Hair loss treatment can be tricky.
Even when you are being monitored by a doctor, you may need to switch medications, change dosages, or add things in to your hair loss treatment regimen for it to work the best for you.
Dutasteride is not normally considered a first-line medication for hair loss treatment, as the only two medications currently FDA approved for male pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia) are Minoxidil and Finasteride.
But, Dutasteride may be a good off-label option for those that do not get the results they want from the first-line treatments -- if your doctor deems it appropriate.
Below, we will cover what Dutasteride is, how it differs from medications in the same class, how often it is normally used for hair loss, and where you can speak to a doctor about getting it prescribed.
Dutasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor medication, meaning that it helps to block the enzyme in the body which normally catalyzes the formation of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from Testosterone.
DHT is a known culprit in male pattern hair loss, and excess amounts in the scalp can damage hair follicles by shrinking them. This shrinkage leads to finer and shorter hairs being produced over-time, potentially leading to the eventual loss of hair from that follicle.
Dutasteride is currently available in 0.5mg capsules under the brand name Avodart. Avodart is only FDA-approved for treating prostate enlargement, but it is still commonly prescribed off-label for male pattern hair loss.
You may also find Dutasteride in compounded formulations from compounding pharmacies either in capsules of different strengths, or in topical formulations to be applied on the scalp.
Dutasteride is a prescription-only medication, so all formulations with Dutasteride will require a prescription from a doctor.
Dutasteride and Finasteride are in the same class of medications -- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
But, only Finasteride is FDA approved for male pattern hair loss in the U.S., and both medications are FDA approved for enlarged prostate treatment.
These medications are commonly used in the U.S. for male pattern hair loss, but Dutasteride is used off-label.
Both medications are used to block the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme from catalyzing the conversion of Testosterone to DHT, but they do this slightly differently. There are two types of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, and Finasteride selectively blocks only the type 2 enzyme, while Dutasteride blocks both type 1 and type 2.This increased blocking of DHT suggests that Dutasteride is a stronger 5-alpha reductase inhibitor than Finasteride.
Since there is not currently an FDA-approved medication containing Dutasteride for the indication of male pattern hair loss, there is not a definite “right way” to take Dutasteride for hair loss.
But, in most of the studies we have that explore the use of Dutasteride for male pattern hair loss, the dose used is 0.5mg of Dutasteride in capsule form taken by mouth once daily.
One case study involved a man who was taking Finasteride daily for 4 years. But, he was finding that his hair density counts 4 years in weren’t as good as his hair after 2 years. His doctor decided to add in one Dutasteride 0.5mg capsule to be taken just one day a week while continuing Finasteride the rest of the week as usual. His resulting hair density reportedly dramatically increased from this addition of dutasteride one day a week.
Your doctor may recommend these strengths and dosing regimens, or they may recommend something else. You should always stick with the dosing schedule and strengths prescribed by your doctor, and never make changes to your treatments on your own.
Here at Strut Health we utilize compounding pharmacies to compound Dutasteride with other hair loss treatment options like Minoxidil, Biotin, and Tretinoin.
Our Dutasteride formulations are crafted by our doctors according to your current hair images, your medical history, and your goals for your hair loss treatment. We offer both oral Dutasteride capsule formulations which are taken by mouth, or topical formulations that are applied to the scalp.
Have a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation with our doctors today to see if Dutasteride is a good option for you. If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.