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What is Dutasteride Used for?: FDA-Approved and Off-label Uses

Dutasteride is commonly used for off-label and FDA-approved conditions. Learn more about what doctors use Dutasteride for.

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What was Dutasteride originally used for?

Dutasteride is only FDA-approved for use in treating an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH occurs when the prostate gland enlarges causing urinary problems like difficulty starting urination, a weak stream, urinary frequency or urgency, or having to urinate often in the middle of the night. For some men with BPH, using Dutasteride may help reduce the need for prostate surgery.

How should you use Dutasteride used for an enlarged prostate?

Dutasteride is available only in capsule form in its FDA-approved state currently. You can find generic Dutasteride capsules, or brand name Dutasteride capsules under the brand name Avodart. The only strength of Dutasteride capsule is the 0.5mg strength capsule, and the dosage is normally 1 capsule by mouth once daily, with or without food.

Although, if your doctor instructed you to take it a different way, listen to your doctor's instructions and the label on your medication. All Dutasteride formulations are prescription-only, so you will need to speak with a doctor to see if this medication is a good fit for your urinary issues.

What are Dutasteride’s off-label uses?

Dutasteride is commonly also used off-label for male pattern hair loss.

Dutasteride is in the same class of medications as one of the only FDA-approved medications for male pattern hair loss -- Finasteride. So, some doctors have seen benefits in also using Dutasteride in men with hair loss. In some men who have both prostate enlargement and hair loss concerns, the medication may be used to help treat both issues simultaneously.

Dutasteride and Finasteride are both in the class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, and they work by blocking the 5-alpha reductase enzyme which is responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Since DHT is a main culprit for hair loss in those with male pattern hair loss, these medications can help maintain and improve hair. Studies show that Dutasteride may inhibit this 5-alpha reductase enzyme more strongly and completely than Finasteride, leading to overall lower levels of serum DHT.

How should you use Dutasteride for hair loss?

There is not a clear-cut dosage for using Dutasteride for hair loss, since hair loss is not an FDA-approved indication for Dutasteride in the U.S. at the moment. So, if you are prescribed Dutasteride off-label for hair loss, it is important to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions.

Your doctor may choose your dosing regimen based on your presentation, any other conditions you may have, as well as your other medications and hair loss goals. In a few studies done on Dutasteride for hair loss, the most common dosage is one 0.5mg capsule taken by mouth once daily. This is also the only strength that generic Dutasteride and the brand name, Avodart, come in commercially.

However, aside from the manufactured capsules, you may be able to find compounded Dutasteride medications from compounding pharmacies where it is formulated into different strength capsules according to your doctor’s order, or even put into a topical formulation for hair loss which is applied to the top of your head each night.

Dutasteride for hair loss in a capsule form or a compounded topical form are both still prescription-only medications, so you will need to speak with a doctor in-person or have an online telemedicine consultation to see if Dutasteride is a good fit for you.

How does Dutasteride work for both prostate enlargement and hair loss?

Your prostate and scalp may seem like two very different parts of your body to respond well to the same medication. But, they have one very important thing in common which makes Dutasteride a good choice for both.

Dutasteride helps block the formation of DHT in the body, a hormone that is known to cause male pattern hair loss, as well as enlarge the size of the prostate. So, by reducing the serum or scalp levels of DHT, this medication is able to help reduce the size of the prostate, help prevent damage to your hair follicles, or both.

Where can you find Dutasteride for hair loss treatment?

To get a prescription for Dutasteride for hair loss, you can speak with your doctor in-person to see if it is a good option for you.

You can also have a free online consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors to see if oral or topical Dutasteride compounds are a good fit for you.

If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription medication can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have questions about your hair loss treatment, or need medication adjustments, our staff and doctors will be available for free, unlimited follow-ups to help you through the process.

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