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Bicalutamide (Casodex) - My experience

Discussion in 'Treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia' started by Bummer, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been on a couple different forums trying to find out any info from people who are using bicalutamide (generic form of Casodex) to see what their experiences are. So far I haven't gotten any responses, which could indicate that nobody else has tried it yet. Or that they just aren't on the forums. Whichever, I decided I might as well blog about my own experience since it might be beneficial to someone else at some point. It's hard to come by information on some of the drugs for Androgenetic Alopecia as it relates to women as most are not tested for use in our gender.

    A little history... In the past I've been on the following combinations of meds:

    Yasmin, Spironolactone 200mg/day, finasteride 5mg/day
    Zovia 1/50, Spironolactone 200mg/day, finasteride 5mg/day

    The above treatments helped clear up my (mild/moderate) acne, improved my hirsutism a bit, and got rid of my oily scalp, but ultimately did nothing for my hair loss. Switching from Yasmin to Zovia actually made my hirsutism a bit worse, which makes me wonder if it didn't also set me back a bit with the hair loss situation. Who knows. I'm scared to go back to Yasmin at this point because I'm fearful the drop in the estrogen dose will trigger a shed, which is not something I'm interested in dealing with right now.

    I am currently taking Zovia 1/50, finasteride 5mg/day, bicalutamide(Casodex) 50mg/day, Spironolactone 50mg/day (to help with the bloating caused by the OC), and Wellbutrin 150mg/day (to help offset the loss of libido due to taking the bicalutamide).

    The list above is way more meds than I ever wanted to take, but honestly, hair loss scares me more at this point, so I'm still willing to try anything.

    I'm almost done with week 11 on bical and so far my experience has been fine. I have monthly tests to make sure my liver enzymes are not elevated, as bical can potentially cause liver damage and so needs monitoring. I've had two tests so far and everything has been good up to this point.

    To catch up to current:

    Week 1-2 - Experienced headaches, dizziness (mild), felt a bit tired.

    Week 3-4 - No more headaches/dizziness. Started gaining a bit of weight, mostly around the mid-section. Also, lost my libido almost completely.

    Week 5 - No change in hair, but started Wellbutrin to counteract the libido loss. I call that drug my "crack" because it seems to give me some extra energy... but also makes it hard for me to sleep. Sorry to digress. I'll get back to the hair loss now.

    Week 5-9 - No change in rate of hair loss. Weight gain seemed to plateau around 5lb. and it won't go anywhere. Chest might have also expanded a bit, but not much.

    Week 10 - started noticing improvements in my hirsutism (mostly on my face). I also have noticed that I do not seem to be able to gain/maintain my muscle mass as easily as I used to on the other testosterone blockers. It's not too bad, only mildly noticeable.

    Week 11 - Shed seems to be a little more excessive this week. Also, I seem to be having... how shall I put this delicately... stomach issues, and the natrual consequence of that.

    That's all that has happened up till now. :p If I notice any changes (or if it is not effective for hair loss) I will post an update.
     
    Farrah711 likes this.
  2. mrm

    mrm Guest

    bummer,

    i think someone on this forum has taken casodex for years...i hope she chimes in...i am forgetting at the moment who it is but will write if i remember!

    mrm
     
  3. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    That would be much appreciated. :)
     
  4. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    Well, I guess it's about time to update this thing, even though I have nothing conclusive to report yet.

    For the last few weeks (starting at about the 3 month mark on bical) my hair has been in the low-normal range for shedding for me. I have a range of hair loss that basically goes from bad to not so bad. The last 3 weeks or so have been not so bad, but still mostly normal.

    I've also always had regrowth that comes along with the shedding. My hair at the ends is much more sparce than the top, because the top has lots of little sprouts of hair that never make it to full length, but thankfully it keeps most people (except me) from realizing that I'm losing my hair. Lately, I seem to have more of that hair, it is perhaps of a better quality and it also seems to be growing longer than per usual. But this is all subjective at this point.

    I'm going to attempt to upload some pics. One is of some "regrowth" along my temples and side-burns that seems slightly improved over a few months ago. The other picture is one that looks a bit like a rat's nest. But basically I brushed my hair to the side and everything that looks like a mess is the small hairs (normal, or perhaps an improvement on my normal regrowth) that are growing in along my part line.

