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Understanding Dutasteride - How It Works & Risks

Dutasteride For Hair Loss – Understanding Its Benefits, and Risks

Understanding Dutasteride - How It Works & Risks

Dutasteride has been crafted to treat benign enlargement of the prostate gland. It is an off-label prescription to treat male pattern baldness. In fact, Dutasteride is a superb drug for hair loss because it effectively slows down hair loss in men.

Understanding Dutasteride: An Overview

Dutasteride prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Since Dutasteride lowers DHT levels, it is excellent for treating male pattern balding.

What is Dutasteride?

Dutasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. It prevents testosterone from converting to DHT – the hormone that triggers male pattern baldness. A 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor effectively wards off DHT from reaching the hair follicles, thus stopping their miniaturising. Consequently, since the hair follicles don’t shrivel up there will be no hair loss and balding.

History and Development of Dutasteride:

In 1996, Dutasteride was patented and it first found its way into research literature in 1997. Dutasteride received an FDA approval for the treatment of benign enlargement of the prostate in 2001; and was sold under the brand name Avodart. Dutasteride was approved to manage hair loss in South Korea in 2009 and in Japan in 2015. However, the drug has not been approved for the treatment of male pattern balding in the United States; regardless, it is used off-label.

How does Dutasteride work?

Dutasteride blocks the action of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase, and this prevents the body from converting testosterone into DHT. DHT causes miniaturisation of the hair follicles and hair thinning in genetically susceptible males.

The hair follicles in the hairline and the crown shrivel up and shrink, leading to a receding hairline and balding. If neglected, there will be progressive hair loss through the years and widespread balding will set in.

Dutasteride prevents the conversion of testosterone into DHT by 90%, slows down hair loss and corrects male pattern hair loss. Dutasteride is one of the most successful non-surgical treatments for hair loss in males.

The Benefits of Dutasteride for Hair Loss:

Dutasteride is a fantastic preventative as well as a corrective drug for hair loss. It drastically slows down and even at times stops hair loss.

Reversing Baldness with Dutasteride:

Dutasteride slows down and halts hair loss and thus thwarts balding; however, it can not regrow hair if the hair follicles are dormant. It can’t reverse balding. Moreover, once you stop Dutasteride, the benefits stop as well, and hair loss will set in once again.

Administering Dutasteride Effectively:

Dutasteride tablet is an off-label prescription. Your doctor will prescribe 0.5mg of Dutasteride orally once every day.

The Importance of Consistency in Using Dutasteride:

When you are on Dutasteride treatment, you need to be consistent with the regimen. Stopping and restarting Dutasteride will be counter-effective and will affect the outcome of the therapy.

If you happen to miss a dose, take it when you remember. If it is almost close to the time of your next dose, skip the one you’ve missed. Never double the dose to make up for the missed one.

Potential Side Effects and Risks Associated with Dutasteride:

As is with any medicine that you take, there are bound to be benefits as well as side effects. Understand the side effects associated with Dutasteride and in case you suffer from any of the side effects, immediately get in touch with your doctor.

Common Side Effects of Dutasteride:

Studies reveal that Dutasteride is quite safe and well-tolerated, even at high doses. Nevertheless, some people do complain of a few undesirable accompanying effects. Common side effects of Dutasteride include –

Serious Side Effects of Dutasteride - When to Seek Medical Attention:

Precautions and Contraindications in Using Dutasteride:

Conclusions: Is Dutasteride Worth Trying?

Dutasteride sure is a valuable tool for stopping hair loss and boosting hair growth; nonetheless do keep in mind that it is not going to act once you’ve discontinued the treatment. Also, it can not reverse balding. Alongside, when you use off-label treatments, there are potential side effects for you to consider.


In addition, Dutasteride is not FDA-approved for hair loss, thus you need to exercise extra care and precaution.


Also, do bear in mind, that there are other treatment programs such as Finasteride, Minoxidil, diet and supplements, lifestyle modifications and minimally invasive procedures such as GFC and PRP. These treatment regimens are effective and help thwart hair loss and encourage good hair growth too.

Then again, there has been substantial research done on the drug and there haven’t been any serious side effects. You need to discuss with your doctor weigh out the pros and cons, and see if Dutasteride is a good match for you.

Making the Personal Decision to Try Dutasteride:

Dutasteride is a relatively popular medication to treat hair loss; however, deciding to start dutasteride treatment calls for a lot of understanding and commitment. The side effects associated with the drug do take a toll on the body; fortunately, the undesirable effects fade away once you stop the medicine. You must have all the vital information to make an informed decision about whether Dutasteride is for you or not. Read all the information that there is about the drug discuss it with your doctor at length and then take your decision.


Dutasteride takes 3 to 6 months to show some results and it will take 12 months of consistent treatment before you see significant improvements. By 1 year, you will be able to assess the re-growth of hair accurately. You may notice a little thinning of the existing hair during the first few months of starting dutasteride, but this is temporary and is the shedding of miniaturised hair.

Both medications, Dutasteride and Finasteride are extremely effective in treating hair loss; however, research shows that Dutasteride is somewhat more effective.


Researchers found that those who took Dutasteride had thicker hair and a higher hair count compared to those who used Finasteride. This is attributed to the fact that Dutasteride is to some degree more effective in preventing more testosterone from getting converted to DHT. Finasteride is a type 2 5ARI, whilst Dutasteride is a type 1 as well as type 2 5ARI. Because of this, there is a more noteworthy decrease in the levels of DHT. Finasteride brings down DHT levels by approximately 70 %; while Dutasteride lowers DHT levels by 90%.


Additionally, experts found that Dutasteride has a longer half-life, which means, it stays in the body for a longer period of time, thus providing greater hair growth benefits.

Clinical trials show that those who have been using Finasteride for 5 years or more and who have seen a relapse in hair loss after an interval of improvement will benefit from Dutasteride.

Yes, you can have an integrated approach to Dutasteride treatment. Doctors often combine Finasteride with oral or topical Minoxidil and hair transplant.

Clinical trials show that oral Dutasteride is way more effective than oral Minoxidil to treat hair loss in men.


Dutasteride was shown to have a bigger likelihood of being really effective at treating male pattern baldness. Results demonstrated that 0.5 mg of oral Dutasteride was more effective than 5mg of Minoxidil.

Dutasteride is absolutely not recommended for women and children. Pregnant women need to be extra cautious. Research reveals that dutasteride can cause genital anomalies in male foetuses, causing a poorly developed reproductive system.


What’s more, Dutasteride is absorbed via the skin; so pregnant women shouldn’t even touch Dutasteride. If they do touch a leaky capsule, it is mandatory that they wash off the medicine quickly with soap and water.

Dutasteride is prescribed orally by and large; however, topical Dutasteride is available too in the form of cream, lotion, and microinjection. Discuss with your trichologist to understand what would work best in your specific case.

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