In this article, we summarize some of the studies on topical Dutasteride and help you better understand what we might know about topical Dutasteride so far.
Currently, the only two FDA-approved medications for male pattern hair loss are topical Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine), and oral Finasteride (brand name Propecia). However, doctors and patients have been looking into or prescribing other potential hair loss treatments off-label for years, including oral and topical Dutasteride.
One of the most popular off-label prescriptions for male pattern hair loss is topical Finasteride. The idea behind prescribing a hair loss patient a topical Finasteride gel or solution over the approved oral tablets, is hopefully trying to avoid some or all of the full body side effects sometimes seen with the oral medication.
Specifically, some men are wary of or may have experienced negative sexual side effects like loss of libido, ED, or reduced sperm volume from using oral Finasteride. And, although these sexual side effects are relatively rare and may only affect a small percentage of users -- patients may want to look into other options anyway.
A very similar medication to Finasteride, Dutasteride, is also gaining some attention when it comes to oral or topical off-label uses for male pattern hair loss. Finasteride and Dutasteride and in the same class of medications, 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, and they function by helping to block the enzyme which converts some testosterone into DHT (which can damage hair follicles). Dutasteride has also been shown to block this enzyme more strongly than Finasteride.
There has not been a huge amount of research into topical Dutasteride to date, but some studies have looked into the effects on hair loss by using topical Dutasteride. So far, many studies involving topical Dutasteride seem promising and may suggest reduced side effects while still delivering hair benefits, although there is still a lot of work to be done as far as more larger-scale and specific studies.
Below, we will summarize some of the studies on topical Dutasteride and help you better understand what we might know about topical Dutasteride so far.
In one small-scale pilot study performed on 15 men with androgenetic alopecia, participants all were asked to use a topical combination of Dutasteride, Finasteride, and Minoxidil in a lotion daily. Also, the participants were able to choose to add one 0-3 additional hair loss treatments including oral Finasteride tablets, topical Minoxidil foam, and ketoconazole shampoo. The men were followed up with for 9 months, and all 15 demonstrated significant hair growth from baseline. However, in the men who used all 4 treatments combined together, they had significant growth reported within 30 days, while those who used only the topical Dutasteride, Finasteride, and Minoxidil lotion reported significant growth within 90 days. While these are great results, there were also a lot of medications combined along with the Dutasteride, making it difficult to identify just how much benefit can be attributed to the topical Dutasteride alone. This study is considered a jumping-off point for topical hair loss treatment studies, although the researchers suggest that aggressively treating male pattern hair loss can achieve significant and rapid growth of hair.
In one review update on Dutasteride for hair loss treatment, the authors look into the studies done on Dutasteride to come to some conclusions on its potential effectiveness. The reviewers analyzed studies that used topical or oral Dutasteride to develop a conclusion, while also seeing how it performed in relation to Finasteride. They concluded that Dutasteride delivered a good response for androgenetic alopecia patients in the randomized controlled trials and meta-analysis they looked into, and also noted that for most studies Dutasteride performed better than Finasteride with adverse effects that were comparable.
Another study looked into the efficacy and safety of topical Dutasteride after microneedling as compared to just microneedling. The study enrolled 30 men with androgenetic alopecia and had 15 men undergo just microneedling for 24 weeks, while the other 15 men underwent the same microneedling procedures for 24 weeks with topical Dutasteride 0.02% applied directly afterward. The microneedling in every participant occurred once a week for the first 8 weeks, then once every two weeks for 1 month, and then once every month for 3 months. After 24 weeks, the group with the added topical Dutasteride had a slight elevation in hair density and more improvement than the microneedling-only group, there was an increase in hair caliber in the Dutasteride group and a significant difference as compared to the microneedling-only group, there was a significant improvement in terminal/vellus hairs in the Dutasteride group but no difference from baseline in the microneedling-only group, the self-assessed improvements and satisfaction with treatment were better in the Dutasteride group as compared to the microneedling-only group, and the investigator-assessed improvements were better in the Dutasteride group as compared to the microneedling-only group. In the 15 men using topical Dutasteride in this study, there were no reports of systemic side effects including sexual dysfunction or decreased libido.
Here at Strut Health, we offer oral Dutasteride capsules as well as topical Dutasteride in customizable combination formulations with or without added ingredients like Minoxidil or Tretinoin for more potential benefits.
If you are interested in seeing if Dutasteride may be a good option for you, you can have a free online questionnaire-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today.
If you are a good candidate for off-label Dutasteride treatment, your medication can be shipped to your front door with our free, fast shipping.
If you have any questions or need adjustments during your treatment, our staff and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups.