HomeDrug Classes5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors

5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors: Uses, Common Brands, and Safety Info

"5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors are medications used to treat conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness by blocking the activity of an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Common brands include Finasteride and Dutasteride, which are generally safe but may cause side effects like decreased libido and erectile dysfunction."

5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors


5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors are a class of medications that inhibit the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for the development of certain conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness. By blocking this enzyme, 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors can help reduce the symptoms associated with BPH, such as frequent urination, difficulty starting and maintaining urination, and the need to urinate urgently or frequently during the night. In addition to treating BPH, these inhibitors can also be used off-label to promote hair growth in male pattern baldness. However, it is worth noting that the improvement in hair growth may take several months to become noticeable, and the medication must be continued to maintain the effect.

Common Brands

Some commonly prescribed 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors include: 1. Finasteride (Proscar, Propecia): Finasteride is available in different strengths for treating BPH (Proscar) and hair loss (Propecia). 2. Dutasteride (Avodart): Dutasteride is primarily used for the treatment of BPH. While these are the most commonly known brands, several generic versions of these medications are also available, which can be more cost-effective options.


5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors are generally considered safe and well-tolerated. However, as with any medication, they may cause certain side effects. Some common side effects include: 1. Decreased libido (sexual desire) 2. Erectile dysfunction 3. Ejaculation disorders 4. Breast tenderness or enlargement 5. Allergic reactions (rare) 6. Mood changes (rare) It is important to note that these side effects are not experienced by everyone, and most individuals can take these medications without significant issues. However, if any of these side effects occur and persist, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

List of 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors