Testing Strut Health's Dutasteride Formula

TanDoc

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Thank you for this in depth contribution! Part of me now feels slightly worried as I'm currently using Strut's topical finasteride. It has only been two months but the temple on my left hand side, which started thinning after the right, is growing in almost to the hairline (at a lower density then it was prior to the loss).

Do you have any input on their topical finasteride formulation? I tried to check your comments first but they're restricted.
FYI, while there has been work on many different delivery systems/carriers in the past few years, there isn't a clear consensus/drug standard yet for the single "best" (talking longevity, scalp/systemic absorption, stability) way to deliver topical finasteride. I'm also not aware of any products out there right now that claim to actually replicate a blend that was used in one of the clinical/research studies. Perhaps the OP (with his background) can chime in if he's aware of any such products.

Given that even ethanol/water in a gel was found effective for hair loss in one of the early clinical studies, it seems topical finasteride is a lot harder to screw up if we're talking about just doing something for your hair (the Iranian study by Hajheydari et al way back in 2009 found that a solvent of 60% ethanol / 40% water, with simple hydroxylpropyl methylcellulose as a gelling agent/viscosifier, and 1% finasteride was as effective as finasteride tablets for hair loss - http://www.bioline.org.br/pdf?dv09011). I don't know what Strut's blend of topical finasteride is exactly, but it should be pointed out that topical finasteride formulations seem generally a lot harder to make screw up and make "non-effective".

If anyone knows the ingredients list, it would be an interesting topic of discussion. Particularly interested to hear what the OP has to say about the Strut formulation as well, given his background.
 
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TanDoc

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They linked me to the following information page that lists the ingredients:

Here they are listed out for the gel formula in case the link gets deleted:
Krisgel® [Polyacrylamide, C13-C14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxypropylcellulose], Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Lavender Oil (Fragrance), Peppermint Oil (Fragrance), Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), Biotin, Copasil® Pharmaceutical-Grade Base Gel
My grad degree isn't in chemistry/drug formulation, but I can give it an attempt.

Krisgel 100 - contains several gelling agents, turns this into a gel
Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides - oil (as a humectant?)/antioxidant (+preservative) properties
Butylated Hydroxytoluene - antioxidant/preservative
Lavender Oil (fragrance) - worthless, product would be better without it (no data supporting its use for androgenetic alopecia)
Peppermint Oil (fragrance) - worthless, product would be better without it (no data supporting its use for androgenetic alopecia)
DMSO - used to increase skin absorption, and as a solvent
Biotin - questionable (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28879195/ , https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28628687/)
Copasil - silicones - forms a film/barrier against the skin (barrier, and may improve the skinfeel of the product?)

My guess is that the product is fairly shelf-stable.

My personal feelings are that drugs should be formulated to exclude ingredients that things that lack clinical data/may confound/affect the effectiveness of the active ingredient (the essential fragrances and biotin namely). I'm not a fan of the inclusion of silicone as well, especially if it's simply for skin-feel (it's not like finasteride or caprylic triglycerides will evaporate into the air, as far as I'm aware).

I found a paper (Ahmed and El-Say 2016) describing topical finasteride that was micronized into microplates to help with absorption. Their formulation also contained hydroxypropylcellulose (common gelling agent) and DMSO (common solvent/skin absorption agent). I don't believe Strut micronizes/microplates the drug the same way though, and these guys were using a new preparation method. That paper showed high permeation through rat skin over 24 hours. Again, the formulation is also very different. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26993962/

A couple questionable choices here and there, but I applaud them for actually putting a product out there.

There really isn't enough human research out there published on ideal topical finasteride/topical dutasteride formulations (or comparing the formulations), so it's hard to make conclusions about whose product works better. The studies (almost all with different formulations) do show that topical finasteride works though, so it's difficult to be picky about the few formulations out there.

I don't really prescribe/work with dermatological drugs though, so I'll admit my knowledge here (and on formulating them) is kinda of limited. Curious what OP knows, and his thoughts on transdermal drug formulation and "Krisgel".
 

TanDoc

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Thank you so much for the input! Your background is clearly relevant and it's nice to have you here. I am quite happy with my results so far, I mainly come around for the people that are being held back by the AA horror stories. I try to present my side as a counter argument: healthy diet, regular exercise, mental health are greater cause for concern than topical finasteride.
You're welcome! The recognition is appreciated.

And absolutely true... diet, exercise, mental health are of far larger concern, like you mention.

Hopefully we can hear more from the OP as well.
 

Ralph Wiggum

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Thanks for writing this - I was actually just about to start Strut's oral Dustasteride. You mentioned that you had a current source that is cheaper (and, presumably, more trustworthy) - would you mind sharing the info?
 

notoriousone

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An update for those curious:

After work today, I spent some time analyzing Strut's Dutasteride. I was able to isolate the Dutasteride species from the capsule by simply mixing the collected powder in pure water. Since Biotin is soluble in water and Dutasteride is not dissolved in an aqueous solution, vigorous mixture of all powder content in 60 mL of pure water left me with weighted Dutasteride amassing .6 mg. Using Tandem Mass Spectrometry, I attempted to detect any buffer agents that would theoretically assist Dutasteride in becoming more bioavailable after digestion-- I was incorrect. There was NO detection of buffering or stabilizing agents and it is pure, powderized Dutasteride. I was hoping Strut's pharmacists were more sophisticated in their formula, and added supplementary inactive ingredients that I could test by administering the compound in lab rats and measuring their serum DHT over time to analyze bioavailability, as well as comparing the efficacy to traditional, lipid delivered Dutasteride, but this is not necessary. The pharmacodynamics of powderized Dutasteride are well established and indicate it is not readily bioavailable, which is precisely why GlaxoSmithKline and generics deliver the compound in a lipid-based vehicle that maximizes Dutasteride availability.

In addition to wrapping this up, over the weekend, I was contacted by the partner pharmacy of Strut Health after requesting their formula, and I was told by their pharmacist that their latest version of this compound was "under development" and it is to be expected that their oral Dutasteride formulation changes in the coming months.

For those interested in OD from Strut Health, I recommend waiting or finding a different source.
Did you end up finding a source for low dose dutasteride? I have had similar problems with Strut and am looking for a .1mg dutasteride capsule or .5mg tablet I can cut myself (assuming it will still be bioavailable?)
 
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