General Practice 2022

Dutasteride: what is it for and when to use it

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Dutasteride: what is it for and when to use it
Dutasteride: what is it for and when to use it

Dutasteride is an effective medication to reduce the volume of the prostate and relieve symptoms caused by its enlargement, such as urinary retention. However, this medication has also been used to treat baldness as it is effective in promoting new hair growth on the scalp of men.

This medication must be consumed with due medical indication, usually taken orally, in a tablet, at a dose of 0.5 mg. It can be found in pharmacies in generic form, or under the trade names Avodart, by GSK, or Dastene, by Aché, for example.

What is it for

Dutasteride acts by decreasing the production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), through the inhibition of the 5-αlpha reductase enzymes type 1 and 2, responsible for the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

With the decrease in the levels of this hormone, called androgen because it is more prevalent in men, this medication is useful for the treatment of:

1. Prostate hyperplasia

Dutasteride is able to reduce the volume of the prostate and prevent its enlargement, caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia, being able to:

  • Improve urinary flow;
  • Reduce the risk of urinary retention;
  • Prevent the need for prostate surgery.

Generally, this medication is used in combination with Tamsulosin, a medication that belongs to the group of alpha blockers, which promotes the relaxation of the prostate muscles, facilitating the passage of urine and improving the symptoms of this disease more quickly.

2. Baldness

Dutasteride is used to treat the so-called androgenic alopecia, hair loss caused by the action of dihydrotestosterone in the hair follicle, especially in men.

Thus, the continuous use of this remedy is able to reverse the action of this hormone, which causes the hair to grow back through the hair follicles of the scalp, being able to:

  • Increase scalp hair count;
  • Reduce hair loss;
  • Improve scalp coverage.

Androgenic alopecia can also occur in genetically predisposed women, so if the woman has baldness caused by this reason, this medication can be used, in very specific cases, with proper medical advice.


A box with 30 capsules of Dutasteride can cost, on average, between 60 and 115 reais, depending on the brand and the pharmacy that sells the product.

How to Use Dutasteride

Oral Use

Adult men

Administer 0.5 mg of Dutasteride once daily. The drug can be taken with or without food

The dose of the medication may vary, according to medical advice.

Main side effects

Due to decreased amount of male hormones, some Dutasteride side effects include:

  • Impotence;
  • Decreased sexual desire;
  • Ejaculation problems;
  • Gynecomastia, which is breast enlargement.

These effects are more common when higher doses of the drug are required, especially in cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Who can't use

This medication is contraindicated for children, women and people with severe liver failure.

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