Mesotherapy with Dutasteride
12 Feb 2021
Dutasteride injections are a new off-label treatment for female and male patients with androgenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss). This treatment is recommended only when approved treatment for male or female baldness was not effective or was discontinued due to side effects. The injections are applied locally to the scalp. These injections contain the drug dutasteride, which is an anti-androgen drug (5a- reductase inhibitor), such as finasteride, that allows the hair to thicken. This medication is approved for benign prostatic hyperplasia in the UK.
What is the procedure?
The dutasteride injections are also known as mesotherapy with dutasteride and it consists of micro-injections. The drug is directly injected into the scalp so that it can penetrate the skin. Then it arrives the hair follicle, blocks the androgen hormones that make the hair thinner and shorter. As a result, the hair becomes thicker and stronger. The procedure can be performed with topical or local anaesthesia which makes it relatively painless.
The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes and there is no pre- or post-treatment required. It doesn’t leave any visible marks and the patient can return to their normal activities immediately.
Scientific evidence of the procedure
There are various international scientific publications that support the effectiveness of this therapy (see References below). In some cases, treatment with dutasteride is overall more effective and requires fewer sessions in comparison to traditional platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) therapy. However, this remains an off-label treatment for female and male baldness and more research is required in the future to assess the efficacy.
Can it be combined with other treatments?
This treatment can be done on its own, or it can be combined with oral & topical treatments (up to your doctor’s discretion).
How long is it necessary to do the sessions?
These injections need to be typically performed every 2-6 months; however, it does depend on the amount of hair loss you experience. Your doctor will tell you the guideline advised in your particular case. A typical case of dutasteride injections is as follows:
|1st session||Day 1|
|2nd session||2nd month|
|3rd Session –||4th Month|
|4th Session||6th Month|
|5th Session||10th month|
|6th Session||14th month|
After 4-6 sessions, we evaluate and repeat every 4 months if appropriate for maintenance.
Does this therapy have side effects?
It is known that the use of oral dutasteride might have some side effects. Possible side effects that have been reported are depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, mood changes, breast enlargement, weight gain and others.
Microinjections can cause minor discomfort – the chance of this is lessened with the application of topical or local anaesthesia prior to the injection. The treated area may be sensitive for a few days following treatment; however, the pain is minimal and does not require pain medication. The injection only affects the area treated and does not seem to cause any systemic side effects, but again more studies are needed to establish this.
We know that women on oral dutasteride should avoid pregnancy during treatment and 6 months after stopping it, as the baby may be born with deformed sex organs. It seems that injections of dutasteride do not get absorbed into the body, but as there is still not much evidence, it is better to be more cautious, so I advise women on treatment with the dutasteride injections to avoid pregnancy during treatment and 6 months after discontinuation.
We do not know if dutasteride alters the fertility of men. We do know though that oral dutasteride can be eliminated through semen, but there are no large studies to show if intralesional injections of dutasteride can be eliminated through the same route. A small study has shown that dutasteride was not absorbed in patients’ blood receiving the treatment, however more studies are required. As a conclusion, it is important that men having this treatment use contraceptive methods during sexual intercourse.
If you would like to discuss this treatment option further, or you want to see what other alternative treatments are available, book a consultation with Dr. Anastasia Therianou, an expert in hair disorders, by phone: 02034684884 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Herz-Ruelas M, E, Álvarez-Villalobos N, A, Millán-Alanís J, M, León-Gutiérrez H, Ocampo-Garza S, S, Gómez-Flores M, Grimalt R: Efficacy of Intralesional and Oral Dutasteride in the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia: A Systematic Review. Skin Appendage Disord 2020;6:338-345. doi: 10.1159/000510697
Saceda-Corralo D, Rodrigues-Barata AR, Vañó-Galván S, Jaén-Olasolo P. Mesotherapy with Dutasteride in the Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia. Int J Trichology. 2017 Jul-Sep;9(3):143-145. doi: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_73_16. PMID: 28932074; PMCID: PMC5596657.
Moftah N, Moftah N, Abd-Elaziz G, Ahmed N, Hamed Y, Ghannam B, Ibrahim M. Mesotherapy using dutasteride-containing preparation in treatment of female pattern hair loss: photographic, morphometric and ultrustructural evaluation. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Jun;27(6):686-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2012.04535.x. Epub 2012 Apr 6. PMID: 22486925.