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.
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.
Why Doesnt Everyone With Hair Loss Use Propecia
The truth is, a lot of people have chosen not to use Propecia in their regime despite a large amount of scientific evidence indicating its ability to prevent hair loss. There are three main reasons for this: side effects, hassle, and cost.
Nobody likes going to the doctor.
> > First you have to call your doctors office to schedule the appointment.
> > Then when the receptionist asks you the reason for your appointment. Indeed you have to tell him or her hair loss.
> > After that, you have to have a somewhat embarrassing conversation with your doctor.
> > Then of course visiting your local pharmacy for filling the prescription and subsequent refills.
You also have to fully come to terms with your condition and the facts. This can also be hard to do, it means accepting your hair loss isnt going to stop on its own and your hair is going to miraculously grow back.
This one goes hand-in-hand with the upfront hassle. Hair loss is not a comfortable thing to talk about for most people enduring the condition.
Its almost like it is a taboo topic of conversation, and most people will think its funny even though it has a huge impact on the person who is experiencing it.
Many people are worried about the side effects. This is a legitimate concern. While only about 2% experience negative side effects, no one wants to be one of those unlucky few. This is one of the reasons you should talk to your doctor about any concerns you have.
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But Is It Safe To Use Finasteride For Long Periods Of Time
Yes, finasteride is safe! A seven-year-long study tested the effects of long-term consumption of finasteride and observed no serious long-term consequences.
However, there are possible side effects of taking finasteride. Though rare, in clinical trials, 3.8% of male patients taking finasteride noticed some form of sexual side effects, including less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex. . These side effects may continue after stopping the treatment, so contact your doctor if you have any additional questions. You may also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Will Hair Loss Ever Stop By Itself
I have diffuse hair thinning and am wondefring if hair loss can stop by itself?
This question was posed by a hair loss sufferer on our hair restoration forum and answered by Dr. Michael Beehner of Saratoga Springs, NY who is one of our recommended hair restoration physicians. His professional answer is below.
If one of the various well-known patterns of male pattern baldness expresses itself in its early stages, it is virtually unheard of for it not to progress gradually to a more severe degree of baldness. About the only exception to this might be the man who only has a minimal fronto-temporal recession . Occasionally one of these will lock in and stay there. It is true that many men have periods of their life during which it seems the hair loss progression accelerates and other periods in which it seems to stabilize, but in my 19 years of following balding men, when you see any man 5 years later who was not on hair loss medication such as Propecia or Rogaine or who received a hair transplant, there is a progression of hair loss. The two age plateaus where I see most men start this process is first in the early 20s when many, including myself, start to recede in the front corners and at the same time thin in the crown. The second is in the 40s, when a fair number of men, who previously thought they were immune to hair loss, also start to thin in front and in back.
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Can You Speed Finasteride Up
Unfortunately, there is no way you can speed up’ the effects of Finasteride. Its important to be patient during the course of treatment, because it may take some time for the Finasterides success to become apparent.
Irrespective of height, weight, or age, Finasteride only needs to be taken as a daily dose of 1mg to treat hair loss which is enough for the drug to work effectively.
Trying to increase your dose will not speed up Finasterides results and makes the drug no more effective. It could possibly be harmful to your body as well, because of the increased risk of side effects.
You may have noticed a 5mg version of Finasteride during your research of the drug. This dosage is prescribed to men with an enlarged prostate, and it may reduce the need for prostate surgery. It should not be used to prevent hair loss, as it will not have any greater success, but will increase the risk of negative side effects.
Tinkering With The Standard Dosage
There is no benefit to taking more than 1mg daily for your hair loss. There is zero chance you will see better results, and will only be more likely to experience unpleasant side effects. You will understand why this is so as you read through this article.
The aim of this discussion is to see if it is possible to take a dosage that is lower than 1mg daily.
A lower dosage might interest balding men for many reasons:
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Youve suspected it for some time, but now its undeniable youre losing your hair. Whether it takes the form of a receding hairline, a bald spot around your crown or diffuse thinning on your entire scalp, hair loss is never a good thing.
As a man, your hair is an important part of your identity and your hairstyle is a testament to your personality. But losing your hair doesnt have to mean losing yourself.
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Lower Dosage To Reduce Baldness
It is significant to note that the hair loss reduction effect of Propecia occurs even at a much lower dosage than that needed to treat enlarged prostrate glands. A single 1 milligram Propecia tablet taken daily is the usual prescribed dose for hair loss treatment. Over time, some patients find that in addition to halting hair loss, they actually start to regrow hair that had recently been lost. Dr. Panagotacos prescribes finasteride treatments for certain of his hair restoration patients. This patient illustrates an exceptionally positive response to finasteride treatment. Typical results are less pronounced.
