Dutasteride For Hair Loss: Everything You Need To Know!

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Hair thinning and androgenic alopecia can undermine the confidence and self-esteem of many individuals, leaving them feeling self-conscious and insecure. Imagine feeling the wind in your hair without worrying about revealing a thinning crown.

Before resigning to a future of male androgenetic alopecia, consider dutasteride, a commonly used hair loss treatment for both an enlarged prostate and promoting hair growth.

How successful is dutasteride, specifically, in treating hair loss? Let's dig in and investigate the scientific basis behind this possibly revolutionary therapy!

What is dutasteride?

Dutasteride is an orally administered medication that prevents the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from being produced. DHT is primarily responsible for prostate enlargement and male pattern baldness.

The scalp and the prostate gland are two primary sites where DHT accumulates in the body and has harmful effects. All three types of 5-alpha reductase are stopped from working by dutasteride. Hence, Dutasteride prevents 98 percent of DHT from being made in the body.  

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How it benefits hair regrowth?

dutasteride for hair loss

Dutasteride is often used to prevent further hair loss but may also stimulate new hair growth. Those who suffer from male pattern baldness have elevated levels of DHT, or dihydrotestosterone.

In the body, this hormone is synthesized from testosterone through the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. The active ingredient in dutasteride, 5-alpha reductase, prevents DHT from forming by inhibiting the enzyme's activity. 

When the medication fulfills this role, hair loss is significantly mitigated. The drug not only contains or treats bald spots on the scalp but also helps increase the overall amount of hair on the scalp

Dutasteride has been shown to stimulate hair regrowth; however, individual experiences may naturally differ.

How long does it take for Dutasteride to work?

androgenetic alopecia, dutasteride compared to finasteride

It is recommended to keep taking dutasteride for at least three months before seeing any early results. However, it can take three to six months to see any effects. As long as the patient continues to take the drug, dutasteride will continue to exert its effects.

It is important to note that treatment should be under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Your doctor will monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

They will also be able to advise you on any potential side effects and how to manage them. You should also talk to your doctor if you have any new symptoms or if your symptoms don't get better after taking medicine for a long enough time.

How much does Dutasteride cost?

Although the FDA has not yet approved dutasteride as an effective treatment for hair loss, a medical practitioner is permitted to administer the medication for unapproved uses.

The prescription price may vary depending on your health care plan, the pharmacy you go to, where you live, and whether you can get the generic version or the brand name in your area. 

To calculate the total price of your medicine, it is recommended that you get in touch with your health insurance provider and inquire about the coverage they provide for prescription drugs.

Side effects of dutasteride

Dutasteride can cause various side effects, including:

  • Sexual side effects: Dutasteride can cause decreased sex drive, impotence (erectile dysfunction), and ejaculation disorder. These side effects may occur early and persist even after the medication is discontinued.
  • Breast effects: Dutasteride may cause breast tenderness or enlargement in men. These effects are usually reversible and go away after stopping the medication.
  • Allergic reactions: Dutasteride can cause allergic reactions, including rash, hives, itching, and difficulty breathing. If you experience these symptoms, you should immediately stop taking the medication and seek medical attention.
  • Nausea, headache, and dizziness: Dutasteride can cause nausea and dizziness. These side effects are usually mild and go away after the body adjusts to the medication.
  • Other side effects: Dutasteride may also cause other side effects not listed here. You should speak with your healthcare provider if you experience unusual symptoms while taking the medication.

Read this: How To Stop Hair Loss And Regrow Hair Naturally? - A Story

Does dutasteride have the potential to induce dry mouth?

hair loss treatments, prostate cancer

There is always a chance of adverse effects while taking any drug. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a typical side effect that may be caused by taking a variety of drugs, including dutasteride, and it is also one of the possible adverse effects of this medication.

Oral and dental hygiene must be maintained at a high level if one wants to avoid experiencing dry mouth. Always rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and use a mouthwash that does not include alcohol. 

Maintaining a healthy level of hydration and chewing sugar-free gum may assist in enhancing salivation, which in turn may provide some comfort.

Using a room humidifier, quitting smoking if you are a smoker, and reducing the amount of caffeine you consume are some other methods that may help ease dry mouth.

Try a saliva replacement product you can get without a prescription, such as Biotene Oral Balance. While using dutasteride to treat hair loss, if you encounter any adverse effects, you should discuss them with the healthcare provider who prescribed the medication.

