Dutasteride for hair loss: benefits, dosage, and risks

Ismail Yusibov
Ismail Yusibov is the founder and content writer of the AlopeciaTips.

 Fact checked by Jessica Anderson

Written by Ismail Yusibov | Reviewed by Dr. Michael Carter

Does dutasteride help in the treatment of hair loss? Dutasteride, a powerful DHT blocker, gives positive results in the treatment of hair loss. can be a game-changer in the battle against hair loss.


Dutasteride (brand names Avodart®, Avidart®, Avolve®, Duagen®, Dutas®, Dutagen®, Duprost®) is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor drug that blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is used in medical conditions where DHT is responsible, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia.

While dutasteride is not FDA-approved for treating hair loss, it is sometimes prescribed off-label for this purpose. Some studies on Dutasteride suggest that Dutasteride is more effective than Finasteride and Minoxidil in male pattern hair loss.

A common dosage for hair loss treatment is 0.5 mg per day, but the exact dosage may vary depending on the individual and their doctor’s recommendations.

Common side effects of dutasteride can include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and reduced semen production.

Dutasteride should not be used by women (especially those who may become pregnant or are pregnant).

Hair loss treatment with dutasteride is usually long-term, and the results may take several months to become noticeable.

Some individuals use dutasteride in combination with other hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil, for potentially improved results.

Dutasteride is a medication that is commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate, but it has also gained attention for its potential benefits in treating hair loss.

Many people wonder if dutasteride can indeed help with hair growth, and if so, how effective it is compared to other hair loss treatments. 

In this article, we will explore the use of dutasteride for hair loss and provide you with the information you need to determine if it is the right option for you.

What is dutasteride?

Dutasteride is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that is known to contribute to hair loss in individuals with a genetic predisposition. By reducing the levels of DHT in the body, dutasteride aims to promote hair regrowth and prevent further hair loss. 

Dutasteride is not only used for hair loss, but it is also prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition characterized by an enlarged prostate gland.

Is avodart and dutasteride the same?

Yes, Avodart is the brand name for dutasteride. Both Avodart and dutasteride refer to the same medication and are used interchangeably.

Avodart, as the brand name for dutasteride, is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of BPH. While Avodart is the most well-known brand name for dutasteride, there are also generic versions of the medication available. These generic versions contain the same active ingredient, dutasteride, but may be marketed under different names.

Can dutasteride be used as a hair loss treatment?

Research studies have shown promising results regarding the effectiveness of dutasteride in treating hair loss. One study comparing the effects of dutasteride and finasteride (another 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor commonly used for hair loss) found that dutasteride was more effective in promoting hair regrowth and preventing hair loss.

Another study found that dutasteride was superior to placebo in increasing hair growth and improving hair density in individuals with male pattern hair loss. However, it’s important to note that individual results may vary, and further research is still needed to fully establish the effectiveness and safety of dutasteride for hair loss.

Is dutasteride better than finasteride for hair loss?

The comparison between dutasteride and finasteride for hair loss is a topic of ongoing debate and research. While some studies suggest that dutasteride may be more effective than finasteride, it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks and side effects of both medications. Consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended to determine the most suitable treatment option for an individual.

Is dutasteride better than minoxidil for hair loss?

Dutasteride and minoxidil are two different medications with distinct mechanisms of action for treating hair loss. Dutasteride targets the hormone DHT, while minoxidil is a topical solution that acts by stimulating hair follicles and prolonging the growth phase of the hair cycle.

There is no definitive answer as to whether dutasteride is better than minoxidil for hair loss, as they work through different pathways and can be used together for enhanced effects. The combination of dutasteride and minoxidil may provide more comprehensive hair loss treatment.

What are the potential risks of using dutasteride to treat hair loss?

Some common side effects of dutasteride include:

  • Decreased sexual potency
  • Decreased sperm count
  • Ejaculation disorder
  • Testicle pain
  • Gynecomastia
  • Decreased libido
  • Dizziness

If you are using dutasteride and observe the above side effects, consult your doctor immediately.

Dutasteride also has some serious side effects. The incidence of these side effects is very low. Serious side effects of Dutasteride:

  • Swelling in the throat
  • Increased breast tenderness and breast enlargement
  • Skin peeling and flaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing

If you observe the above rare side effects, consult your doctor immediately.

Dutasteride may cause prostate cancer or cause existing prostate cancer to grow and spread. Therefore, you should be careful before using the medicine.

Should I take Avodart in the morning or at night?

You can use dutasteride (Avodart) any time of the day. Make sure to take the medicine at the same time every day. Dutasteride can be used after or before a meal.

Individuals using Dutasteride cannot donate blood.

What is the proper Dutasteride dosage for hair loss treatment?

Dutasteride is a potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. If you are considering using Dutasteride for hair loss, you can settle for one 0.5 mg capsule taken once a day.

In direct comparisons with Finasteride, Dutasteride at a daily dose of 0.5mg demonstrated superior results in increasing the total hair count and reducing thin hair after 24 weeks when compared to the Finasteride group taking 1mg daily.

Topical dutasteride

Topical dutasteride, an alternative to oral dutasteride, effectively promotes hair growth and prevents hair loss, often used alongside PRP treatments.

Topical dutasteride is applied to diluted and risky areas of the scalp. 30 drops need to be applied twice every day.

What happens when you stop taking Avodart?

Avodart (Dutasteride) is only effective as long as the medication is taken. When you stop the medication, the prostate begins to grow again and hair loss continues. After 12-24 weeks of stopping dutasteride use, DTH levels return to baseline.

Can women take dutasteride?

Dutasteride should not be used by women and children. The use of dutasteride, especially in pregnant women or women who may become pregnant, is very dangerous and has certain consequences. Birth defects in male fetuses and the possibility of miscarriage are the most common side effects of dutasteride use in women.

Side effects of dutasteride in females

Few studies have explored the side effects of dutasteride in women. However, given its impact on the DHT hormone, it suggests that the drug could potentially serve as a contraceptive for women.

The side effects of dutasteride in women may resemble those observed in men. These effects encompass alterations in sexual function (like decreased desire, orgasm difficulties, or arousal issues), breast tenderness or growth, mood fluctuations, muscle discomfort, and weight gain.


Dutasteride is a drug used effectively to treat hair loss. Dutasteride is only available with a prescription. Like any drug, Dutasteride has a lot of side effects. The main use of the drug is not to treat hair loss. Therefore, it should be used with caution when prescribed for hair loss. Using the medicine at the same time every day will increase the effect of the medicine.
Ismail YusibovIsmail Yusibov is the founder and content writer of the AlopeciaTips.

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