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Dutasteride versus Finasteride for Male Pattern Baldness

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If you go on any internet hair loss forum you will see men discussing the merits of different DHT-blockers.

DHT – or dihydrotestosterone, to give it its full name – is the testosterone-byproduct which those with Male Pattern Baldness have an inherited sensitivity to.

This causes the classic symptoms of thinning hair and/or a receding hairline as the DHT binds to hair follicles located along the top of the scalp, from crown to hairline, gradually weakening them. This inhibits normal hair growth, rendering hairs increasingly finer and can lead to eventual baldness in these areas.

By blocking DHT – which has no real purpose after puberty – the hair should grow relatively unhindered.

There are only two MHRA licensed and FDA approved male hair loss treatments – one of which is the topical solution high strength minoxidil, the other being a one-a-day tablet of finasteride 1mg. This is a oral DHT blocker.

There are various other DHT-blocking medications used to treat other health conditions, including dutasteride (Avodart) which is an enlarged prostate medication. Despite the fact they are not authorised by the UK nor the American medical regulatory bodies for this use, some men choose to buy these drugs online and use them as a hair loss treatment.

Following trials in Japan which investigated the use of dutasteride instead of finasteride to treat this type of men’s hair loss, a new Chinese meta-analysis of existing data has compared the efficacy of the two.

Finasteride v dutasteride for Male Pattern Hair Loss

A team of researchers was formed from the School of Clinical Medicine at Binzhou Medical University, Department of Urology, The Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University and the Department of Urology, Qingdao Chengyang People’s Hospital, all in Shandong.

Using the MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Controlled Trials register they reviewed data from randomized, controlled clinical trials relating to the comparative use of finasteride versus dutasteride to treat Male Pattern Hair Loss. A meta-anaylsis of these results was then performed to assess the efficacy and safety of each over a 24-week duration.

Based on the results taking in the total hair regrowth, and changes to both vertex and frontal hair loss – published on 20th February 2019 in the Clinical Interventions in Ageing medical journal – the researchers concluded that dutasteride appeared to demonstrate a “better efficacy” than finasteride 1mg, with adverse reactions being similar across the two options. It is worth noting that, despite its publication date, this research was first submitted on 27th October 2018.

Importance of using authorised treatments

Whilst this analysis seems to provide a basis for further exploration of dutasteride as a male pattern hair loss treatment, with a view to becoming added to the MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved roster if it meets the relevant criteria, the fact remains that this drug is not currently
authorised for this use in the UK nor the USA.

As such, it is extremely risky to use dutasteride – or any other medication – which is not prescribed from a reputable medical practitioner in line with the individual’s specific medical history.

The MHRA has long campaigned about the perils of buying prescription medication from unauthorised online sources; the goods may not be what they are advertised as, they may be fake, or repackaged out-of-date tablets, for example. Furthermore, the risk of purchasing prescription medication online which has not been prescribed by a professional with the user’s personal medical profile in mind, can be extremely dangerous due to the potential for an increased likelihood of serious side effects and lack of on-going monitoring by a doctor and/or hair loss specialists.

If you are experiencing thinning hair and would like recommendations for appropriate treatments based on your condition, level and pattern of shedding, as well as your medical requirements, these can all be provided following a consultation at a dedicated hair loss clinic.


Belgravia Centre Hair Loss Clinic Hair Loss Specialist Free ConsultationThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.

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