How Effective Is Finasteride
The data are from three large, multicentre, placebo-controlled studies of 1,879 men with mild-to-moderate, but not complete, male pattern hair loss. The men received either oral finasteride once daily or placebo for one year. The endpoints for the studies were objective hair counts taken from a 1-inch diameter circular area, and subjective assessments of improvement by patients, investigators, and an independent panel of dermatology experts who evaluated pre- and post-treatment photographs.
The trials showed that finasteride can prevent hair loss in men with mild-to-moderate male pattern hair loss. In two of the clinical studies involving men with mild-to-moderate male pattern hair loss, 86% of men treated with finasteride maintained or showed an increase in the amount of their hair based on hair counts during the course of the studies. Only 14% of men treated with finasteride had further hair loss after 12 months of treatment, compared with 58% of placebo patients.
On-going studies have demonstrated that finasteride halts hair loss or regrows hair in 9 out of 10 men taking it longterm every day.
Does Finasteride Work For Everyone
For the majority of users, Finasteride is an extremely successful treatment for treating hair loss.
Of course, everyone is different and individuals can react to the same medication in different ways, so in some rare circumstances, Finasteride may not be as effective. Finasteride also works best at treating hair loss where there is a receding hairline and thinning in areas of complete hair loss, it will not work as well.
In terms of who can use Finasteride, any man over the age of 18 can use this medication irrespective of height, weight, or age, and will most likely see positive results from their treatment.
However, Finasteride isnt suitable for use by children and adolescents younger than 18. Women are advised not to take Finasteride either, because of the way that it interacts with female hormones.
What Is Finasteride And Who Is It For
Finasteride is a prescription oral drug that doctors originally used to shrink an enlarged prostate. According to Nicholas M Birchall, MD, and dermatologist in Auckland, New Zealand, finasteride treats male- and female-pattern baldness by lowering levels of DHT. This stops the hormone from attacking the hair follicles, slowing or eliminating hair loss. Because it targets DHT, it will not work for other forms of hair loss, such as hair loss due to chemotherapy, stress, medication, or hypothyroidism.
âFinasteride is by far the more clinically effective medication compared to minoxidil,â Gary Linkov, MD, of City Facial Plastics in New York City tells WebMD Connect to Care. Linkov does caution that finasteride can cause sexual side effects such as decreased semen and reduced sexual desire. In some cases, it may also cause excessive hair growth.
According to Mayo Clinic, people who take finasteride may experience rare symptoms such as nipple discharge, enlarged breasts or breast pain, testicle pain, or trouble urinating. Contact a doctor right away if you have these symptoms.
âFinasteride should not be used in premenopausal women,â Linkov says.
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About Finasteride For Male Pattern Baldness
|Type of medicine|
Male pattern baldness is the common type of hair loss that develops in many men at some stage. The condition is sometimes called androgenetic alopecia. It is caused by a combination of hereditary and hormonal factors.
Hair is made in hair follicles. A hair normally grows from each hair follicle for about three years. It is then shed and a new hair grows from the follicle. As balding develops, affected hair follicles gradually become smaller than normal. Each new hair that grows is thinner and shed more quickly than before. This eventually leads to a much smaller hair follicle and a thin hair that does not grow out to the skin surface.
Male hormones are involved in causing these changes. Hair follicles convert testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Affected hair follicles become more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone and this causes the hair follicles to shrink.
For some men, this normal ageing process can be distressing, particularly if it is excessive or occurs early in life. Treatment with finasteride can help prevent further hair loss. It works by stopping the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
Finasteride is only available on a prescription from a doctor, but it is not available on the NHS. This means you will be asked to pay the full price of the tablets when you receive your supply.
How Does Finasteride Affect The Body’s Hormonal/endocrine System
Finasteride is a specific type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. That is, it inhibits the enzyme responsible for regulating the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone . By reducing DHT levels in the scalp, the drug decreases DHT’s effects on the hair follicles, reversing the process of hair loss.
