Around half of men will suffer from male pattern baldness. While the hereditary condition can affect men in their late teens or early twenties, it usually happens in later life; forty percent of men experience the first signs of male pattern hair loss by their late thirties.
It is not possible to cure complete baldness, but there are drugs, such as Dutasteride, which can help to reverse some of the signs of male pattern hair loss. As with any progressive condition, the sooner you treat it, the more effective the treatment.
Often, men are reluctant to seek medical advice about male pattern baldness. This can be due to embarrassment, because they don’t want to “waste” their GP’s time on a cosmetic issue, or because they simply don’t have time to make an appointment. In addition, the NHS does not fund hair loss medication such as finasteride or dutasteride. With Oxford Online Pharmacy, getting treatment for male pattern hair loss couldn’t be easier; simply add your medication to your basket, proceed to checkout and get your prescription from one of our friendly online consultants. If you choose next day delivery, your hair loss treatment could be delivered in just 24 hours.
Finasteride 1mg tablets are the only licensed oral hair-loss treatment in the UK – Dutasteride is licensed for other medical conditions and safe to take, where appropriate and approved by an appropriate prescriber. It is widely used to treat male pattern baldness, but people seeking oral hair-loss treatment in the form of generic Dutasteride should be aware of it’s “off-label” use for this condition.
Below, we answer your questions about Dutasteride:
Dutasteride is the active ingredient in the popular hair loss treatment, Avodart. Dutasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.
5-alpha reductase is an enzyme in the follicle that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. It is a sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone which causes hair follicles to narrow, causing progressively thinner, weaker hair to grow, resulting in baldness.
Everybody loses around 100 hairs a day, usually when washing or brushing the hair. This is part of the hair’s natural life cycle and when a hair falls out naturally, the follicle produces a new, healthy hair. In men with male pattern hair loss, increasing levels of the male hormone, testosterone, mean elevated levels of dihydrotestosterone. A 5-alpha reductase inhibitor such as Dutasteride inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, which means less sensitivity. This stops the hair follicles from narrowing, resulting in the return of thicker, healthy hair.
There are two types of 5-alpha reductase; the other popular hair loss treatment, Finasteride, inhibits type II 5-alpha reductase. Dutasteride inhibits both types and is much more potent than Finasteride. It is, therefore, viable treatment for male pattern baldness in men who have tried Finasteride with little, or diminishing, success.
Avodart and Dutasteride both contain the same active ingredient: Dutasteride. However, Dutasteride is a generic term, while Avodart is a brand name. While Avodart is widely trusted as a successful hair loss treatment, branded products usually cost significantly more than generic drugs, despite doing the same thing.
Usually, patients will need to take Dutasteride for around six months for visible improvements in hair thickness.
Some people may be allergic to Dutasteride. If you experience signs of allergy including a rash, hives, itching or swelling, stop taking the medication and tell your doctor straight away.
Up to ten percent of men using Dutasteride experience: impotence, reduced sex drive, difficulty ejaculating, or breast enlargement. Other, less common side effects include shortness of breath and heart problems. In addition, there have been rare reports of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts in patients taking this type of medication.
If you experience any side effects, consult your doctor before you continue taking the drug.
Usually, people who take Dutasteride or products with Dutasteride as the active ingredient do not experience withdrawal symptoms. However, men who have been taking Dutasteride for more than ten years, are aged over 60, suffer from Prostatic disorder and take specific medications (such as Flomax) have got a fifty percent chance of experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Most pharmacists and doctors will not prescribe Dutasteride unless other medications have been tried without success. During your online consultation, your physician will determine whether Dutasteride is an appropriate treatment for you. If they do not think that Dutasteride is appropriate, they will issue with an online prescription for an alternative hair loss treatment that they think will be more effective.
If you have any questions about online prescriptions or ordering Dutasteride, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The patient information leaflet is here: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.8917.pdf
The recommended dose is one capsule taken once a day. Swallow the capsules whole with water. Do not chew or break open the capsule. Contact with the contents of the capsules may make your mouth or throat sore.
Soya lecithin (E322)
See package leaflet for more information
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Allergic reaction Contact your doctor immediately if you get any of these symptoms, and stop using Dutasteride capsules. The signs of allergic reactions can include-skin rash (which can be itchy) -hives (like nettle rash) -swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, arms or legs.
Other side effects can occur with the following frequencies:
Common side effects (may affect up to 1 in 10 people) - not able to achieve or maintain an erection (impotence) *this may continue after you stop taking Dutasteride capsules -decreased sex drive (libido) *this may continue after you stop taking Dutasteride capsules -difficulty with ejaculation *this may continue after you stop taking Dutasteride capsules -breast enlargement or tenderness (gynecomastia) -dizziness when taken with tamsulosin
Uncommon side effects (may affect up to 1 in 100 people) - heart failure (heart becomes less efficient at pumping blood around the body. You may have symptoms such as shortness of breath, extreme tiredness and swelling in your ankles and legs) -hair loss (usually from the body) or hair growth
Not known side effects (frequency cannot be estimated from the available data) - depressed mood - pain and swelling in your testicles
Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme Website: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.