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Does Tamsulosin Enhance Dutasteride Effect Against Hair Loss?
Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Updated on March 26, 2024

Some people believe that Tamsulosin enhances Dutasteride effects against hair loss because these two medications can be successfully combined for treating prostate enlargement. But when it comes to curbing androgenetic alopecia, there are no studies to show that Tamsulosin might provide any benefits.

Research indicates that Dutasteride 0.5mg might be the most effective treatment for male pattern baldness currently available, even if it is yet to be FDA-approved for this purpose. That is because it can lower your blood dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels by over 94% [1]. However, Tamsulosin is a muscle relaxant which can be very helpful in treating prostate conditions and passing kidney stones [2] but it does not affect hair shedding in any way.  

If you are looking for treatments that enhance the effect of Dutasteride, you can try other, more likely alternatives, such as Minoxidil, derma rolling for hair growth or low-level laser therapy for hair growth. However, there is very little published research at this point to measure the effectiveness of such combinations. 

Continue reading this article to find out all you need to know about:

  • What Dutasteride and Tamsulosin are and their effects on your health
  • The relationship between Dutasteride, Tamsulosin and hair loss
  • Treatments that can be taken alongside Dutasteride for enhanced effect
  • What to do if Dutasteride does not improve your hair loss
Table of Contents

What is Dutasteride and how does it work for hair loss?

Dutasteride is a medication developed and approved for prostate enlargement, but it can also be prescribed off-label for male pattern baldness. Studies have revealed that it may be even more effective than the most commonly recommended hair loss treatments, such as topical Minoxidil or oral Finasteride [3]. 

This drug works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, which transforms some of your naturally occurring testosterone into a different male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). If your body produces excessive levels of DHT, it binds to androgen receptors in your hair follicles, triggering the patterned hair loss specific to androgenetic alopecia. So, in a nutshell, Dutasteride curbs male pattern baldness by substantially reducing the level of DHT in your blood [4].      

Tamsulosin for hair loss

What is Tamsulosin and how does it work for hair loss?

Tamsulosin is a medication commonly used alongside Dutasteride in treating prostate enlargement. It works by relaxing the muscles in your prostate and bladder, making it easier to urinate. It can also help pass kidney stones with less difficulty [2][5]. 

This drug is an alpha-blocker, a type of medicine that can also reduce blood pressure by opening up your blood vessels [6]. That is why you should always inform your doctor of any history of low blood pressure before being prescribed any treatment that contains tamsulosin.

When it comes to hair loss, Tamsulosin has no documented effect. While Dutasteride is a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, which lowers the level of DHT in your blood, Tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker which affects muscles and blood vessels, playing no role in curbing hair shedding or stimulating hair regrowth [6].

 It is possible for the confusion surrounding Tamsulosin’s supposed hair growth effects to stem from the fact that certain hair growth treatments, such as Minoxidil, work by dilating your blood vessels and getting more nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles. Since Tamsulosin also dilates your blood vessels, it is a small leap to assume it may also benefit your hair.

However, Tamsulosin most often binds to a certain type of adrenergic receptors found in the prostate and bladder and doesn’t bind that strongly to the different types of adrenergic receptors found in blood vessels (such as those in your scalp). So it will not have the same hair growth-promoting effect as Minoxidil.   

Does Tamsulosin enhance Dutasteride effectiveness against male pattern baldness?

Tamsulosin does not improve the efficacy of Dutasteride against androgenetic alopecia in any way. While combining these two drugs does indeed yield superior effects to monotherapy in treating prostate conditions [7], this effect does not also extend to conditions that cause your hair to fall out.

Dutasteride for hair growth

What may help enhance the hair growth effect of Dutasteride?

Several treatments may help achieve better results in curbing hair loss and increasing hair density when taken together with Dutasteride. However, at this time, more research is needed to measure the efficacy of these combinations. Here are some of the medications and therapies most likely to produce better effects when administered alongside Dutasteride: 


Minoxidil is one of the most effective hair growth treatments, which works very well to curb mild or moderate androgenetic alopecia [8] However, it uses a different mechanism than Finasteride and Dutasteride to do so. This medication works by dilating the blood vessels in your scalp, so more oxygen and nutrients reach your hair follicles, allowing them to grow thicker, healthier and more numerous strands.

Studies show that Minoxidil combined with Finasteride yields superior results than each of these drugs used separately [9]. And since Dutasteride acts in a very similar way to Finasteride, it can reasonably be assumed that Minoxidil may enhance its effect as well. 

Dermarolling for hair growth

Also known as microneedling, this therapy involves using a small roller covered in fine needles to make micro punctures in your scalp. This can have two benefits for stimulating hair growth: it triggers your body’s natural healing response and at the same time, it makes it easier for topical medication to be absorbed. So using it alongside topical Dutasteride might have a positive effect on hair growth [10][11]. 

Red light therapy for hair growth 

Red light therapy for hair growth is a variety of low-level laser therapy that uses focused beams of red light to increase mitochondrial activity and enhance the amount of energy that is being transported to your hair follicles [12]. It has been proven effective in different types of alopecia, such as male and female pattern baldness, alopecia areata or telogen effluvium.

