Losing your hair can be a daunting experience, affecting your self-confidence and identity. Fortunately, there are many treatments available to help you regrow your hair. With finasteride being one of the most effective options out there. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about using finasteride for hair loss. Including how it works, the dosages, and the expected results. We’ll also address any concerns you may have, such as potential side effects and interactions. So, if you’re ready to take control of your hair loss and regain your confidence, keep reading.
Table of Contents
What Is Finasteride
The FDA has approved Finasteride as a prescription medication for treating male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia. Originally, it received FDA approval as Proscar for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is a type of non-cancerous prostate enlargement. After a few years, it was also approved for hair loss treatment and sold as Propecia.
Today, both the higher-dose version of Finasteride, use for treating an enlarged prostate. And the lower-dose version for hair loss treatment are available in generic forms under various brand names. According to experts, the medication is in tablet form and is intended for daily use. For treating hair loss, the usual dosage is 1mg per day.
Why Is This Medication Prescribed
Proscar or Finasteride is a medication that doctors prescribe to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Which is the enlargement of the prostate gland. Patients can use it alone or in combination with another medication called Cardura (doxazosin). The medication is effective in treating symptoms of BPH such as frequent and difficult urination. And may also reduce the likelihood of acute urinary retention (a sudden inability to urinate) as well as decreasing the need for prostate surgery.
The doctor prescribes Finasteride, also known as Propecia, to treat male pattern hair loss in men. This condition causes hair on the scalp to thin gradually. Leading to balding or a receding hairline. Women or children should not use this medication. And it is not effective for treating thinning hair at the temples.
The class of medications that Finasteride belongs to is called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. It works by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone. That causes the prostate gland to enlarge in BPH patients. And by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone in the scalp that stops hair growth in men with male pattern hair loss.
Mechanism Of Action Of Finasteride For Hair Loss
Finasteride tablets are a type of 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs). That work by inhibiting the action of the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Which plays a significant role in male pattern baldness. DHT can bind to hair follicle receptors and cause hair miniaturization, leading to hair loss.
By inhibiting the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme, finasteride significantly reduces the amount of DHT in the bloodstream. Protecting the hair follicles from DHT-related damage. Research indicates that finasteride lowers serum DHT levels by over 70 percent.
This can lead to a slowing or complete cessation of hair loss. With many men noticing significant hair regrowth in areas affected by male pattern baldness after starting finasteride treatment.
Clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of finasteride in treating hair loss. In long-term, placebo-controlled clinical trials. 90 percent of men who use finasteride maintained their hair or saw improvements in hair growth. In comparison, 75 percent of men who used a non-therapeutic placebo experienced worsening hair loss.
Studies have also shown that finasteride can increase hair count and density in men with male pattern baldness. In short, finasteride works for most men. Producing improvements in hair growth and density with treatment.
How Effective Is Topical Finasteride
Many different experts have different opinions on the effectiveness of topical Finasteride. Some experts believe that Finasteride has shown to be clinically effective in 90% of men with male pattern baldness. And can help maintain existing native hair, which provides a longer-lasting result.
It can also slow down the process of hair loss significantly. However, they suggest that it is too early to comment on whether the topical solution is as effective as the tablet form. A study reported that topical Finasteride treatment reduced scalp DHT by 68 to 75%. And oral Finasteride reduced it by 62 to 72% for men with androgenetic alopecia.
On the other hand, Some other experts point out that the stage at which patients are starting treatment is an important factor in determining the effectiveness of topical Finasteride. If the hair loss is long-standing. There may be fewer viable hair follicles from which new hair can grow.
However, they are optimistic about the benefits of topical Finasteride, saying that it can help to increase hair density and slow further hair loss by reducing the amount of DHT locally at the hair follicle. Topical Finasteride may work equally well as the oral form. But with a reduced chance of side effects. The treatment’s effectiveness may vary from person to person.
For What Types Of Hair Loss Is Finasteride An Effective Treatment
The natural hair growth cycle involves a certain amount of daily shedding. Typically around 50 to 100 hairs, which is not noticeable. However, if you’re experiencing noticeable hair loss. It could be a problem. Although the FDA approves finasteride for male pattern baldness treatment.
