In the world of men’s hair loss treatments, there aren’t a huge amount of options. You will likely come across the two FDA-approved treatments for male pattern hair loss -- Minoxidil, and Finasteride.
But, what are your options when you have tried both of these heavy hitters, yet your results aren’t exactly what you were hoping for? Aside from going the hair transplant route, your doctor (or your online research) may bring you to male pattern hair loss off-label options, including Dutasteride.
Dutasteride is a medication that is in the same class as Finasteride, but, it may be a little bit stronger at what it does in the body. However, it is important to note that Dutasteride is not currently FDA-approved for male pattern hair loss, it is only approved for treating prostate conditions at the moment.
If you are considering making the switch from Finasteride to Dutasteride, it is important to know all the details of each medication and what to expect. Below, we will cover how Finasteride and Dutasteride are different in regards to hair loss treatment, why someone may consider a switch from Finasteride to Dutasteride, if switching may cause any issues like shedding, and where you can start the conversation with a doctor about switching to Dutasteride.
Finasteride and Dutasteride are both in the group of medications called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. This means that they both work by blocking the enzyme which is responsible for converting some of the testosterone in your body into DHT -- another hormone that is a known culprit in hair follicle damage and hair loss in male pattern hair loss.
But, Finasteride only blocks the type 2 of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, while Dutasteride blocks both type 1 and type 2 of the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. When taken orally, it has been found that this comes out to Finasteride reducing DHT by about 70%, while Dutasteride can reduce DHT by over 90%. Theoretically, less DHT may mean better hair loss treatment results if your hair loss was due to DHT, but it may also mean higher risks of side effects including a small risk of sexual or fertility effects which are usually reversible.
Another difference is their FDA-approved status. Finasteride is FDA-approved for both male pattern hair loss and prostate conditions, while Dutasteride is currently only approved for prostate conditions. However, if your doctor feels that Dutasteride is a good next step in your hair loss treatment, they can still prescribe it off-label.
There are a few reasons why someone may consider switching from Finasteride to Dutasteride. Finasteride treatment may have partially worked for slowing their hair loss, but they want to try out something potentially stronger. Or, maybe they are on oral Finasteride, but they want to try a strong topical medication instead.
It would be unusual for someone to start on Dutasteride off-label treatment right off the bat, as this is generally reserved for people who have already tried Finasteride in some form.
Since Finasteride and Dutasteride function very similarly in the body, by reducing DHT production, it would be unusual and unlikely that switching from the weaker DHT-reducing Finasteride to the stronger DHT-reducing Dutasteride could trigger a huge shedding event.
But, it is important to think about other medications that may be in your previous hair loss treatment before making the switch. For instance, if you are currently on a topical Finasteride with Minoxidil, but want to switch to an oral Dutasteride -- you may experience shedding from the removal of the Minoxidil component that was helping your hair in a different way than DHT reduction.
You can start a conversation with your doctor in person about making the switch from Finasteride to Dutasteride if you aren’t completely happy with the progress from your Finasteride treatment. Or, you can have a free online consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if oral or topical Dutasteride may be a good next step for you.
But, before making the switch, make sure you have given your current treatment enough time. For most Finasteride users, it takes at least 3-4 months to even start seeing hair benefits from treatment, and up to a year for approximately full effects -- so patience is key with these treatments.
Here at Strut Health, we offer a safe and secure online option for prescription hair loss treatments.
We carry oral Finasteride and Dutasteride, as well as innovative compounded topical Finasteride and Dutasteride formulations. Our topical formulations can be customized to suit your hair, your goals, and what you have tried in the past. Additional active ingredients may be combined with the topical formulations including Minoxidil or Tretinoin.
You can have your free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation in about 10-15 minutes. After our U.S. licensed doctors have reviewed your information and approved your prescription, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.
If you have any questions or need adjustments during your treatment, our staff and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups.