What is dutasteride and how does it work?

What is dutasteride and how does it work?

Dutasteride is a drug mainly used to treat enlarged prostate glands in men, a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). However, it has also become popular as a treatment for hair loss, especially in men.

How is dutasteride different from other hair loss treatments? Dutasteride belongs to a class of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. It blocks the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that plays an important role in hair loss. By lowering DHT levels, dutasteride helps slow hair loss and promote hair growth. The name dutasteride suggests that the drug has something to do with the drug finasteride. That's right. It is a further development of it. Dutasteride inhibits a greater percentage of DHT than finasteride. And that has its consequences.

The development and approval of dutasteride

Dutasteride was first developed by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 for prostate treatment under the name Avodart. It was later discovered that dutasteride also had a positive effect on hair growth, leading to its off-label use (the use for reasons other than what the drug is intended for). This means that dutasteride is not prescribed as a hair growth treatment by doctors in the Netherlands. Only for an enlarged prostate.

Several clinical trials have shown the effectiveness of dutasteride in treating hair loss. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that dutasteride significantly increased the number of hairs and improved hair thickness compared to a placebo.

Read the study here

Although dutasteride has shown promising results, it is important to note that it can have side effects. Common side effects include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction and reduced ejaculate volume. It is crucial to consult a doctor if you are considering treatment with dutasteride. In addition, there are indications that indicate (like finasteride) that side effects may persist after finishing treatment.

The future of dutasteride

Dutasteride remains an area of active research, with ongoing studies into potential applications in other conditions such as hair loss in women and prostate cancer prevention. As more research is conducted, we can expect more insight into dutasteride's full potential as an agent for hair loss.

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Difference finasteride versus dutasteride

Although both dutasteride and finasteride are called 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors, these drugs have both similarities and differences. Finasteride is the most commonly prescribed drug for hair growth in men, while dutasteride is mainly used in connection with prostate problems. Finasteride's effect against hair loss is most noticeable when used early in the process. Although the exact timing may vary from person to person, many users experience visible benefits when using it. The drug actually prevents further hair loss in 75% to 85% of users, and in some cases there is even improvement in hair growth.

Dutasteride is a newer drug and thus has less research behind it that shows long-term effects when used. However, dutasteride does lower DHT by about 93%. In the Netherlands (where HGspecialist is located), only minoxidil and finasteride are officially designated as drugs to treat hair loss. Dutasteride is therefore not (yet). If you want to use dutasteride, you take the pill offlabel. In a way it is not intended for. This means it is not entirely known what the consequences of using it are.

The composition of the two drugs also differs, resulting in varying experiences for users. It is important to stress that it is necessary to continue using both drugs continuously to tackle hair loss. Stopping treatment causes recurrent hair loss.

The main difference between these drugs is that finasteride only inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase type II, while dutasteride blocks types I and II. However, both drugs do block the root cause of hair loss, allowing hair to grow again and addressing the problem from the core. Dutasteride, then, is more potent than finasteride because it inhibits both types of enzymes, blocking DHT more effectively. Moreover, its half-life is much longer than that of finasteride. Half-life means the time it takes the body to break down half of an ingested amount of drug.

Using dutasteride as a hair growth drug?

Before you decide to use dutasteride to boost your hair growth, we strongly recommend that you have a discussion with your doctor or dermatologist. They can assess your medical history and specific situation and give you the best advice. In addition, some important considerations when using dutasteride are. It can have side effects, such as:

  • changes in sexual function and libido
  • breast formation
  • reduced ejaculate

Some men also experience other side effects. It is important to discuss these with a doctor. Speaking of doctors, you need a prescription to get dutasteride. This means consulting a doctor who can assess your medical history and health situation. It is also important to have realistic expectations of results. Dutasteride can help maintain and improve hair growth, but results can vary and not everyone responds in the same way. Hair growth treatments in general often require patience and consistent use. It may take some time before you see results, and it is important to take the medicine as directed by the doctor.

Alternatives and combinations: There are other options available for hair growth, such as finasteride and minoxidil. These are drugs approved in the Netherlands for treating hair loss. In some cases, a combination of different treatments can also be more effective.

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