Dutasteride was patented in 1996 and was approved by the FDA mainly to cure the symptoms of an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men. It takes a few months for the drug to show its results. The shelf-life of dutasteride was found to be 2.18 years at room temperature. Its molar mass is 528.53 g/mol and its chemical formula is C27H30F6N2O2. Dutasteride has been introduced into the markets of many countries like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Korea, Japan and many other European countries as a generic medication.
Evidence also suggests that while dutasteride reduces the growth and presence of benign prostate tumors, it also has the potential to mask the early detection of prostate cancer. This in turn can delay the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. A side effect of prolonged usage of dutasteride is sexual dysfunction, like erectile dysfunction, loss of libido or reduced semen volume in men. Click here to know more about Dutasteride.
- Enlarged prostate – Dutasteride is used for the treatment of BPH, colloquially known as an enlarged prostate.
- Prostate cancer – Studies have found a decline of 25-26% in the risk of developing prostate cancer for those who have been regularly taking dutasteride.
- Scalp hair loss – Dutasteride is prescribed for the treatment of hair loss in male also called androgenetic alopecia.
- Excessive hair growth – Dutasteride and its variants have been found to be effective in the cure of hirsutism, a condition in which women have excessive facial and/or body hair growth.
- Transgender hormone therapy – Dutasteride, when combined with an estrogen or anti-androgen, is sometimes used for hormone therapy for transgender women.
Dutasteride is taken orally in the form of soft oil-filled gelatin capsules containing 0.5 mg dutasteride each. It is not to be used during pregnancy. The therapeutic dosage of dutasteride is 0.5 mg per day. But it can exceed up to 10 to 80 times the dosage without any significant side effects.
Dutasteride: Its substitutes
A potent substitute for dutasteride is finasteride but studies have found the former to be more effective in curing the indications and symptoms stated above in the article. However, the side effects were the same across both the medications.
Dutasteride is available widely throughout the world. It is a drug that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of various indications. It is extremely safe and hence no particular antidote for overdose of dutasteride has been administered. Studies have shown that it has no significant safety concerns despite consuming 100 times its therapeutic dosage. Adverse effects, if at all, may include headache and gastrointestinal discomfort. In some cases, acne and dizziness may also exist.
Pregnant women or women who are planning a pregnancy should not take this drug. Dutasteride can cause defects in newborns like ambiguous genitalia or under-masculinization in male fetuses. Patients being administered dutasteride must not donate blood to pregnant women and should not also donate blood for at least 6 months after the completion of the treatment.