The best alternative to dutasteride with less side effects

hair growth routine

The Hair Growth Routine is marketed as an alternative to dutasteride, a medication used to help treat male pattern hair loss. The Hair Growth Routine is a 3-step process that includes a Hair Strength Shampoo, a Hair Recovery Conditioner, and a Bio-Pilixin Activation Serum.

The shampoo and conditioner are designed to cleanse and nourish the hair and scalp, while the activation serum helps reduce hair loss.

The active ingredient in the Bio-Pilixin Activation Serum is a proprietary formula developed and trademarked by the company.

Clinical studies have shown that the serum can reduce hair loss and improve hair growth within 150 days. In these studies, 97% of users experienced less hair loss, 93% had a clinically tested reduction in hair loss, and up to 85% reduced the number of hairs lost.

Additionally, 73% had a clinically tested increase in hair density, with an up to 23% increase in hair density across users.

The shampoo and conditioner also contain various active ingredients that strengthen and nourish the hair and scalp. These include niacinamide, caffeine, eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, arginine, Curcuma longa callus conditioned media, and other plant-based extracts.

Unlike dutasteride, which works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, the Hair Growth Routine is said to work by "rebalancing the natural hair growth cycle" through plant-based ingredients.

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Formulated to combat shedding & signs of balding
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Hair Growth Routine | For Women
Formulated to combat thinning hair & visible scalp

Best dosage of dutasteride

The recommended dosage of dutasteride for hair loss treatment may vary depending on the individual case and the severity of hair loss.

Typically, a lower dosage of dutasteride is used for hair loss, such as 0.5 mg per day, but again, the dosage should be determined by a healthcare provider. It is essential to take dutasteride exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes and not exceed the recommended dosage.

It is also important to note that dutasteride may take several months to show any effects on hair growth, and the full effects of the medication may not be seen for up to a year.

Therefore, it is essential to be patient and continue taking medication as prescribed, even if you do not see immediate results.

It is also essential to keep track of any changes in your symptoms and to inform your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects while taking dutasteride.

Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your dosage or how to take the medication.

How can I get dutasteride for hair loss?

Since the FDA has not approved dutasteride for hair loss treatment, its safety and effectiveness for this use have yet to be established. Therefore, you must consult a healthcare provider to obtain dutasteride for hair loss.

You can start by scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician or a specialist in hair loss. During the appointment, your doctor will evaluate your medical history and conduct a physical examination.

They will also ask you about your symptoms and any medications you are currently taking. Based on the results of your evaluation, your doctor may prescribe dutasteride. They will also provide instructions on taking the medication and any potential side effects to look out for.

It is also suggested that you check in with your doctor often while taking dutasteride to check for possible side effects and ensure the drug works.

What should I do if I realize that I have forgotten a dose?

If you realize you missed the dosage on the same day, take it as soon as you remember it, even later in the day. If you only recall the following day, however, you should continue with your usual dosage plan and not take the dose you missed.

Please do not take a double dosage to make up for a missed one, or take it more often than prescribed.

How long may this medicine be kept, and how should it be disposed of?

Keep this medicine in the container it came in; make sure the lid is on firmly, and store it somewhere where children cannot get it. Keep it at a normal temperature and away from sources of heat and moisture. Get it out when you need it.

If dutasteride capsules are left at high temperatures for a long time, they may get distorted or change color. Please remove any tablets that are misshapen, discolored, or leak from their seams.

Medications that are no longer required should be disposed of in a particular manner so that animals, children, and other people cannot accidentally ingest them. It would be best if you did not dispose of this drug by flushing it down the toilet.

Instead, consider participating in a program that offers a take-back service for unused or expired medications.

If you can't participate in a take-back program, you can talk to your local pharmacist or call the trash and recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your area.

It is essential to store all medications somewhere that children cannot access. Locking the safety caps and storing the medicine in a secure area as soon as possible is the best approach to safeguarding young children from the risk of poisoning.

This location should be out of their sight and out of their reach.

Does dutasteride increase estrogen levels?

Estrogen is a hormone that plays a key role in the growth and development of female sexual characteristics, and an imbalance of estrogen levels can lead to various health issues.

Dutasteride is a drug used to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and hair loss. It doesn't raise estrogen levels in the body very much. 

