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Hair Loss Treatments

Should You Switch To Dutasteride To Stop Hair Loss

Hair loss sufferers all around the globe stockpile on Propecia (finasteride), in hopes that it will stop and possibly reverse their hair loss. However, it has been rumored that finasteride becomes less effective after a certain period of time. In fact, some hair loss sufferers have posted anecdotal reports online claiming to have accelerated hair los after years of using finasteride with success. This has driven many to turn to Avodart (dutasteride) a powerful anti-androgen medication that was not approved to treat genetic hair loss. In this article, we will be discuss the pros and cons associated with dutasteride.

What is Dutasteride?

Dutasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor which was created to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is sold under the brand name Avodart. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsbile for converting testosterone in to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the blood stream. DHT binds to the androgen receptors in hair follicles and gradually shrinks the hair follicle until it no longer grows. This process is called miniaturization or balding. Dutasteride stops type 1 and type 2 of the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. The type 1 5-alpha reductase enzyme is predominantly found in the skin and hair, while the type 2 enzyme is found in the prostate.

Is Dutasteride More Effective Than Finasteride For Stopping Hair Loss

In short, yes on paper dutasteride is the most effective medication on the market for stopping hair loss. However, it is important to remember that dutasteride has not been FDA-approved to treat androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). In addition, finasteride has been studied extensively for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. Studies show that finasteride can block up to 70% of DHT serum in the body, while dutasteride can block up to 90%. The difference is substantial and these numbers are enough to drive thousands if not millions of men to buy the medication in bulk. A 2006 study showed that men treated with dutasteride had a significantly higher hair count than men treated with finasteride.

What About The Side Effects?

Unfortunately, both finasteride and dutasteride have been known to cause undesirable sexual side effects. In fact, thousands of men complain about persistent side effects. This phenomenon is called post-finasteride syndrome. So many men have complained about suffering from this condition that the FDA has forced drug makers to place a warning on their label. These side effects include lowered libido, erectile dysfunction, watery semen, testicular pain and gynocomastia (male breasts). That said, both finasteride and dutasteride are well received by the majority of men with only a small number of men complaining of these side effects.


While both medications have been proven to be effective in treating male pattern baldness, only finasteride has been FDA-approved. Furthermore, out of the two medications finasteride has been studied longer and has been shown to be well-tolerated for most men. Dutasteride is a relatively new medication in comparison to finasteride. The long-term side effects are relatively unknown for dutasteride. For this reason alone we recommend finasteride over dutasteride.