Dutasteride vs. Finasteride? Which One Is Better?
Dutasteride, also known by its brand name Avodart, is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of benign prostatic enlargement (BPH) in males. However, dutasteride is not currently FDA approved to be used for the treatment of hair loss or male pattern baldness. Many hair specialists and dermatologists are prescribing dutasteride as an off-label treatment for patients who are suffering from hair loss, and studies do show that 0.5mg of dutasteride is a more effective medication to battle male pattern baldness.
At the same time, many are hesitant due to dutasteride’s potency.Similar to the drug finasteride (Propecia), dutasteride is an inhibitor of the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). There are two different types of 5 alpha-reductase, classified as type I and type II. Finsateride only blocks the type II form of the enzyme while dutasteride works by blocking both type I and type II of the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme. Studies show that dutasteride is nearly 3 times more potent than finasteride at inhibitng type I 5 alpha-reductase and 100 times more potent at inhibiting type II 5 alpha-reductase enzymes. Although it is more effective than finasteride, dutasteride will also come with additional risks of experiencing adverse side effects from the medication.
It is important to know that type II is the main culprit that is found predominately in the hair follicle. Type I is predominately found in the scalp and sebaceous glands. Studies show that finasteride 1mg/day decreases serum DHT by 70% and scalp DHT by nearly 40% while dutasteride 0.5mg/day decreases serum DHT by over 90% and scalp DHT by over 50%. Given these data, one can agree that dutasteride is more effective of a treatment in combating male pattern baldness than its counterpart, finasteride.
Overall, I strongly believe that despite the more potency of dutasteride, it should not be used as a first line of defense when dealing with male pattern baldness. The relative increase in results is not worth the risk of the possibility of additional adverse side effects. Instead, many people respond well to FDA-approved minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia). Finasteride should always be used as a first line of defense when trying to prevent hair loss or trying to regrow your hair.
Why use a machine gun when you can get the same job done with a handgun? If the use of finasteride and minoxidil have not been effective with little results, you can try using dutasteride as a last ditch resort. The first thing to do is to consult with a dermatologist or hair specialist about getting the drug prescribed. Never purchase prescription drugs online without a legitimate prescription from a doctor. You can end up buying something that is fake, and in the U.S., purchasing prescription drugs online without a legitimate prescription can result in a felony.