It is essential to note that there are other types of hair loss, such as temporary telogen effluvium, autoimmune alopecia areata, and fungal infection tinea capitis. Stress, infections, surgery, hormonal changes, and fungal infections cause hair loss, not DHT. And hence Finasteride cannot slow down, stop, or reverse their effects.
Benefits Of Finasteride Tablet
Finasteride is a popular and effective choice for treating hair loss and male pattern baldness despite the side effects. The medication actively treats androgenetic alopecia in males. Scientifically proving its ability to reverse the effects of male pattern baldness and promote hair growth. Particularly in the temples and crown area of the head, providing several major benefits. The FDA has approved a 1mg dose of Finasteride to treat hair loss in men.
It is use as the first line of treatment by dermatologists to slow down extreme hair loss. Finasteride stops the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Which is a crucial chemical in the process of hair loss. The process of hair loss will eventually slow down due to the decreased amount of DHT. The best thing about Finasteride is that it doesn’t impact hair growth on other body parts.
Doctors recommend Finasteride for hair regrowth in men. With continued use, men report slower hair loss and hair regrowth. Most men start seeing hair regrowth after one to two years of using Finasteride. Several studies have shown that Finasteride 1 mg helps preserve the original hair follicles and maintain the original hair count.
Compared to other medications for the treatment of hair loss in men. It has a fairly low incidence of negative side effects.
Finasteride Side Effects
Finasteride can cause side effects like most medications. Although some side effects of finasteride may affect your quality of life, most are mild.
Possible side effects of finasteride include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, testicular pain, ejaculation problems, and changes in mood or depression. Breast tenderness and skin rashes are reported by some men who use a stronger version of finasteride called Proscar. If you experience breast tenderness or nipple discharge. You should consult a healthcare provider as they may be a sign of breast cancer.
Although sexual side effects such as erectile dysfunction and decreased sex drive may sound concerning. In clinical studies, only a small percentage of men reported these side effects. During clinical trials, men who were treated with the 1mg per day dose of finasteride for hair loss reported sexual dysfunction far less commonly. Only 1.8 percent of men reported weakened libido, and 1.3 percent reported erectile dysfunction.
With long-term use of finasteride, it is possible that some of its side effects may diminish in severity or even disappear. However, a small percentage of men may continue to experience adverse events. Even after discontinuing finasteride treatment.
According to the FDA label, finasteride does not have any significant drug interactions. Men over the age of 55 who use the 5mg dose of finasteride have a slightly higher risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer.
Before using finasteride, it is important to discuss all patient information with a healthcare professional. Including current medications, supplements, and health risks.
The use of this medication can result in decreased sexual ability or desire, and in some cases, a decrease in the amount of semen released during sexual activity. Although this is usually harmless, it may persist even after treatment is discontinued. If any of these effects persist or worsen. It is important to inform your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Your doctor prescribed this medication to you because they determined that the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks of potential side effects. Although some side effects may occur, many people who use this medication do not experience serious adverse effects.
If you experience any serious side effects, such as a lump in the breast, nipple discharge, breast enlargement, pain in the testicles, or difficulty urinating. It is important to contact your doctor immediately.
While severe allergic reactions to this medication are rare. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice symptoms such as a rash, itching or swelling of the face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
This list of potential side effects is not comprehensive. If you experience any other side effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
How To Deal With The Side Effects Of Finasteride
If you experience problems getting an erection or less interest in sex while taking finasteride, you should wait for some time as these side effects may improve with time. However, if these problems persist, you should talk to your doctor for advice.
If you experience problems with ejaculating, such as producing less semen or no semen at all, you should not worry as this is a harmless side effect of finasteride. If this side effect does not improve, you should consult your doctor.
Some Ways To Minimize The Side Effects Of Finasteride
In order to reduce or eliminate the side effects of Finasteride completely, the best course of action is to refrain from taking the drug. However, you can significantly reduce the side effects by reducing the dose from 0.5 mg to 0.25 mg or by following the doctor’s advice to reduce the intake of doses. Another effective alternative that doesn’t require stopping the treatment is to use topical finasteride in combination with oral medicine. When applied to the scalp, the topical Finasteride is absorbed and results in fewer side effects.
