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Dr. Dean

New Drug Recommended For Hirsutism

Posting Date: 08/13/1999

Original broadcast date: July 14, 1999

Italian researchers say the drug flutamide can reduce excess body hair on women without affecting the body?s hormonal balance.

Flutamide ? a nonsteroidal anti-androgen often used to treat prostate cancer, shows more promise in reducing hirsutism than finasteride, which increases testosterone in women, according to a study published in Fertility and Sterility.




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At six months, women using flutamide had reduced hair diameters of 22.3 percent to 28.2 percent, compared to 18.9 percent to 23.6 percent by a group of women using finasteride. After one year, the flutamide group had reduced hair diameters of 47.7 to 56.5 percent compared to 29.6 to 37.9 percent in the finasteride group.

Overall, using a subjective scale of hirsutism, flutamide reduced the condition by 50.9 percent after 12 months, compared to a 34.2 percent reduction after 12 months on finasteride.

The researchers say that although flutamide has some side effects, including nausea in some women, it is considered the most effective treatment for abnormal hair growth in women with normal menstrual cycles and normal hormone levels.

I get a lot of correspondence asking about hirsutism and try to bring these studies to your attention for that reason. What we?re talking about here is unusual hair growth of unknown origin ? in other words, we don?t know what causes it.

Source: Fertility and Sterility, July 1999