While no studies have yet been performed on the efficacy of this kind of therapy combined with Dutasteride, there is a chance it could play a supporting role in stimulating your follicles for hair growth.

Dutasteride vs Finasteride

Should I use Dutasteride instead of Finasteride?

Research shows that Dutasteride is better than Finasteride for hair loss. That is because Dutasteride 0.5 mg can reduce blood DHT serum by 94.7%[], while Finasteride 5mg can only reduce them by 72% [13]. It is also known to sometimes successfully treat androgenetic alopecia recalcitrant to Finasteride [14]. 

However, Dutasteride is not currently FDA-approved for treating male pattern baldness, so you will need to obtain an off-label prescription for this drug. 

Is Dutasteride more risky than Finasteride?

Recent studies indicate that even though the Finasteride half-life is significantly shorter than that of Dutasteride [15][16], they both present the same low risk of side effects. There are no statistically significant differences in the recorded side effect rates of Dutasteride 0.5 mg and those of Finasteride 1mg or Finasteride 5mg.

Both these medications are considered safe and most men can take them without any serious or permanent side effects [17][18]. Moreover, just like Finasteride side effects are not permanent, neither are Dutasteride side effects. Most of them resolve on their own within a year of taking these medications or soon after treatment cessation. 

What happens if I stop taking Dutasteride for hair loss?

A few weeks or months after you stop your Dutasteride treatment for hair loss, you will notice that your hair will start falling out once more and your alopecia will return to pre-treatment levels. That is because, like all hair growth medication, it is only effective while it is active in your system. It does not provide a permanent cure for male pattern baldness, but only a way to manage and improve its symptoms.

If you are looking for a long-lasting solution to your androgenetic alopecia, you should know that only a hair transplant is permanent.   

Does Dutasteride work for hair loss

Why is Dutasteride not working for my hair loss?

It can be very frustrating when the most effective medication available doesn’t seem to be able to significantly curb your hair loss. There are several reasons why that could happen:

  • It may need more time to work – while many men are anxious to see results as soon as they start taking Dutasteride, in most cases, it can take a few months of regular use before new hair growth becomes visible.
  • You may be experiencing a different type of alopecia – Dutasteride is only effective against male pattern baldness. If your hair loss is caused by anything else (e.g. alopecia areata, medication-induced alopecia, or a common scalp problem), it will not produce any results.
  • Your male pattern baldness may be too advanced – Unfortunately, no hair loss medication, not even Dutasteride can produce significant results in curbing very extensive alopecia. Treating this condition often requires surgical hair restoration.

The best advice for understanding exactly why Dutasteride is not helping your hair loss is to book a consultation with a trichologist. They will be able to provide you with clear answers as well as to recommend the best hair loss treatment for men with your specific hair problems.

If your hair loss is too advanced to benefit from non-surgical treatments, they will also determine whether you could get a hair transplant to increase your hair density. This simple solution could put an end to your hair problems once and for all. The world-class surgeons at the Wimpole Clinic have an extremely high success rate for this procedure and have performed numerous celebrity and footballer hair transplants.

If you wonder how your hair restoration surgery might turn out, you can get an idea by visiting our before and after hair transplant gallery.

Does Tamsulosin Enhance Dutasteride Effect Against Hair Loss?, Wimpole Clinic

  1. Marked Suppression of Dihydrotestosterone in Men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia by Dutasteride, a Dual 5α-Reductase Inhibitor
  2. Tamsulosin
  3. Comparison of oral minoxidil, finasteride, and dutasteride for treating androgenetic alopecia
  4. Dutasteride: A Review of Current Data on a Novel Dual Inhibitor of 5α Reductase
  5. Tamsulosin
  6. Alpha-Blockers
  7. Dutasteride/tamsulosin fixed-dose combination for the treatment of benign prostatic enlargement
  8. Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: a review
  9. Combined treatment with oral finasteride and topical minoxidil in male androgenetic alopecia: a randomized and comparative study in Chinese patients
  10. Efficacy and safety of combined microneedling therapy for androgenic alopecia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials
  11. Topical dutasteride with microneedling in treatment of male androgenetic alopecia
  12. Examining the Safety and Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Therapy for Male and Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Review of the Literature
  13. Use of Finasteride in the Treatment of Men With Androgenetic Alopecia (Male Pattern Hair Loss)
  14. Effect of dutasteride 0.5 mg/d in men with androgenetic alopecia recalcitrant to finasteride
  15. Clinical pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of finasteride
  16. Persistent Erectile Dysfunction after Discontinuation of 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitor Therapy in Rats Depending on the Duration of Treatment
  17. Effect of 5α-Reductase Inhibitors on Sexual Function: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
  18. Superiority of dutasteride over finasteride in hair regrowth and reversal of miniaturization in men with androgenetic alopecia: A randomized controlled open-label, evaluator-blinded study
Dr. Michael May (FRCS)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael May (FRCS)Updated on March 26, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
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