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Is It OK To Take Dutasteride 3 Times A Week?
Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)
Medically reviewed by
Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)
Updated on April 2, 2024

85% of men will experience hair loss at some point in their life [1], whether this comes early on, or as you grow older, it’s something that no one is pleased about.

The good news is that if you are worried about your hairline receding from male pattern baldness, or noticing increased hair loss, there are quite a few different treatment options that you can go down.

From more intense – yet long-lasting – treatments like a hair transplant, to oral medication, most men are able to find a hair loss treatment that suits their needs.

One popular form of oral medication that can be used to counteract the effects of male pattern hair loss, is Dutasteride.

Men are normally advised to take this medication daily for the best results. However, if you’re worried about side effects or adverse reactions, you may be wondering if is it OK to take Dutasteride 3 times a week instead.

Keep on reading if you want to find out!

Table of Contents

What is Dutasteride?

Dutasteride is a type of oral medication that is often prescribed under the brand name, Avodart. The medication is used alongside Tamsulosin (also known as Flomax Relief) to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (which causes prostate enlargement in men).

Although Dutasteride is primarily used to treat enlarged prostate issues in men, this drug has also been found to be effective at reducing and preventing further hair loss in men who suffer from androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness).

Learn more if Tamsulosin can enhance Dutasteride’s effect against hair loss.

How does Dutasteride work?

Dutasteride belongs to a class of drugs known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These drugs work by reducing the amount of DHT, Dihydrotestosterone, in the body. DHT (a male sex hormone) is one of the major contributors to male pattern hair loss.

In individuals with androgenetic alopecia, DHT binds to androgen receptors in the hair follicles causing them to shrink over time and eventually stop producing hair.

miniaturisation leading to hair loss informational graphic

Less DHT in the body therefore leads to a reduction in hair loss in individuals who are predisposed to pattern hair loss.

Is Dutasteride an effective hair loss treatment?

Dutasteride is most commonly studied in relation to other medications used to treat androgenetic alopecia such as Finasteride and the popular hair loss medication, Minoxidil.

Studies have found that Dutasteride is effective in treating hair loss, with some studies finding that it is even more effective than Finasteride [2].

In another study published in the American Academy of Dermatology [3], 917 men aged between 20–50 were asked to use either Finasteride or Dutasteride. The outcome of this study found that Dutasteride was able to outperform Finasteride when it came to increasing hair count, hair width, and hair growth.

What’s the recommended dosage of Dutasteride?

Dutasteride currently only comes in one strength, a 0.5mg capsule. However, if you visit your pharmacy you may be able to get it in different doses, or different forms.

Experts advise that Dutasteride should be taken once daily, swallowed with water and without food. You should try to take Dutasteride consistently at the same time of day, however, the time you choose is completely up to you and won’t affect the efficacy of the medication.

Although there have been some studies [4] that have compared the difference between 0.5mg Dutasteride with 1.0mg Finasteride (where Dutasteride proved to be superior) there have not been many studies that examine the results of higher dosages of Dutasteride to warrant a change in advised dosage.

You should also always listen to your doctor’s advice when it comes to taking prescribed medication, and get in touch with them if you notice any changes/reactions.

Can you take Dutasteride three times a week instead?

With any type of medication, if you want to get the best results possible, it’s always important to take it as advised. For Dutasteride, this means taking one capsule daily.

When you take Dutasteride less frequently than the intended dosage, you’re getting a much lower amount of the drug which will lead to slower results and may cause you to continue experiencing hair loss.

Although there have not been studies that have evaluated the results of Dutasteride when taken three times a week, there have been studies that have looked into lower doses of Dutasteride. In one [3], where patients were given either 0.02mg, 0.1mg, or 0.5 mg a day of Dutasteride, it was the 0.5mg dosage that significantly increased hair count and width after 24 weeks.

This is similar to Finasteride, where it’s also not advised to take three times a week.

What are the side effects of taking Dutasteride?

Since both Finasteride and Dutasteride act in a similar way, the side effects that some patients experience are also very similar.

Some of the most common Dutasteride side effects include:

  • Inability to have an erection [5]
  • Lower sex drive
  • Problems with ejaculation
  • Hair shedding

However, these side effects are very rare and only occur in a small number of patients. In most studies, Dutasteride is found to be a largely well-tolerated drug [6].

It’s also worth noting that the majority of side effects that are experienced when taking Dutasteride only last as long as the patient is taking the drug. If you were to stop taking it, you would notice all the side effects disappearing. However, you’ll also notice your hair loss returning.

How long does it take for Dutasteride to work?

Although taking Dutasteride reduces the amount of DHT in the body, it will take a while to see visible results in the form of reduced hair loss and hair growth.

What to expect in the first 3 months of taking the proper Dutasteride dosage for hair loss

Although there will be an immediate reduction in DHT production in the first 3 months of taking Dutasteride, patients will not be able to see visible hair regrowth or reduction in hair loss just yet as it will take some time for the hair growth cycle to catch up with the DHT level reductions.

What to expect 3-6 months

£-6 months after taking this prescription medication for hair loss, patients will be able to see their hair loss slow down and even some early signs of hair growth.

Male pattern baldness patient before and 24 weeks after taking Dutasteride for hair loss
Male pattern baldness patient before and 24 weeks after taking Dutasteride for hair loss

What to expect at 6-9 months

Dutasteride patients at this stage will start to notice their hair loss stopping in addition to more positive results such as noticeable hair growth and fuller hair regrowth across the crown.

What to expect 9-12 months

Dutasteride patients at this stage will be able to see the final results start to emerge. As patients start to regrow hair, they will be able to see significant improvement in hair density, fuller hair across the crown, and a straighter (and lower) hairline.

As always, it is important to note that patients will only be able to see these improvements as long as they are taking the hair loss medication. Once patients stop taking Dutasteride, hair loss will eventually resume.

Alternatives to taking Dutasteride

If you’ve tried Dutasteride to treat hair loss and it hasn’t worked for you, or you’re looking to try something that is longer-lasting, one of the most effective treatments for hair loss is a hair transplant.

Although it may seem like an invasive procedure (and you may have heard some horror stories), it’s an extremely trusted and effective way to give you a fresh new head of hair.

Here at Wimpole Clinic, we’ve been helping men and women who have been suffering from hair loss for decades. Our most popular treatments are FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) transplants and FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantations) which both provide the appearance of natural hair growth.

You can find out more about the different services we provide and see some before and after pictures from our previous patients by browsing our website

If you think this procedure may be the best next step in your hair loss journey, we’d love to talk you through the process and answer any questions that you may have.

Contact us today to start off with one of our no-obligation consultation calls where you can talk to one of our experts before deciding if you’d like to go ahead with the procedure.

Is It OK To Take Dutasteride 3 Times A Week?, Wimpole Clinic

Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)
Medically reviewed by Dr Luciano Sciacca (GMC)Updated on April 2, 2024
The Wimpole Clinic offers FUE Hair, Beard & Eyebrow Transplants & Trichology.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.

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