    Basically the jury is still out on whether or not it is doing anything. My hair is still shedding, just at a reduced rate for the moment. It could revert or continue to improve. I guess I'll see what happens over the next month or so.
     

    Attached Files:

    Farrah711 likes this.
  5. Lost

    Lost Guest

    that looks like alot of regrowth to me!! :bravo:
     
  6. riloal

    riloal Guest

    Bummer, wellbutrin it,s known to cause hairloss in women. Drop it, and you will see zero hair loss
     
  7. Janie-Ann

    Janie-Ann Guest

    Hi, Bummer
    Maybe I missed it but...
    What kind of hair loss do you have? I think you mentioned Androgenetic Alopecia, but then talked about the hirsuitism and shedding... PCOS? A TE?
    What diagnosis of hair loss is Casodex prescribed to treat?
    thanks
    Good luck whatever is going on! :) Those short hairs look like regrowth, yay!
     
  8. Janie-Ann

    Janie-Ann Guest

    That's a pretty strong statement. Would you have any links to studies or research (not anecdotal reports)
    Thanks
     
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  9. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    Sorry, I think I wrote a bit of my history on a different thread but I really should have it all in one place. I have been losing my hair for approximately 5 years and the cause is Androgenetic Alopecia. It started with a TE from coming off my birth control pill and then after it stopped and grew back in the Androgenetic Alopecia kicked in. The oily scalp, acne and hirsutism are all caused by the same problems as the hair loss (basically sensitivity to testosterone or too much testosterone can contribute to all symptoms). I also have irregular periods but no abnormal weight gain or other health problems associated with PCOS and an ultrasound did not show cysts on my ovaries. One endo diagnosed me with PCOS and one said I just had hormonal hair loss and no PCOS, so who knows on that one.

    As for Casodex it is a very strong anti-androgen that is rarely taken by women. It is a second generation drug to flutamide (works in the same way but with fewer side effects and a longer half-life) which has been shown to be a bit more effective than Spironolactone/finasteride/cyproterone in studies at treating hair loss and other problems related to excess androgens.

    I started taking Wellbutrin 3 months ago. As previously mentioned I have been losing my hair for 5 years, so there's no way it is/was the cause of my hair loss. There are tons of drugs that have "hair loss" as a possible side effect, but I am unaware of anything difinitive about Wellbutrin, however I will look into it further. I have seen studies about improvements in libido which is the reason I'm taking it, so for now I will be sticking with it.
     
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  10. Janie-Ann

    Janie-Ann Guest

    Thanks so much for the reply, Bummer
    Please keep us posted
    Best,
    J-A <------- fingers crossed for hair growth for you
     
  11. mshistory

    mshistory Guest

    Thanks for the updates - I've never even heard of Casodex so it's always interesting to hear about different treatment options. I hope you start seeing huge improvements soon!
     
  12. riloal

    riloal Guest

    bummer, just google wellbutrin hair loss and you will see the testimonies. It doesn,t mean that everyone who takes it will lose hair. But if i were you i will drop the wellbutrin for 15 days, and see if your shedding stops or not. Just to be sure that wellbutrin hair loss it,s not happening to you.
     
  13. MariaT

    MariaT Guest

    Hi,
    I've been on Casodex for years. Maybe 8 or 9? I had a break of about 1 year for having a baby.
    My hair has slowly gotten worse over time.
    Judging by the other women in my family and the men too, I will venture to say that being on Casodex has probably kept me from getting as worse as I could have been.
    I've been thru a lot of stress (getting a divorce) in the last two years. It's really taken a toll on my hair.
    I'm also struggling financially right now and dont want to visit Dr. Redmond ($250) for an office visit in order to obtain a refill. He won't give me one over the phone. So once this bottle is finished, I'm not sure what I will do.
    Would love to see if there is a local doctor in NJ that would give me the prescription for it. But I have not found one.
    Maria
     
  14. megan99

    megan99 Established Member

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  15. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    Hey Maria,

    I'm sorry to hear that the Casodex did not stop your hair loss (I am skeptical that it will fix my problems either). However, it is a relief to hear about someone else that has taken the drug for that span of time without having any negative health consequences.

