an erection or hinder sexual performance.
As only the hair on the head is lost due to the effects of DHT, Avodart only affects the growth of hair on the head. It will not cause hair to grow in any other places.
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