Studies have shown that the drug may increase estradiol levels, a form of estrogen, in men. But it's important to remember that scientists are still trying to figure out how big this increase is, and they need to do more research to fully understand the effects.

Even though we don't fully understand how dutasteride affects estrogen levels, it is important to be aware of the possible side effects and talk to a doctor before taking the drug.

Dutasteride vs. minoxidil: which one is better?

Dutasteride targets the enzyme producing DHT, a key factor in male pattern baldness, while Minoxidil increases blood flow to hair follicles, aiding growth. Dutasteride is typically more effective but needs a prescription and can have side effects like reduced libido. Minoxidil, sold over the counter, has fewer side effects. Consulting a specialist before using either is advised.

Dutasteride and minoxidil are medications used to treat hair loss, but they work differently. Dutasteride is a type of medication called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which works by blocking the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone into a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

DHT is the primary culprit behind male androgenetic alopecia, and by inhibiting its production, Dutasteride offers a promising approach to slowing or even reversing hair loss.

On the other hand, minoxidil is a vasodilator, which means it widens blood vessels and increases blood flow to the hair follicles. This increased blood flow helps to nourish the hair follicles, which can help stimulate hair growth.

Minoxidil is applied topically to the scalp, and it is thought to work by increasing the size of the hair follicles, which results in thicker, stronger hair.

In terms of effectiveness, both Dutasteride and Minoxidil are effective in treating hair loss. But Dutasteride is usually thought to work better than minoxidil because it stops the body from making DHT, which is the leading cause of male pattern baldness.

On the other hand, minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, which can help stimulate hair growth but not necessarily target the root cause of hair loss. 

Additionally, Dutasteride requires a prescription and may have side effects like decreased libido, whereas Minoxidil is available over the counter and has fewer side effects.

In short, Dutasteride is considered more effective than Minoxidil for treating hair loss, mainly in treating male pattern baldness, but it comes with the risk of side effects.

Minoxidil is available over the counter and has fewer side effects, but it doesn’t target the underlying cause of hair loss. Consultation with a dermatologist or trichologist would be advisable before starting any medication.

Read this: Minoxidil: Before and After Results (With Pictures)

Dutasteride vs. finasteride: which one is better?

Dutasteride and Finasteride treat BPH and male pattern baldness. Dutasteride blocks both type 1 and 2 of 5-alpha-reductase enzymes, making it a stronger inhibitor than Finasteride, which only blocks type 2. The best choice varies by individual needs and side effects; consulting a doctor is recommended.

Finasteride and Dutasteride are medications used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness. Both medications work by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called 5 alpha-reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 

The main difference between the two drugs is how much they are given and what kind of 5-alpha-reductase they live in. Dutasteride is a more vital medication that blocks both type 1 and types 2 5-alpha-reductase enzymes. While finasteride only blocks the type 2 enzyme.

Dutasteride is usually given at a lower dose of 0.5 mg per day to treat hair loss, while finasteride is usually given at a dose of 1 mg per day. Both medicines work to make hair grow, but the results may be different for different people.

Dutasteride is a better 5-alpha reductase inhibitor than finasteride, lowering the amount of DHT in the body more effectively. Dutasteride is better than finasteride at reducing the size of the prostate, improving the flow of urine, and lowering the risk of acute urinary retention episodes. 

However, finasteride is more widely available and has been on the market for longer, meaning it has more data available on its safety and efficacy. Also, finasteride is only approved for use in men, while dutasteride is not approved for use in any population.

It is important to note that both medications have potential side effects and should be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Hence, it is challenging to say which medication is better as it ultimately depends on the individual. When treating BPH or hair loss, the choice between dutasteride and finasteride will depend on the patient and his or her needs. 

In the end, you should choose between the two medications with the help of a doctor after considering the person's medical history, possible side effects, and overall effectiveness.

Read this: Finasteride: Before And After Results (With Pictures)


Dutasteride can be a game-changer for those suffering from hair thinning and treating androgenetic alopecia. With proper usage, dutasteride can be a powerful tool in the fight against hair loss. Its ability to stop DHT from being made makes it a strong weapon in the fight against hair loss. 

It not only makes hair grow faster and thicker, but it also slows down the rate of hair loss, giving hope to people who had given up and accepted that they would go bald.

But it's important to remember that dutasteride might not be suitable for everyone, so it's best to talk to a doctor before starting any treatment. 

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.