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Can I Take Finasteride 5mg For Hair Loss

Common Questions About Finasteride


Finasteride is a type of medicine called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor.

It works by stopping testosterone turning into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone . DHT can cause your prostateto grow bigger. It can also stop your hair growing.

Finasteride stops DHT being produced and this helps shrink your prostate and reduce hair loss.

You may notice an improvement a little while after you start taking finasteride.

However, for an enlarged prostate it can take up to 6 months for this medicine to take full effect. For hair loss, you can expect to see some improvement after 3 to 6 months.

You will usually take finasteride for a long time. It could be several months or years. Do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor first.

If you stop taking finasteride, your hair loss or symptoms of an enlarged prostate will usually come back.

Finasteride is generally safe to take for a long time. Many people take it for many months or even years without any problems.

However, there have been reports of breast cancer in some men taking finasteride, but this is rare. Speak to your doctor if you get any changes in your chest area such as lumps, pain or swelling, or discharge from your nipples.

Finasteride does not increase your risk of getting prostate cancer. However, if you take finasteride and later get prostate cancer then you’re more likely to have a fast growing tumour.

Talk to your doctor if you’re bothered by any of these side effects.

You can drink alcohol with finasteride.

What Other Information Should I Know

Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain 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.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Finasteride Risks And Precautions

While some studies proved the effectiveness of finasteride when it comes to treating hair loss in women, its still advisable to exercise caution before taking or using the drug.

If possible, spend time discussing the use finasteride to treat hair loss with your doctor. This will help you determine if the drug is really safe and effective for your situation. You should also take note of the following prior to taking finasteride for hair loss:

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Finasteride Oral Tablet Interactions

Finasteride oral tablets arent known to interact with other medications, herbs, supplements, or foods. This doesnt mean interactions cant happen with finasteride.

Before taking finasteride oral tablets, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you use. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.

If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

How To Take Finasteride

Worried About Finasteride Side Effects? Read This First!

As discussed above, the FDA has approved finasteride for two different indications: hair loss and benign prostate enlargement .

BLP is a non-life-threatening condition also linked to DHT. It also responds to finasteride. The approved dosage for BLP is 5mg daily.

The approved dosage for hair loss is far lower, 1mg daily.

You should take the 1mg pill at the same time of the day. If you miss a dose one day, do not try to compensate for it by taking more the following day. Just continue to take your daily pill as if you had never missed a dose.

Before you start treatment, make sure to read the patient information sheet and ask your doctor if you have any questions. Most importantly, only take finasteride as ordered by your doctor never take more or less.

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New Formulation Of Finasteride

A topical formulation has been proposed as a new treatment modality to minimize the unwanted systemic side effects of oral finasteride, particularly in child-bearing aged women. The ideal formulation of topical finasteride is high skin penetration and low systemic absorption. Topical finasteride has recently shown to be effective in males with AGA. Nevertheless, studies on efficacy of topical finasteride in females have been limited. Mozzarella et al conducted a placebo-controlled trial with 0.005% finasteride solution twice daily for 16 months in 52 patients, including 28 men and 24 pre-menopausal women. The finasteride-treated group showed a significantly greater reduction of hair shedding from the 6th month of treatment and progressively continued throughout the 16-month period. At the end of study, some finasteride-treated scalps demonstrated gradual increases in hair density.

Topical application with finasteride is a promising treatment for FPHL with favorable results. Many aspects of topical finasteride are required for further investigations, including delivery systems, concentrations, and regimens. Because several studies used various formulations, a comparative study between each formulation should be performed to determine the best use of topical finasteride.

Does Finasteride Work For Women

Right now, finasteride is only approved by the FDA for use in men. However, over the last few decades, several studies have investigated it as a potential treatment for hair loss in women.

One of the first large-scale studies of finasteride for women was published in 2000, in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

A team of researchers assessed the effects of finasteride in 137 postmenopausal women with female pattern hair loss.

The women took 1mg of finasteride per day for a total period of one year.

At the end of the study period, the researchers concluded that finasteride didnt have any real effect on hair growth, nor did it appear to prevent hair thinning.

In 2006, a study published in the journal Archives of Dermatology also looked at the effects of finasteride in women.

This time, the women received finasteride at a stronger 2.5mg dosage. They also used an oral contraceptive containing the hormones drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol, which are common active ingredients in birth control pills.

After 12 months, the researchers were able to record a statistically significant improvement in the womens average hair density.

However, its worth noting that its unclear whether the improvement could be attributed to the finasteride or to the oral contraceptive.

In a more recent study from 2013, researchers also found that finasteride appeared to help with female hair loss.

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Should I Take Finasteride For Women

Finasteride is the best treatment for male pattern baldness. And it may be a good option for hair problems in women who do not intend to get pregnant.

We recommend using Minoxidil for hair loss in women as it works effectively and causes fewer side effects than finasteride does. The FDA approved this drug for use in females. You can find it in different forms, the most popular forms include the topical solution and oral medications. Minoxidil acts to dilate blood vessels, thereby boosting blood flow to all hair follicles and stimulating hair growth. Its slow going, so be patient. For instance, if you use a topical solution, applying it every morning and evening. It does not feel sticky or greasy on your hair. After 3-6 months, you can notice that your hair loss is getting less and new hair grows.

