(Avodart, Avolve) - a new, emerging treatment for hair loss DutasterideDIRECT.com
is your online source for news and information on the latest treatments
for hair loss. This FAQ has been compiled from a number of sources
to give an overview of the use and effects of Dutasteride.
is Dutasteride (Avodart, Avolve)?
Avolve is the European brand name for Dutasteride, an oral medicine
made by GlaxoSmithKline for treating symptomatic benign prostatic
hyperplasia (BPH) in men.
The active compound in Avolve,
Dutasteride, has the added benefit of treating genetic male pattern
hair loss on the vertex (top of the head) and the mid-scalp area.
Dutasteride is chemically similar to Finasteride, the active compound
Avolve is also known by its US
brand name, Avodart. The medicine has been approved by the US
Food & Drug Administration, and in Europe, for treating BPH.
Avolve is supplied in 0.5mg soft gelatin capsules.
does Avolve work?
Researchers have discovered that men who suffer from benign prostatic
hyperplasia (BPH), or from male pattern hair loss, have increased
levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT is produced from testosterone
by an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. Biochemical analysis reveals
higher levels of 5-alpha-reductase in the bloodstream of men with
BPH, and in the scalps of men with hair loss; and less of this
enzyme in men with no BPH or no hair loss.
Avolve inhibits 5-alpha-reductase,
blocking the formation of DHT. This interrupts a key trigger element
in both BPH and development of male pattern hair loss.
is dihydrotesterone (DHT)?
DHT is one of several male hormones in the body. DHT is responsible
for the development of the external genitals in the male foetus.
However, in adult males DHT appears to cause:
- male pattern hair loss
- prostate enlargement
- shortening of the growing phase of hair
- progressive miniaturisation of hair follicles
- decreasing number of visible hairs
How is Avolve different from Propecia?
Both medicines work in a similar way. However, Avolve (Dutasteride)
inhibits the activities of two types of 5-alpha-reductase enzymes.
In contrast, Propecia (Finasteride) only inhibits one type. Avolve
has been shown to decreases levels of DHT by 90% after only two
weeks, making it a more powerful and faster-acting weapon against
BPH and hair loss than Finasteride.
studies and trials have been done concerning Avolve?
A total of 2951 men with moderate to severe BPH were treated with
0.5 mg Avolve (dutasteride) daily. The study found that acute
urinary retention was reduced by 57%, and the risk of benign prostatic
hyperplasia-related surgical intervention was cut by 48% compared
with placebo. The drug was shown to be well tolerated.
GlaxoSmithKline also completed
Phase II trials for FDA approval of Avolve for treating hair loss.
After six month of treatment, the hair counts measured in a 1
inch diameter circle increased by an average 96 hairs with 0.5mg
Avolve daily, compared to an average 72 hairs with 5mg Propecia
So these initial trials show that
Avolve is around 30% more effective than Propecia in promoting
hair regrowth. However, please note that Avolve has only been
specifically approved for treating BPH. It has not yet been approved
specifically for treating hair loss.
will Avolve be approved for treating hair loss?
In November 2002 GlaxoSmithKline cancelled its planned Phase 3
trials for Avolve for treating hair loss. The company has not
publicly given a reason for this. Industry sources speculate that
the trials were stopped because the maker thinks Avolve will be
perceived as too similar to Propecia in consumers' minds, and
may not generate sufficient return on investment to justify the
cost of the approvals process as a treatment for hair loss.
However, Avolve is approved by
the US FDA and by European bodies for the treatment of BPH, and
so has passed all relevant safety standards.
Avolve help hair re-growth for all men?
As with Propecia, Avolve increases the number of scalp hairs,
helping to fill-in thin areas of the scalp. Although results will
vary, generally men will not re-grow all of the hair they have
lost. Male pattern hair loss occurs gradually over time, but Avolve
can significantly reduce or delay hair loss. Note that Avolve
is not yet approved for treating hair loss: its effects are a
side-effect of its actions against BPH.
Clinical trials showed that it was generally well tolerated. Most
side effects were mild or moderate and generally went away while
on treatment in both the Avolve and placebo groups.
Drug-related side effects during
the first six months were as follows:
impotence (4.7% vs. 1.7% for placebo)
decreased libido (3% vs. 1.4%)
breast tenderness and breast enlargement (gynecomastia; 0.5% vs.
ejaculation disorders (1.4% vs. 0.5%).
Avolve should not be used in women and children. Women who are
pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle this medicine
because of possibility of absorption and subsequent potential
risk to a male foetus.
Men treated with Avolve should
not donate blood until at least six months after their final dose
to prevent the medicine going to a pregnant woman through a blood
Men with liver disease should
talk to their doctor before taking Avolve.
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