What is Dutasteride?
Dutasteride can mostly be found to be sold under the Avodart brand name among a few others and is basically a prescription drug that is mostly available in the form of a capsule to be consumed orally. The drug is mostly used in the medication for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, commonly known as the enlarged prostate condition. Dutasteride is also used for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as pattern hair loss. The drug is mostly used in combination with several other drugs as a part of a treatment procedure known as combination therapy.
The drug was first developed by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and is a potent inhibitor of 5α-reductase. The primary purpose of this is to prevent testosterone, the androgen sex hormone, from converting to dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT, which has more powerful effects on the body of an average human being. The drug has also received the license for use in the treatment and remedy of androgenetic alopecia in the region of South Korea from the year of 2009. However, the license has not been issued for the use of this drug in the United States of America for the treatment of similar health conditions, even though the use of this drug continues through a variety of off-label products.
How does Dutasteride (Avodart) work?
The drug is most commonly used for the treatment of the many symptoms exhibited by benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. This condition is also commonly known as the enlargement of the prostate glands found within the human body. Another health condition in which this drug is used for treatment is the urinary blockage, as it greatly helps in the prevention as well as treatment for this condition. Usually, this drug is not administered by itself but is accompanied by a few other medicines, most notably tamsulosin.
The drug is known to be an enzyme inhibitor of the 5α-reductase that works to reduce the levels of a particular hormone known as dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This hormone is the primary reason for the growth and enlargement of the prostate glands. Hence, by lowering the levels of DHT in the human body, this drug reduces that chances of the enlargement of the glands and also shrinks the enlargements of the glands in case the condition is already present in the body. The use of Dutasteride is also effective as it reduces the necessity of prostate surgery by a great margin.
The drug also has a number of other uses when used in combination with other medicines. The benefits and uses of the drug vary with each different medicine that it is used with.
Benefits of Dutasteride
There are a large number of uses of Dutasteride in the field of medicine. Some of these uses and the conditions that can be treated with the use of this drug have been discussed below.
The medicinal properties and the effects of this drug are considered to be of great value for the treatment of prostate enlargement, a health condition that is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH in medical terminology. The use of the drug for the treatment of this health condition has also been approved by the FDA or the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America.
It has been seen with regular tests and studies that this drug has the capability of reducing and preventing the growth of prostate cancer. The drug comprises of a number of 5α-reductase inhibitors that include finasteride, and this helps to reduce the risk of the growth of prostate cancer to a great extent. It is, however, unclear whether there are any other side effects when the drug is used for the reduction and treatment of this health condition as there is no evidence of such.
Pattern Hair Loss
The use of the Dutasteride drug has been approved in the region of South Korea for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as pattern hair loss, among males. The administration of the drug is permitted ina minor dosage of a maximum of 0.5 mg a day. In fact, a large number of medical studies have shown that the use of Dutasteride has helped to increase the growth of hair in men much more rapidly than other medicines and treatment procedures. The drug has also many uses in the prevention and treatment of pattern hair loss in females.
Excessive Hair Growth in Women
There are very few scientific reports that can actually back this claim, but the use of the drug has been known to be very effective in the treatment of hirsutism in women. This medical condition is usually associated with the unnecessary and undesirable hair growth in the face or body of women. There have been experiments and studies based on the effects of the drug in women suffering from this medical condition, and most results have been positive. However, there is very little scientific evidence or proof to substantiate this claim or benefits of Dutasteride in such conditions.
How should you use Dutasteride?
The Dutasteride drug is usually available in the market in the form of capsules. So, you can simply swallow it by mouth. You must, however, swallow the whole capsule at once. Open-chewing the capsules or even crushing them before swallowing is not to be done as it may tamper with the effects of the medicine. The dosage of this drug may vary according to the prescriptions and instructions are given by different doctors and physicians.
Usually, it is required to be taken once a day and must be consumed along with food, but sometimes, without as well. However, the drug must be taken around the same time every day. It is critically important to maintain a 24-hour gap between two consecutive dosages. Users must also follow the instructions and directions for consumption maintained on the label of the medicine carefully. In case they fail to understand any part of the instructions, they must refer to their doctors and physicians who have prescribed the use of the drug. Use of the drug in excessive quantities or deviating from the directions mentioned on the prescription may cause the users to experience adverse effects of the drug.
How long does it take for the drug to show the results?