Clinical evidence suggests Propecia works to slow the rate and degree of hair loss, and in some cases reverse hair loss, in the following manner:
5-alpha-reductase increases DHT: Without Propecia, testosterone, a naturally occurring hormone in the bloodstream, is converted by the naturally occurring enzyme 5-alpha-reductase to a form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone .
Propecia blocks type II 5-alpha-reductase: Propecia blocks a form of 5-alpha-reductase called type II 5-alpha-reductase from converting as much testosterone to DHT as would be the case without treatment. The result is lower levels of DHT in the blood. Continuous treatment is required to maintain the benefits, as 5-alpha-reductase will continue converting testosterone to DHT if treatment is discontinued.
Can Propecia Stop Working
Yes, if you stop taking Propecia it will stop having an effect and hair loss will continue. You will have to keep taking Propecia for as long as you would like to halt your hair loss.
If youve been taking Propecia for some time and think its not working as well, please speak to your clinician. Taking more than 1 tablet a day will not make Propecia work faster or better, but may increase the chances of experiencing side effects.
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Mechanism Of Finasteride In Female Pattern Hair Loss
Because FPHL is a complex disease, the mechanism by which finasteride improves hair loss is not well established. A study in mice proposed that DHT may downgrade insulin-like growth factor-1 expression by inhibiting the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide that interacts with the androgen receptors, thereby preventing hair growth. These findings suggested that finasteride might be associated with increasing IGF-1 production in the dermal papillae by decreasing DHT levels. Rushton et al found that finasteride administration resulted in increased mean hair density without insignificant changes of vellus hair counts. The observed hair regrowth in FPHL may be supported by reactivating telogen/kenogen follicles into anagen follicles rather than vellus-to-terminal hair transformation. Further studies are needed to determine the mechanism of finasteride in FPHL. Concerning contradictory efficacy in pre-existing literatures, oral finasteride may be served as an alternative modality in FPHL patients who fail minoxidil treatment. We suggest using finasteride in postmenopausal women to avoid potential teratogenic effects.
Does Propecia Stop Hair Loss In 90% Of Men
Dear NHI Team your blog is one of the most informative and professional online resources.
In the past you have written that of a belief that Propecia works for all men. Dr Bernstein in NYC, Dr. McAndrews in LA have made similar statements. The Merck claim is that it stops hair loss in 9/10 men. Perhaps you are saying that the one man left will go on to lose hair but a slower rate?
Could please elaborate on your opinion?
Propecia is for the treatment of androgenic alopecia in men. Im not sure if Merck claims it stops hair loss, but I think Merck is claiming it works in 90% or 9 out of 10 men. The degree of how well it works on the individual is variable. Over the long term, even if you do take Propecia, you will continue to lose hair, albeit at a slower rate. For example, instead of losing most of your hair in your 20s you may be able to prolong that fate to your 40s. To some that may be worth it.
Finally, unless youre doing this for research or intellectual purposes, the statistics dont matter when it comes to personal experience. No matter what the percentage of successfully growing or slowing down hair loss, men may try the medication in hopes it will work. Likewise, no matter what the percentage of negative sexual side effects, men may not try the medication due to fear of it happening to them.
Speaking To Your Doctor
As mentioned, finasteride is prescription only. That means you need to consult a physician to begin treatment and determine the right dosage for you.
If you are concerned that the 1mg dosage might be too much for you, discuss this with your doctor. Together, you can decide on a lower dosage regimen, which will most likely be around 0.2mg.
Finasteride pills are not available in strengths lower than 1mg. This means that if you want to take a lower dosage, your doctor can advise you on a) either skipping the pill on certain days or b) cutting the pill into smaller pieces with a pill cutter.
Who Should Use Propecia
FDA-approved for men only, Propecia is best used for men experiencing crown thinning or baldness. Dr. Matthew Lopresti of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates explains that Propecia is, typically the first-line therapy in nearly all men with crown thinning or baldness. He specifically notes that Propecia doesnt necessarily target the frontal areas, so those with a receding hairline may not see results.
Propecia can, and sometimes should be used in tandem with other preventative hair loss treatments, such as shampoos and other topical treatments.
Meanwhile, it is not recommended for women of childbearing capacity because of the potential for fetal birth defects. It is absolutely not recommended for any woman of childbearing age, whether she plans to be pregnant or not, Dr. Sieber says. The drug does cause fetal malformations or abnormalities and can cause loss of a fetus, so it is recommended to be avoided completely in any woman of childbearing age.
However, women who experienced hair loss after menopause has found success in using Propecia.
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