In order to ensure the safe and effective use of finasteride, it’s important to inform your doctor or pharmacist of any allergies you may have, as well as your medical history, particularly if you have liver disease, prostate cancer, infections or urinary problems. It’s also crucial to inform your healthcare provider of all the products you use, including prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, and herbal products, before having any surgical procedure.
It’s important to note that finasteride should not be use by women, especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as it may cause harm to an unborn or breastfed baby. If you have any questions about the safe use of this medication, consult with your doctor for more information.
Advice For Women
In the case of women, finasteride is not commonly prescribed as it may cause harm to an unborn baby. If a partner is taking finasteride, it’s important to use a condom during sex as small amounts of the medication can pass into semen.
If there is a chance that a woman could be pregnant, they should not touch any crushed or broken finasteride tablets. The tablets have a protective layer to prevent the entry of finasteride into the bloodstream through the skin as handling the tablets in this way can cause it.
Potential Drug Interactions
When taking finasteride, it is important to be aware of potential drug interactions as they may change how your medication works or increase your risk for serious side effects. It’s important to keep a list of all the products you use, including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products, and share it with your doctor and pharmacist.
With long-term use of finasteride, it is possible that some of its side effects may diminish in severity or even disappear. It’s important to note that this medication can also affect the results of the blood test used to detect prostate cancer (prostatic-specific antigen or PSA levels). Inform the laboratory personnel and your doctors about your use of this drug when you undergo a PSA test. It’s always best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any potential drug interactions before starting or stopping any medications.
Finasteride is available in two dosages for different medical conditions. The dose used to treat male pattern baldness is 1 mg per day, which is the standard dose of finasteride in most generic versions of the drug as well as in the brand name medication Propecia.
On the other hand, the dosage of finasteride used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is 5 mg per day. This higher dose is available in most generic versions of finasteride and in the brand name medication Proscar.
What is the duration for Finasteride to take effect?
To achieve consistent results with finasteride, it is important to take the medication consistently over the course of several months as it does not work overnight. Although the body starts absorbing finasteride and reducing DHT levels immediately, it takes an average of three to four months before any visible improvements in hair growth can be observed.
This delay is not due to the medication not working, but rather because hair takes time to grow. Clinical trial data shows that most men usually experience hair growth improvements from finasteride after a year of continuous use. Therefore, it is important to have a long-term outlook and be patient when using finasteride.
The Uses of Finasteride for Treating Hair Loss
Finasteride has gained popularity because it’s highly effective at slowing down, stopping and even reversing the effects of male pattern baldness, more so than any other hair loss medication.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, you don’t have to live with it. Taking action early can help you enjoy a fuller, thicker head of hair throughout your life. Tens of millions of men in the United States are affected by hair loss.
Finasteride Tablet treats male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, and is most effective for hair loss at the crown and middle of the scalp. Adult men should use this medication as it reduces the amount of DHT, a hormone that causes hair loss, thus increasing hair regrowth and slowing hair loss.
Taking Finasteride Tablet orally once a day is crucial, and it may take up to three months to show results. This medication is not suitable for women and children. Using Finasteride Tablet regularly is essential to achieve the maximum benefit, and if you discontinue, any hair gain will be lost within 12 months. Note that Finasteride Tablet does not impact hair growth on other body parts and regulatory authorities have not approved it for preventing prostate cancer due to the slight risk of developing a severe form of the disease. Patients should follow their doctor or pharmacist’s instructions and inform them if their condition does not improve or worsens.
What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Using Finasteride And Who Should Avoid It?
Men who are 18 years or older can take Finasteride, but it is typically not recommended for women or children. Finasteride may not be suitable for certain individuals, so it is important to inform a doctor if any of the following apply:
- An allergic reaction has occurred in the past after taking finasteride or any other medication
- Severe bladder problems exist
- Liver problems are present
- Trying to conceive or have a pregnant partner, as Finasteride can pass into semen and potentially harm an unborn baby.
Online Companies Are Claiming About Topical Finasteride
Expert bloggers claim that their topical Finasteride and Minoxidil spray can address receding hairlines and bald spots by combining two clinically proven ingredients into a single, no-mess spray, without the need for pills.
The effectiveness of these topical treatments and how they work to treat hair loss is a question that needs to be explored.
How And When Should Finasteride Be Taken?
