Dutasteride Hair Loss Treatment

dutasteride hair loss treatment


Dutasteride Hair Loss Treatment

Over the years, there has been increasing use of oral Dustasteride for the treatment of male pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia.

Some individuals may seek an alternative to oral finasteride treatment because they do not see significant improvements after some time.

Dutasteride is FDA-aprroved for symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia in men, but not for androgenetic alopecia at the moment. However, oral dutasteride is approved for male androgenetic alopecia in Korea (2009) and Japan (2015). It is being used as an off-label treatment for male pattern hair loss in other countries.

male pattern hair loss
Male pattern hair loss

What is Androgenetic Alopecia?

Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern hair loss is the most common type of hair loss affecting men. It is an androgen-dependent condition that is usually inherited, affecting men of any age post-puberty. This gradual decline of hair has been shown to be primarily due to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which leads to the miniaturisation of hair follicles and hair thinning.

Oral finasteride, which is FDA-approved for androgenetic alopecia, works by inhibiting the enzyme, Type II 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme suppresses the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestoesterone (DHT), the andrgoen responsible for male pattern hair loss in genetically susceptible men.

What's the difference between Finasteride and Dutasteride hair loss treatment?

Dutasteride is an oral drug that inhibits both type I and type II 5-alpha-reductase enzymes.

When compared to finasteride, dutasteride is three times more potent at inhibiting type II 5-alpha-reductase and 100 times in inhibiting type II 5-alpha-reductase. Studies have shown that oral Dutasteride 0.5mg reduces serum DHT levels by more than 90% while oral finasteride 5mg reduces DHT levels by 70%.

When compared to finasteride, dustasteride in some studies have reported significant improvements in total hair count. Investigator and panel global photographic assessment for the vertex and frontal views showed statistical differences in favour of those taking oral dutasteride.

Dutasteride Side Effects?

The potential for sexual side effects with oral finasteride is well known. Sexual side effects include loss of libido, erectile dysfunction and ejaculation disorders. Although these sexual side effects may affect 2-5% of individuals taking oral finasteride 1mg for androgenetic alopecia, most cases are mild and often decreases over time.

Studies have shown comparable sexual side effects in individuals taking oral finasteride and oral dutasteride for androgenetic alopecia.

Other side effects include testicular pain or swelling, dizziness,  depressed mood, rash and rarely male breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Should I Take Oral Dustasteride?

Oral dutasteride is currently not FDA approved for the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia. It is an off-label drug for the condition. 

A consultation with your doctor with regards to your unique condition, treatment options and potential side effects is essential before the initiation of any medical treatment.

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  1. Jung, J.Y., Yeon, J.H., Choi, J.W., Kwon, S.H., Kim, B.J., Youn, S.W., Park, K.C. and Huh, C.H. (2014), Effect of dutasteride 0.5 mg/d in men with androgenetic alopecia recalcitrant to finasteride. Int J Dermatol, 53: 1351-1357. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.12060
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  4. Dallob ALSadick NSUnger Wet alThe effect of finasteride, a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, on scalp skin testosterone and dihydrotestosterone concentrations in patients with male pattern baldnessJ Clin Endocrinol Metab 199479703706.
  5. Zhou Z, Song S, Gao Z, Wu J, Ma J, Cui Y. The efficacy and safety of dutasteride compared with finasteride in treating men with androgenetic alopecia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical interventions in aging. 2019;14:399.
  6. Tsai TF, Choi GS, Kim BJ, Kim MB, Ng CF, Kochhar P, Jasper S, Brotherton B, Orban B, Lulic Z. Prospective randomized study of sexual function in men taking dutasteride for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. The Journal of dermatology. 2018 Jul;45(7):799-804.

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