Background: Male pattern hair loss (MPHL) is a potentially reversible condition in which dihydrotestosterone is an important etiologic factor.
Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of the type 1 and 2 5alpha-reductase inhibitor dutasteride in men with MPHL.
Methods: Four hundred sixteen men, 21 to 45 years old, were randomized to receive dutasteride 0.05, 0.1, 0.5 or 2.5 mg, finasteride 5 mg, or placebo daily for 24 weeks.
Results: Dutasteride increased target area hair count versus placebo in a dose-dependent fashion and dutasteride 2.5 mg was superior to finasteride at 12 and 24 weeks. Expert panel photographic review and investigator assessment of hair growth confirmed these results. Scalp and serum dihydrotestosterone levels decreased, and testosterone levels increased, in a dose-dependent fashion with dutasteride.
Limitations: The study was limited to 24 weeks.
Conclusion: Dutasteride increases scalp hair growth in men with MPHL. Type 1 and type 2 5alpha-reductase may be important in the pathogenesis and treatment of MPHL.