Dutasteride and Finasteride are effective treatments for managing male pattern baldness. While only Finasteride is licensed as a hair loss treatment in the UK, several studies have shown that Dutasteride may actually be even more effective at tackling hair loss than Finasteride .
Some hair loss treatments can be combined to create a more powerful hair loss solution. Combining Minoxidil with Finasteride is popular for this purpose. So can you use Dutasteride and Finasteride together to achieve optimum results
At the moment, there isn’t much evidence to support the idea of combining Dutasteride and Finasteride. But it could still be a useful treatment combination for some people.
In this article, we’ll outline:
Finasteride and Dutasteride are 5-alpha reductase (5AR) inhibitors. 5AR is an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is the hormone responsible for the development of male pattern baldness.
Inhibiting the 5AR enzyme reduces the production of DHT in your body, which means it has less chance of causing your hair to fall out.
Dutasteride is a more potent 5AR inhibitor than Finasteride. That’s why it tends to be prescribed in lower doses: the standard Dutasteride dose is 0.5mg a day, while the standard Finasteride dose is 1mg a day.
There are three types of 5AR enzyme that convert testosterone to DHT. Finasteride inhibits two types, while Dutasteride inhibits all three . This may be why Dutasteride is stronger and more effective at stopping DHT production and hair loss than Finasteride.
There isn’t much research into the use of Dutasteride and Finasteride together to treat hair loss.
In one small study, a man with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) supplemented his daily Finasteride intake with a low dose of Dutasteride after four years . Adding Dutasteride significantly improved his hair density, suggesting these treatments can be used together to promote hair growth.
However, it’s also possible that these improvements could have been achieved from using Dutasteride alone. By itself, Dutasteride can reduce DHT levels by 98%, while Finasteride reduces it by up to 70%. So it’s possible (or even likely) that this patient’s Finasteride use became redundant when they started taking Dutasteride.
It’s worth noting that Dutasteride isn’t licensed for use as a hair loss treatment on its own yet, though there is evidence to suggest this is a safe, effective treatment for most men. But it also means you may be at greater risk of using counterfeit or mislabelled drugs. So if you do plan to use Dutasteride, make sure you get it from a reliable, reputable source.
The side effects of using Finasteride and Dutasteride individually are similar, as they’re part of the same group of drugs. Side effects of 5AR enzyme inhibitors include:
While these side effects are rare, combining Dutasteride and Finasteride together is likely to increase the risk.
You may be able to reduce the risk of side effects by switching to topical Dutasteride and topical Finasteride formulas. Again, there’s limited evidence to support using topical Dutasteride and Finasteride together, but this may be a lower-risk way to experiment with these two hair loss drugs.
Bear in mind that topical 5AR inhibitors also have potential side effects, including skin irritation, dry or flaky skin, redness, and increased sun sensitivity.
While you can theoretically alternate Finasteride and Dutasteride — that is, take a 0.5mg Dutasteride tablet one day and a 1mg Finasteride tablet the next — there’s no evidence to suggest this is an effective way to manage hair loss.
It may be better to switch your daily dose of Finasteride to a daily dose of Dutasteride. Studies show that while Dutasteride is a more potent 5AR inhibitor than Finasteride, it doesn’t necessarily lead to more significant side effects . So rather than alternating, consider replacing Finasteride with Dutasteride.
Since there’s not much evidence to support the combined use of Finasteride and Dutasteride, this isn’t a treatment plan recommended to many patients — especially because of the heightened risk of side effects.
But if Finasteride isn’t working for you, you might consider switching to Dutasteride. Multiple studies have shown that Dutasteride is a more effective treatment for male pattern baldness than both Finasteride and Minoxidil [1, 5-6].
Despite being stronger than Finasteride, the side effects of Dutasteride aren’t necessarily any worse. So rather than combining treatments, switching to Dutasteride may be a better option.
When considering a switch to Dutasteride, some men worry their hair will start to shed, just like in the early stages of Finasteride use.
The good news is that this is unlikely. Finasteride shedding happens because the drug pushes hundreds of hair follicles into the shedding phase of the hair cycle at the same time, enabling them to reach the growth stage more quickly. But because you’re already taking Finasteride, the hairs don’t need to go through this process again.
There isn’t much scientific evidence to support the use of Finasteride and Dutasteride together, so it’s unlikely to be a viable treatment option for most men. Instead, if you’re not seeing results from Finasteride, switching to Dutasteride often gives better results without increasing the risk of side effects.
If you’re thinking about combining Finasteride with Dutasteride, discuss it with a hair loss specialist beforehand. They can analyse the results you’ve seen so far and make recommendations based on your existing hair loss.
Book a free consultation at the Wimpole Clinic to get a bespoke, award-winning treatment plan to tackle your hair loss. This may include combination treatments or switching to more powerful hair loss solutions.
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