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Male Fertility And Finasteride
Men could experience a decrease in their sperm count when taking Finasteride due to a change in the composition of sperm upon ejaculation. This is thought to be uncommon.
Thus far there have been no reports of increased rates of birth defects in men who have fathered children while taking this medication compared to the background rate of birth defects . This is because the amount of Finasteride entereing sperm is very low. Those wishing to be very cautious might wish to withdraw medication 2 or 3 months before conceiving.
Is More Better With Finasteride When It Comes To Hair Improvements
Researchers have concluded that the 1mg strength of Finasteride and the 5mg strength produce similar hair improvements, so taking more than the recommended 1mg Finasteride strength to help improve your hair will likely not give you much better results.
Also, there is a small risk of potential side effects with Finasteride, including erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorder, decreased ejaculate volume, decreased sperm counts, and a reduced sex drive.
So, if you take a higher strength of Finasteride than recommended by your doctor for hair loss, you will likely not see more hair improvements, but you may be at a higher risk of developing unwanted side effects.
âBottom Line: More is not always better, and higher doses may increase your risk of side effects. Always follow the instructions from your doctor and pharmacist when it comes to dosing and never change your dose or regimen without consulting with a doctor first.
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Other Hair Loss Treatments In Development
Medical researchers continue to explore alternative treatments for hair loss.
For example, cyclosporine, originally used for transplant patients and people with autoimmune diseases, has been found to stimulate hair growth.
On a different front, platelet-rich plasma therapy is being investigated to treat baldness. The therapy is used to hasten healing in a variety of medical fields, including dentistry and orthopedics. In PRP therapy, a persons own blood is placed into a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. The plasma, containing growth factors, is then injected back into the patient. When PRP therapy is used for hair loss treatment, the plasma is injected directly into the patients hair follicles.
Another team of researchers is developing a device they are describing as a flexible, wearable photostimulator that has demonstrated the ability to grow hair on mice.
In Texas, researchers are looking at a protein known as KROX20 that purportedly tells skin cells to become hair and then to produce a protein that plays an important role in pigmentation of the hair.
Researchers elsewhere are examining possible genetic treatments, as well as treatments to generate stem cells.
Finasteride And Memory Loss
In some very rare circumstances, Finasteride has been linked to memory loss.
This tends to be part of a wider problem known as post finasteride syndrome which is experienced by a very small percentage of men who take Finasteride.
PFS is made up of a range of persistent sexual, physical, neurological and mental adverse reactions including memory loss and other cognitive difficulties.
It is extremely rare to suffer from this condition and experience memory loss.
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Does Finasteride Help Genetic Hair Loss In Women
So does it help women with genetic hair loss? Studies from nearly two decades ago said no. A study by Dr vera Price and colleagues in 2000 suggested a 1 mg dose in post menopausal women did not help androgenetic alopecia. But just 2 years later, in 2002, Shum and colleagues presented 4 women who did respond to a higher dose of finasteride – this time 2.5 mg finasteride. All 4 women had hyperandrogenism . This refueled interest in the role of finasteride for women.
In 2006, Dr Iorizzo and colleagues from Bologna, Italy published a study which further renewed interest in the use of finasteride for the treatment of female pattern hair loss. Iorizzo and colleagues looked at the benefit of finasteride at a dose of 2.5 mg in 37 women diagnosed with female pattern hair loss. All women in the study were also using a birth control pill to prevent pregnancy. After 12 months of follow up, 62 % of women using finasteride had an improvement in hair density. 13 patients hair loss had stabilized – it did not get worse but did not improve. Only 1 of 37 patients experienced a worsening of their hair density.
How To Protect Yourself From Hair Loss On Deca Or Npp
The easiest way to do this is with a potent topical anti-androgen like RU58841.
Back in 2016 I was trying to find a log of someone who had used RU58841 concurrently with Deca or NPP to see if the same catastrophic Finasteride reaction would occur if I were to combine RU58841 with Nandrolone.
I scoured the Internet and could not find 1 single log of someone having tried them both at the same time.