When you take finasteride, you can take it with or without food, and you should take it around the same time each day. You should swallow the tablets whole with a drink of water and should not break or crush them.
What If I Forget To Take Finasteride?
In case you forget to take your finasteride, there are some steps you can follow. If it has been less than 6 hours since you were supposed to take it, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. On the other hand, if it has been more than 6 hours since your last dose, skip the missed one and take the next scheduled dose at the usual time. Taking a double dose to compensate for the missed one is not advisable.
If you frequently forget to take your medication, setting an alarm may be helpful. You can also consult your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember to take your medicine.
Topical Vs. Oral Finasteride
People often use Finasteride in tablet form to treat male pattern baldness. If someone experiences side effects while using the drug, they can opt for a popular alternative, which is using it topically.
Topical finasteride provides localized treatment for hair loss and is a safe and effective option. It is used on the scalp and can be used in combination with the oral drug.
According to studies, using 0.25% topical finasteride is equivalent to using 1 mg of the tablet. It’s worth noting that, unlike oral Finasteride, topical Finasteride is not an FDA-approved treatment for hair loss.
Experts explain that they traditionally administered Finasteride orally, but they now also use it topically in liquid form, applying it directly to the scalp. They believe that products like these are more accessible for hair loss patients who do not prefer oral medication. Men who want to avoid some of the side effects associated with the tablet form may find topical formulations of finasteride to be a good option.
While some other experts point out that oral Finasteride can cause side effects, such as erectile dysfunction in a small percentage of patients. Finasteride counteracts the effects of DHT, which is a broken-down form of testosterone that plays a major role in hair loss. Too much DHT can cause hair follicles to shrink and ultimately fall out. Finasteride can stimulate regrowth in areas of thinning. Additionally, Minoxidil, which is a medically-approved topical treatment for male pattern hair loss, may improve the effectiveness of Finasteride by allowing it to penetrate more deeply.
Minoxidil Vs Finasteride
Both Propecia and Rogaine are oral medications commonly used to treat hair loss.
Finasteride is a popular medication for treating male pattern baldness as it not only stops hair loss but also promotes the regrowth of new hair. It is an FDA-approved drug that provides a safe and painless solution for treating hair loss. Finasteride works best for males above 30 years old, but it is not recommended for females. With a higher success rate, Finasteride is an effective option for treating hair loss.
On the other hand, Minoxidil is a more effective option for treating early alopecia and promoting hair regrowth. However, it is not effective for every case of male pattern baldness. Compared to Finasteride, many people report no change in hair loss after taking Minoxidil, and it has a lower success rate. Nevertheless, Minoxidil has fewer side effects and can be used in females as well.
What Information Should I Be Aware Of Regarding The Storage And Disposal Of This Finasteride?
Keep the medication in its original container, tightly closed, and out of children’s reach. Keep the medication at room temperature and away from excessive moisture and heat. Do not store it in the bathroom.
To prevent accidental ingestion by young children, it is important to keep all medications out of sight and reach. Containers such as weekly pill minders, eye drop bottles, cream jars, patches, and inhalers are not child-resistant and can be easily opened. Therefore, you should always lock safety caps and put the medication in a secure location that is out of children’s sight and reach.
Properly dispose of unused medications to prevent accidental ingestion by people or pets. Do not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, you should dispose of it through a medicine take-back program. To learn about take-back programs in your community, contact your pharmacist or local garbage/recycling department.
What additional details do I need to be aware of?
Your doctor will schedule appointments for you and order certain lab tests to evaluate how your body is responding to finasteride. It is crucial that you attend all appointments as scheduled and inform the laboratory personnel and your doctor about the medication you are taking before any laboratory tests.
Maintain a written record of all prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements you are taking. It is necessary to carry this list with you when you visit a doctor or are admitted to a hospital. In case of emergencies, it will be useful.
Finasteride is a medication used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and male pattern hair loss. To use the medication safely, it is important to keep it in its original container, out of reach of children, and away from excess heat and moisture. It’s also important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory for lab tests to check your body’s response to finasteride.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking finasteride. Additionally, do not let anyone else take your medication, and ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription. In conclusion, you should create a written record of all the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) medicines, as well as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements you are consuming. This list should be carried with you at all times in case of emergencies and presented to your doctor during appointments or hospital admissions.
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