Dutasteride in Androgenetic Alopecia: An Update

Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2017;12(1):31-35. doi: 10.2174/1574884712666170310111125.


Background: Androgenetic alopecia is a common condition characterized by thinning of scalp hair. Conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a more potent androgen, by the enzyme 5-α-reductase is responsible for underlying pathogenesis. Dutasteride, a synthetic 4-azasteroid, is a selective and competitive inhibitor of both type-1 and type-2 isoenzymes of 5-α-reductase. Finasteride and minoxidil are the only approved drugs for androgenetic alopecia. Dutasteride has been demonstrated to be effective in several randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials in androgenetic alopecia. In this review, after the pharmacology of dutasteride, the authors have discussed the status of dutasteride in androgenetic alopecia and have compared its efficacy with that of finasteride.

Objective: This article aims to review the current status of dutasteride in androgenetic alopecia. The structure, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics and side effects are discussed along with its comparison with finasteride in androgenetic alopecia.

Method: The main sources of our information were Medline Pubmed, Google scholar and Scopus including original articles and review articles. The keywords 'dutasteride', 'dutasteride in androgenetic alopecia' were used for search.

Conclusion: Like finasteride, dutasteride is now becoming popular treatment option in AGA, due to its good response shown by various randomized control studies and meta-analysis. Also, in most of these studies, dutasteride was found to be better than finasteride with comparable adverse effects. Therefore, dutasteride could become a treatment of choice for AGA in near future.

Keywords: 5-α-reductase; Androgenetic alopecia; dihydrotestosterone; dutasteride; finasteride; minoxidil; testosterone.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Alopecia / metabolism
  • Alopecia / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Dihydrotestosterone / metabolism
  • Dutasteride / adverse effects
  • Dutasteride / chemistry
  • Dutasteride / pharmacokinetics
  • Dutasteride / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use
  • Hair / drug effects*
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Hair / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Finasteride
  • Dutasteride