Dutasteride is a drug that belongs to the class of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors and is primarily used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. It works by converting testosterone in Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone involved in both the development of prostate enlargement and androgenetic Alopecia (hereditary hair loss) plays a central role.

Mechanism of action

Dutasteride specifically inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone into the more active form DHT. As opposed to Finasteride, another 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that only inhibits type 2 of the enzyme, dutasteride acts on both types of the enzyme (type 1 and type 2), resulting in a more comprehensive reduction in DHT levels in the body.

application areas

  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) : Dutasteride is often prescribed to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate, including urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, difficulty starting to urinate, and a weak urine stream.
  • Hair loss : Although dutasteride is primarily approved for the treatment of BPH, it is also used off-label to treat male pattern baldness at doses lower than those recommended for the treatment of BPH. Its effectiveness in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia has been shown in various studies, although it is not officially approved for this use in many countries.

Side effects

Taking dutasteride can be associated with a number of side effects, including:

  • Sexual dysfunction (e.g., decreased libido, erectile dysfunction)
  • Ejaculation disorders
  • Breast enlargement and tenderness
  • In rare cases, allergic reactions


  • Pregnancy : Dutasteride can be absorbed through the skin and should therefore be avoided by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant because it poses a risk of birth defects in male fetuses.
  • Blood donation : Men taking dutasteride should not donate blood for a period of time after the last dose to avoid the risk of transmission to pregnant women.


Dutasteride offers an effective treatment option for men with BPH and may also be useful in treating androgenetic alopecia. However, due to its potent effects and possible side effects, its use should be carefully considered and under the supervision of a doctor. Men considering dutasteride or other 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors should learn about the potential risks and benefits and discuss their individual needs and health conditions with a healthcare professional.

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