I took it upon myself to guinea pig it, as NPP was my favourite bulking compound at the time.
If you have read my RU58841 article, you will know that I was in a state of severe diffuse thinning prior to starting RU58841.
At this state of diffuse thinning, I was also already about 1/3 of my way into a cycle of Testosterone and NPP.
I started with 50mg of RU58841 applied once per day, and within a week I already noticed that my shedding had dramatically decreased.
I went from losing 50-100+ hairs in the shower drain each shower to literally 1-5 hairs per shower.
Over the next couple months, I noticed significant density/thickness returning to my hair as I was now losing hair at a rate far slower than the rate at which I was growing it.
Within a couple months while still on my NPP cycle, I had regained a significant amount of ground I had lost from my previous cycles, and my hair looked as good as it did a couple years prior.
That means that there was no possible way Nandrolone converting into DHN would be inhibited, regardless of how much RU58841 I was applying.
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How Long To Take It
Male pattern hair loss is a condition that develops over a long period of time. Because it takes time for new hair to grow, you will not see immediate results. In general, daily use for 3 months or more may be necessary before you notice increased hair growth or prevention of further loss. Continue taking FINASTERIDE-1MG for as long as your doctor prescribes.
Can Other Factors Cause Shedding
Yes, factors other than finasteride can cause shedding.
Excessive shedding can be caused by factors like extreme malnutrition, chronic stress, serious illnesses and certain medications. The technical term for this is Telogen Effluvium.
Like finasteride, the effects of these factors should be temporary. Shedding occurs in response to the triggering factor and should ease when the factor stops.
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Testosterone Dht And Hair Growth
As a man, you have naturally high levels of testosterone. About a tenth of your testosterone gets turned into dihydrotestosterone , which works like testosterone but is highly potent. Your body needs DHT for healthy hair growth, but too much DHT can have the opposite effect.
- Hair growth phase, which lasts 26 years
- Hair resting phase, which lasts 23 months
After the hair resting phase, the hair falls out, and the cycle starts over. Different follicles are staggered in different phases at any given time, which is why all your hair doesnt just fall out every few years and have to grow back in all at once.
When too much of your testosterone gets converted into DHT, the follicles can get stuck in the resting phase. The hair eventually falls out, but no new hair grows in. In most men, hair loss starts at the temples and works its way back in what is called male pattern baldness, the most common form of hair loss.
What Happens After You Stop Using Finasteride
Finasteride works by stopping your body from converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone . DHT is the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness, so stopping the production of DHT will halt hair loss and can even promote hair growth.
Unfortunately, Finasteride isnt a cure for hair loss, but an ongoing treatment. Although Finasteride is an effective hair loss medication, it only works while you are taking it.
This is because Finasteride only has a half-life of around five to six hours which means that you will need to take a tablet daily to keep the levels of Finasteride in your body topped up.
If you stop using Finasteride, your body will begin to convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone again, and your hair loss may continue.
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Study: Lack Of Efficacy Of Finasteride In Postmenopausal Women With Androgenetic Alopecia
This first study, performed in Portugal and published in 2000, consisted of 137 postmenopausal women with diagnosed AGA .
The study was carried out over one year, and it can be classified as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multicenter trial.
The women were split into two groups, of which one received a daily dose of 1mg finasteride and the other received a placebo. This continued for 12 months, and the methods used for evaluation included:
- Scalp hair counts
- Assessment of global photographs by a blinded expert panel
- Histologic analysis of scalp biopsy specimens
How did the women fare?
According to the study, after 1 year of therapy, there was no significant difference in the change in hair count between the finasteride and placebo groups. In fact, both groups showed significant decreases in hair count in the frontal/parietal scalp.
Even further, the scalp biopsy analysis did not demonstrate any improvement in slowing hair thinning, increasing hair growth, or improving the appearance of the hair.
This study very clearly demonstrated that the women did not benefit from finasteride therapy, but a few later studies say otherwise.