How Dutasteride 0.5 mg Works
Dutasteride 0.5 mg belongs to the class of drugs known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. It is a dual inhibitor of both Type 1 and Type 2 5-alpha reductase that helps to prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). As compared to Finasteride which leads to only 70% serum DHT suppression, Dutasteride leads to 90% serum DHT suppression. The Type 2 5-alpha reductase is the predominant isoform in the normal prostate. On the other hand, the Type 1 form is known to predominate in prostate cancer cell lines. The suppression of serum DHT levels at a greater rate leads to a decrease in the size of the prostate, thereby leading to improved urinary flow. Also, by preventing the conversion of testosterone to DHT (which is a key contributor of androgenetic alopecia), the rate of hair loss is significantly reduced.
Uses of Dutasteride 0.5 mg
Dutasteride 0.5 mg tablet is used for the treatment of the following conditions:
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) – also known as enlarged prostate, it causes urination difficulty in men. It blocks the flow of urine out of the bladder and can lead to bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems.
- Androgenetic Alopecia – also known as male pattern baldness, it occurs due to the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It typically occurs at the top and the front of the head and causes permanent baldness after a period of time.
The recommended dosage of Dutasteride 0.5 mg is one tablet per day. This medicine can be taken with or without food, or as prescribed by the doctor. It is advised to follow the same dosing schedule every day and avoid taking an overdose of the drug. It should be swallowed as a whole, and shouldn’t be crushed or chewed. This medicine is meant to be taken regularly (on a daily basis) as it can take time for the medicine to act upon the symptoms.
Missed Dose: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular one. Do not take double doses to make up for the missed dose. Moreover, missing doses frequently can cause the drug to not work well or stop working completely. For the medication to work properly, a certain amount of it needs to be there in your body at all times.
Overdose: An overdose of Dutasteride 0.5 mg can lead to adverse side effects. If an overdose is suspected, contact your nearest healthcare provider immediately.
Dutasteride 0.5 mg may not be suitable for you if you suffer from certain medical conditions. Before starting your treatment, let your doctor know:
- If you are allergic to dutasteride, finasteride, or any other medications.
- If you have or ever had liver disease or prostate cancer.
- If your partner is pregnant or there’s a pregnant woman who may come in contact with the medication. Exposure to a pregnant woman can cause birth defects.
- If you have any skin-related conditions.
If you suffer from any conditions not listed here, let your doctor know about them.
Dutasteride 0.5 mg can cause certain side effects. However, most of these side effects do not require any medical attention and disappear as the body adjusts to the medicine.
Some common side effects include:
- Low sexual desire
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Ejaculation problems
- Decreased sperm count
- Allergic reaction
In some cases, side effects such as painful or enlarged breasts can occur. It usually goes away after a few days or weeks. If the problem persists for long, contact your doctor.
Serious side effects of the medication include swelling of the face, tongue, or throat and prostate cancer.
If you experience any other side effects of the medication not listed here, report it to your doctor.
If you take any prescription or non-prescription drugs, supplements, vitamins, etc., let your doctor know about them. Certain drugs can affect the way Dutasteride 0.5 mg works and prevent the drug from working properly. These include:
- HIV drugs such as atazanavir, ritonavir, indinavir, etc. that can cause more of the medication to stay in the blood leading to an increased risk of side effects
- Antifungals such as ketoconazole, posaconazole, etc. that can increase the risk of side effects
- Drugs for hypertension such as verapamil and diltiazem
- Antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin
- St. John’s Wort
Discuss all potential drug interactions in detail with your doctor.
Interaction with alcohol
Consumption of alcohol along with Dutasteride 0.5 mg is not advised.
Dutasteride 0.5 mg tablets should be stored in their original packaging.
- Keep the tablets out of the reach of children.
- Store the tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat or moisture.
- If the packaging is opened, store the pills in an airtight container.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How often should I take Dutasteride for hair loss?
Ans. A single tablet of Dutasteride 0.5 mg should be taken daily for the treatment of hair loss.
2. How long does it take for Dutasteride to work?
Ans. It can take anywhere around 3 to 6 months to achieve the complete effects of the medication. Your symptoms may improve after 3 months but it can take around 6 months for you to experience the full benefits.
3. What to avoid while taking Dutasteride?
Ans. You should not donate blood while taking this medicine or not donate for at least 6 months after your last dose. Pregnant women shouldn’t come into contact with this medicine and consumption of alcohol should strictly be avoided.
4. When to switch from Finasteride to Dutasteride?
Ans. If you don’t experience any significant results after taking Finasteride for 6 months, you can consider switching to Dutasteride.
5. How long does it take for Dutasteride to get out of your system?
Ans. This medication has an extremely long elimination half-life of 4 to 5 weeks. The half-life increases in elderly patients (approximately 300 hours in men aged 70 years and above).
6. How long until Dutasteride grows hair?
Ans. When taken once daily, it can take approximately 24 weeks or 6 months for Dutasteride to reverse the stages of hair loss and show complete effects.