Finasteride is an oral-prescription drug that is used to treat male-pattern hair loss and enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Being an oral drug, it is administered through the mouth. You can purchase this medication in brand-name (Proscar and Propecia) and generic versions; the latter comes at a cheaper cost but may not have all the forms and strengths of the former. There have been controversies surrounding the use of Finasteride to treat hair loss in women. There is no assertion on the use of this drug for women.
How Does Finasteride Work?
Male-pattern hair loss stems from increased activity of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that gradually decreases the growth phase of the hair follicles, resulting in hair thinning. During this period, the hairs become shorter and finer over time until they do not exit the scalp anymore. Finasteride inhibits DHT production and 5-alpha-reductase (an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT). As a result, less than 60% of DHT is present in the scalp; this prevents further loss of hair follicles and may even promote hair restoration.
How Potent Is Finasteride?
According to a loss study group report by the National Library of Medicine, 1553 men with androgenic alopecia were treated with Finasteride with about two-thirds of them witnessing improvement in scalp coverage and the other one-third having slowed hair loss rate. Just 1% of this group encountered further hair loss during treatment.
This study shows the effectiveness of Finasteride in treating male-pattern hair loss. Using this drug you should witness reduced hair loss or hair regrowth in 4 to 6 months. Significant results come after 1 to 2 years of use.
How Is Finasteride Used?
Male-pattern hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia treatments depend on the brand-name of drug used. Proscar and Propecia have individual conditions they treat. The former is used to treat symptoms of BPH (enlarged prostate) and can be combined with other drugs like doxazosin to reduce further complications. On the other hand, Propecia is effective against male-pattern hair loss. You can get both medications and the generic version through this link: https://www.numan.com/hair-loss/finasteride.
Finasteride dosage administration depends on the condition that requires treatment. Men with an enlarged prostate should take 5 mg of Finasteride once daily (for monotherapy and combination therapy), while those with androgenetic alopecia need a daily dose of 1 mg. Finasteride only works for men with mild or moderate hair loss, not complete hair loss or complete alopecia.
Treatment can take from 3 months to 2 years, depending on the level of result you expect. To maintain results, use your dose continually as withdrawal reverses visible results within 12 months.
Finasteride Side Effects
Very few people complain about having side effects while using Finasteride in treating hair loss and enlarged prostate. This does not rule out the likelihood of experiencing allergic reactions, which may include shortness of breath (Dyspnea), hives, and swelling of the face, tongue, throat, or lips. Abnormal ejaculation, impotence, lack of sexual desire, orgasmic dysfunction, among others are common side effects a user may experience.
Individuals may also experience signs of male breast cancer, including breast lumps/pain/tenderness, nipple discharge, or other breast changes. Ensure you get immediate medical help once you notice any of these signs during treatment.