The effects of Dutasteride and the timeframe for the results to show may vary from one person to another. However, with regular administration of the drug according to the proper instructions may allow users to get visible results within 3-4 months of starting their medication. Within this time period, users will be able to see the drug having its effects on the symptoms of the health conditions mentioned above. Moreover, it may take at least 6 months or longer for the users to witness the full benefits of the drug in the treatment of these health conditions. Initially, the administration of Dutasteride will help in the reduction and prevention of the conditions, but with regular use, it can also be used to get a permanent cure.
What are the possible side effects experienced by users of this drug?
There are a few side effects that users of Dutasteride might experience. However, users must ensure that there are a few reasons behind the occurrence of most side effects. Administration of the Dutasteride drug in their proper dosage and by following the proper instructions and directions of the prescribing physician or the prescription might reduce the chances of the occurrence of such adverse effects. Some of the most common side effects of this medicine include:
- Developing or maintaining an erection for a longer duration during sexual intercourses. This side effect may also continue long after users have stopped the administration of Dutasteride.
- A steep decrease in the drive for sex.
- Problems with ejaculation and a decrease in the sperm count.
- Enlargement of breasts accompanied by pain in the enlarged areas. Users may also notice lumps in their breast regions with unexplained discharge from the nipples.
These are certain mild and short-term effects that mat recede after a few days. At most, users will be able to experience them for a couple of weeks before these occurrences subside. However, in case the effects continue for a long duration, and the conditions are severe and painful for the users, it is important that they consult their doctors and physicians immediately in order to come up with the proper remedial procedures to rectify the situation.
There are also a few highly serious and grave side effects that may occur among users of the Dutasteride. Some of these include severe allergic reactions that may include:
- Unexplained swelling in various parts of the body such as the throat, tongue or the whole face.
- Peeling and removal of the skin in various parts of the body.
- The occurrence and the development of prostate cancer can also be a severe and serious side effect resulting due to the use of this medicinal drug. Some of the symptoms of this condition are:
- Increase or rise in the concentrations of prostate-specific antigens or PSA.
- A steep rise in the frequency of urination.
- Difficulty and pain when starting and during the process of urination.
- Development of a weak flow of urine.
- Experiencing a painful or burning sensation at the time of urinating.
- Difficulty in developing or maintaining an erecting during sexual intercourses.
- Experiencing painful sensations at the time of ejaculation.
- The appearance of blood in the semen as well as urine.
- Experiencing excruciating pain and stiffness in the lower and upper hips regions as well as the thighs.
There is, however, an important need to reiterate the fact that many of these side effects are mostly seen among users who do not follow the prescriptions and the instructions laid out to them by their doctors. It is important to understand that Dutasteride is a powerful medicinal drug that works in a particular manner. If there is any kind of tampering with the mannerisms of its use, the possibilities of the occurrence of adverse side effects rise to a great extent!
Where can you get this drug?
There are a large number of websites and online stores that sell this medicinal drug. There are also a few pharmaceutical stores in the market where you can get Dutasteride. However, the sale of this drug is only permitted on the issuance of a prescription. Hence, you must ensure that you get a prescription from a certified doctor to be able to use this medicinal drug. Not only that, you must also consume the drug according to the instructions in the prescription as we have already seen what can happen if you do not do that. Moreover, you must also ensure that you purchase the drug from a store that has been licensed to sell the drug, as there are many scam websites that sell fake products of diminished quality.
Conclusion on Dutasteride
The Dutasteride drug has numerous benefits to offer users suffering from a variety of medical conditions. However, these benefits can only be obtained by users if they maintain proper dosage and regular timing. This will help them to get the best benefits of the drug in countering the negative impacts of their health conditions. This will also help them to greatly reduce the chances of the occurrence of any possible side effects, and ensure that they do not have to deal with any unwanted and unnecessary conditions.
Moreover, it is also critically important for users to ensure that they obtain and use the medicinal drug in their purest form. Hence, they should only buy Dutasteride from legitimate websites and stores so that they get the medicine with the perfect qualities. This will greatly help them to avail all various benefits that this drug has to offer. This also reduces the chances of any adverse effects to a great extent. Although discriminating between the real and the fake products may sometimes get a little difficult, but a fair amount of research and study can help a long way.
Sol Ruiz heads our Research Digest department. He graduated from the New York University where he obtained his Master’s Degree in Public Health.