When To Stop Taking Finasteride

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If you experience side effects, particularly of a sexual nature, speak to your doctor immediately. Together you can decide how to approach this problem.

Working together with your doctor, you can decide to:

  • Continue treatment and see if the side effects resolve on their own.
  • Lower the dosage
  • Discontinue treatment altogether.
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    The Best Finasteride Dose For Hair Loss

    The prescribed Propecia dosage of 1mg finasteride every day undoubtedly works for hair loss.

    Increasing this dose is not likely to have an appreciable effect on hair. But nor is it likely to increase the risk of side effects either.

    Similarly, evidence suggests that decreasing the dose even to as low as 0.2mg per day wont be any less effective for hair loss. But it probably wont reduce the incidence of side effects either. You could even get away with taking Propecia every other day possibly even every four days. As shown, this is not likely to have a significant effect on DHT levels.

    But the approved dose for hair loss Propecia has been trialled and tested extensively.

    In theory, lower doses would be just as effective. But a lower dose does not necessarily reduce the chance of side effects.

    Aga And Female Pattern Hair Loss: A Link

    Androgenetic alopecia is often considered to be a male-only condition, but thats simply not true. While AGA is often referred to as male-pattern baldness, the condition can affect women, too.

    In fact, pattern baldness can occur in over 50 percent of women over the age of 80 and it can start as early as 20 with an incidence rate of 12 percent . Women affected by PCOS will also be affected by pattern balding. This is thought to be caused by low progesterone and insulin resistance.

    The histological hallmark of pattern hair loss in both men and women is follicle miniaturization. And while the cause of this miniaturization in men is strongly linked to androgens, the link between androgens and female pattern hair loss isnt so clear .

    There are some women who have elevated levels of androgen in their blood serum and hair follicles which is similar to how the condition presents in men. However, there are also those women who dont have elevated androgen levels which indicates that the problem is likely independent of androgens entirely .

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    Does Finasteride Work Is It Safe To Use

    Clinical studies have shown finasteride to be effective at treating the following conditions in adult males:

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved finasteride for these uses, having found the drug generally safe to use. But it can cause some side effects.

    For more information about finasterides effectiveness, see the Finasteride oral tablet uses section below. And for more information about its side effects, see the Finasteride oral tablet side effects section above.

    What Happens If I Quit Using Finasteride After A Few Months

    Finasteride 1mg

    Finasteride has a relatively short half-life. So, once you stop taking the tablet, its effects should be out of your system within seven days and you can expect to see your usual rate of hair loss return.

    Why? Without finasteride, your body will not be able to block 5-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. For as long as you want to prevent hair loss, keep what you have, and even regrow more hair, finasteride is your best friend.


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    How Does It Work

    Finasteride is a synthetic azo-steroid that works by inhibiting the activities of type II 5 alpha reductase . It is not an anti-androgen, but it instead binds to the enzyme and inhibits the natural conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone .

    But why does this work?

    Androgenetic alopecia, also referred to as pattern hair loss, is believed to be caused by a sensitivity to the androgen DHT. This sensitivity triggers follicle miniaturization when the androgen attaches to the follicles receptors and this, in turn, can lead to shedding and hair loss.

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    Finasteride doesnt prevent testosterone or DHT from performing their necessary biological processes. However, it does reduce the amount of DHT present in the body which can be beneficial for those with AGA and similar conditions.

    Alternatives For Hair Loss

    Finasteride is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the following conditions in adult males:*

    Finasteride inhibits an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This is called the drugs mechanism of action .

    The following sections describe how 5-alpha-reductase affects hair loss and BPH, and how finasteride works to treat these conditions.

    * Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term males in this article refers to sex assigned at birth. Enzymes are proteins that aid chemical changes in the body.

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    Use A Hair Growth Shampoo

    There is no shortage of hair loss shampoos currently on the market. When selecting one, read the ingredients on the label carefully to ensure there are no chemicals like sulfates, artificial colors, and fragrances. Manufacturers include these in the bottle to increase the formulas pleasantness and lower the costs, but they can actually be detrimental to the health of your hair and scalp.

    An example of a shampoo that does not go down this path is the Hairguard Caffeine shampoo. The caffeine stimulates hair growth, and the formula includes all-natural ingredients with no harsh chemicals.

    Can Women Use Finasteride To Treat Hair Loss

    How Long Should I Take Finasteride For?

    The science behind how this popular hair loss medication works may help some women, but not all.

    Thereâs a good chance that if youâre a woman you will eventually have to deal with some type of hair loss . In fact, about one-third of women will have hair loss over the course of their life and among postmenopausal women, two-thirds will experience female pattern hair loss, thinning, or bald spots from the hormonal shift thatâs taking place. While female hair loss is a common issue, the current treatment options for women seem scarce. Currently, the only FDA-approved option is minoxidil .

    Finasteride , which is an effective treatment for men, was previously found ineffective when used by women, according to research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The study looked at the results of 137 postmenopausal women who received either 1 mg per day of finasteride or a placebo and found that after 12 months there was no hair growth or less hair thinning in the finasteride group compared to the placebo group. But good news: Updated research has found that finasteride can be an effective treatment for women in an increased dose, says Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist at Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. âThere have been studies that show when women take 5 mg per day of finasteride they can improve the thickness of their hair,â says Dr. Gohara.

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