    I'm sorry about the worry about running out of the med. I haven't had any success finding anyone besides Redmond who will even think about writing an Rx for Casodex, which is one of the reasons I decided to go to him in the first place. I'm due for a "follow up" as well, so I'll be forking out the $250 very soon to be able to get my new Rx. I hope that you are able to find what you need without having to spend a ton to get it.
     
  16. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    Well, unfortunately I'm going to have to go with "unsuccessful" with the bical. It's approaching 5 months with no improvement on the med. I saw some decreased (low end of normal) shedding around the 3 month mark but it increased at the start of the fourth month and hasn't changed since. I should have at least seen an improvement by now if it was going to work. I'm curious if my "longer regrowth" is in fact related to changing from my Yasmin OC to a pill with 50mcg of estrogen and that resulted in an increase in the length of my regrowth. Eh, Who knows.

    On the plus side it improved my hirstuism which was nice, but not really the result I was hoping for (or at least not the only result I hoped for). I have done a decent amount of research on anti-androgens and (bical is a new deriviative of flutamide with a lower instance of side-effects) I have seen quite a few studies done on flutamide that indicate it works better than other anti-androgens for hair loss. However, there are increased dangers that come along with it. My point in saying that is, if someone were willing to risk the possible side effects and their doctor thinks it is a reasonable treatment option, bical probably has the best chance of working for someone (based on studies of it's predecessor drug) and I wouldn't want someone to read my blog and think it has no chance of working.

    Just to be clear, I'm not endorsing using the drug. I'm just saying that while it didn't work for me there is a decent chance it would work for someone else with Androgenetic Alopecia.
     
  17. m83

    m83 Established Member

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    Hi Bummer, MariaT
    I'm also considering asking Redmond for Casodex. I'm curious if you two are still on it at this point? Some background - I was a patient of his and was on his usual cocktail of Spironolactone/finasteride/yaz until 2012 when I stopped to have a baby. I ended up having two babies and my hair is pretty terrible at this point. I want to try some more meds before going the topper route and I figure I might as well try something stronger than Spironolactone because I was never really very happy with Spironolactone. It helped my shed slightly and I saw some stabilization but no regrowth.
     
  18. eggplant

    eggplant Established Member

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    I too am curious about anyone who has taken bicalutamide (or even flutamide). The Spironolactone is doing nothing for me, and I'm at a point where I don't care about any medical risks.
     
  19. Bummer

    Bummer Established Member

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    Hello M83 & eggplant,

    Sorry for the late reply/update. I haven't been on these boards for a long time. So strangely, I'm going to claim some limited success from Casodex. Within a year of my last update on this thread, I shaved off my hair and started bonding a topper. Four years after shaving and bonding I decided to grow my hair back. So I've been growing my hair out for the last 1.5 years and do not currently wear any supplemental hair. I don't think my hair thickened up at all, but if it's gotten worse in the past 5-6 years it's not noticeable. My hair does seem to shed a bit more than I think is normal, but after this length of time having alopecia I can no longer claim to know what "normal" is and my hair doesn't seem to be thinning.

    So - conclusion on Casodex after 5-6 years: seems to have halted the hair loss, but I don't think I regained any hair and I may or may not have a higher than average shed still. I've stopped obsessing and don't really monitor the shedding anymore so I can't really comment on that part.

    Side note: I started out taking one 50mcg pill per day. Now I take one or two pills per week, depending on when I remember to take them.

    I tried to upload a pic but I'm getting an error message that the image is too large. I will see if I can figure out how to get a pic loaded so you can see what my hair looks like after 11+ years of hair loss and 5+ years on Casodex.

    - - - Updated - - -

    image.jpg

    Hopefully that pic uploaded. This is the state of my hair today. Alopecia for 11+ years, various other anti-androgens that didn't work for about 5 years, and Casodex for 5 years.

    Sorry, it's not the greatest pic, but anything taken with a better camera was too many kb to upload.
     
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  20. eggplant

    eggplant Established Member

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    Thank you for the update!
     

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