For men experiencing thinning hair and a receding hairline, there are various treatments they can try. One option is Finasteride.
It was originally approved by the FDA in 1992 to treat benign prostate hyperplasia and later in 1997 for male pattern baldness. It is available as an oral tablet under Proscar and Propecia.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a UK prescription-only oral medication that can tackle hair loss and male pattern baldness. It is the generic, non-branded version of Propecia (which has the same active ingredient) and is becoming more popular due to its much lower price.
How does Finasteride work for hair loss? The way Finasteride works is by reducing the level of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) present in your body. DHT normally causes your prostate to grow larger, but when it is decreased, Finasteride helps prevent hair loss and encourages new hair growth – on your head only. It is ineffective in areas of complete hair loss, such as a receding hairline, but it will stop further thinning in 80% to 90% of men who use it. It has also been shown to encourage hair regrowth and improve your existing hair’s strength, thickness, and quality.
If you want to achieve the best results from your Finasteride, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and take it simultaneously every day. If you miss doses, your level of medication in the body will decrease, which can negatively affect your results.
It is unsafe to touch broken or crushed finasteride tablets as they may contain harmful substances that your skin could absorb. It is not recommended to take Finasteride if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it is unknown whether the drug can pass into breast milk and cause harm to an unborn baby.
How Does Finasteride Work?
Finasteride (Propecia) blocks a potent form of testosterone called DHT. DHT attacks hair follicles and causes them to shrink and produce thinner and shorter hairs. By inhibiting DHT, Finasteride allows hair follicles to remain large and healthy and can reverse the effects of male pattern baldness in many men. It has been shown to stop hair loss in 83% of men taking it for two years and can lead to new hair growth in many.
In addition to hair loss, Finasteride is prescribed for enlarged prostates and can reduce symptoms of BPH in some patients. It is available as a tablet or spray and comes in various doses. A 1mg tablet is commonly prescribed to treat hair loss, while a 5mg dosage is typically used to treat an enlarged prostate. Finasteride isn’t currently prescribed for women or children.
This medication can cause side effects in some people, but they tend to be mild and usually go away on their own or with time. It is important to follow the directions on the prescription label and ask your doctor or pharmacist for help if you need help understanding. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other herbal medicines, vitamins, and supplements that you are taking, as some may interfere with how well Finasteride works.
Side Effects of Finasteride
As with any medication, there are side effects from taking Finasteride. These side effects are usually mild and will go away once the drug has been taken for a long time. However, a few side effects can also be serious and should be reported to your doctor immediately.
For instance, if you are allergic to this drug, you could experience hives or have trouble breathing. In addition, you should not touch this drug with your hands if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. This drug passes through the skin and can cause congenital disabilities. Lastly, you should not take this drug if you have liver disease, as it is processed in the liver.
Finasteride stops hair loss and promotes new hair growth in men with male pattern baldness. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone in the body. This causes hair follicles to shrink, leading to thinning and balding. It can also treat an enlarged prostate in men by reducing the amount of DHT produced.
Finasteride can be used alongside other hair growth treatments like minoxidil (Rogaine). It is also safe to use with other hormone replacement treatments. However, it is not recommended to take this drug with daily heavy alcohol consumption because it may increase your risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.
Finasteride for Men
Finasteride halts male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in most men. It also promotes new hair growth in some men. This occurs because it prevents the body’s conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. In addition, it blocks DHT from binding to hair follicles, which causes them to shrink or die.
In clinical trials, men with mild-to-moderate hair loss who were at least 18 years of age and had hair thinning or loss at the top of the scalp and frontal area responded to Finasteride. It may take three months or more before a patient will notice the prevention of further hair loss or increased new hair growth. Finasteride can be combined with other hair restoration treatments, such as laser therapy or medications like minoxidil.
Men who have enlarged prostates can also benefit from the use of Finasteride. It reduces symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as the need to urinate frequently, weak urine flow, or the feeling that the bladder has not been completely emptied after urinating.
Finasteride is available as a tablet to be taken orally. It is usually prescribed once a day. It’s recommended to take it simultaneously every day for optimal results. It is important to follow the instructions on the prescription label and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you need help understanding.