How Should This Medicine Be Used
Finasteride comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take finasteride at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take finasteride exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If you are taking finasteride to treat BPH, you should know that finasteride may control your condition, but will not cure it. It may take at least 6 months before your symptoms improve. Continue to take finasteride even if you feel well. Do not stop taking finasteride without talking to your doctor.
If you are taking finasteride to treat male pattern hair loss, it may take at least 3 months before you see any improvement because hair loss and growth happen slowly over time. However, you should expect to see improvement during the first 12 months of your treatment. If you have taken finasteride for 12 months and have not noticed any improvement, further treatment probably will not help. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue your treatment.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Are Finasteride Medications Like Propecia And Proscar Safe For Women
At the end of the day, it is important for those struggling with hair loss to ask themselves if Finasteride medications like Propecia and Proscar are safe for women.
Scientific studies have shown that some of the critical dangers of women taking Finasteride include fetal defects , and increased cancer risk.
Always do your research before taking any hair loss drugs like Finasteride.
Remember, there are always other safer ways to encourage natural hair growth.
Combine Finasteride With Minoxidil
Minoxidil is a medication that comes as a foam or liquid that you rub onto your scalp. Scientists believe it helps stimulate hair growth by increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to hair follicles.
A clinical trial of 100 people with androgenic alopecia found that using finasteride and minoxidil together was more effective than using either one alone . If youre interested in trying this combination, speak with your healthcare provider.
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What Treatments Dont Work Or Cost Too Much
There are countless men out there who are desperate to stop male pattern baldness, so theyll try just about everything they can.
Unfortunately, many of the hair loss treatments currently on the market either dont work, or are effective but prohibitively expensive. These include:
Laser combs and other products. Often referred to as low-level laser therapy , these products use laser light to stimulate the hair follicles. Research is mixed on their effectiveness and many devices of this type cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Hair oils. Several essential oils are marketed as treatments for pattern hair loss. While some have shown mild effects in small studies, none are as effective as FDA-approved hair loss treatments such as finasteride and minoxidil.
Corticosteroids. These medications are used to reduce inflammation, which can cause hair loss in certain situations. While they may be useful for some non-hormonal forms of hair loss, theres no evidence that they prevent or slow down pattern hair loss.
Topical corticosteroids. While these may be prescribed for certain inflammatory scalp conditions, theyre not used for male pattern baldness.
Hair transplant surgery. Although hair transplant surgery is effective, its an expensive option. The cost of a hair transplant can vary from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of your hair loss and number of grafts required.
How Long Should I Take Finasteride
A Japanese study showed that 86% of men taking Finasteride for 10 years continued to see a benefit. 14% experienced further hair loss. Finasteride is generally considered as a long term treatment.
When treatment is stopped, all the improvements seen begin to reverse after 6 months and then there is a return to the original scalp hair in about 12 months.
Those taking Finasteride for balding should be consistent with their schedule of taking the product, as balding can continue to occur one the medicine is stopped.
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Where To Buy Topical Finasteride
Topical finasteride is relatively new in the market. As a result, only a few companies are currently producing it.
These companies may manufacture topical finasteride as a single medication or in combination with minoxidil. One of the popular sellers of topical finasteride is MinoxidilMax, which offers the following solution:
Propecia Vs Generic Finasteride
Most men opt to take the generic finasteride, as it can be purchased for around $10 per month. Propecia typically costs $50-$60 per month. Insurance will not cover these medications.
The men who choose to spend extra money on Propecia usually do it for one reason and one reason only: consistency. You know exactly what youre getting with Propecia, every time, as its manufactured to the same standards without deviation.
On the other hand, there are many different generic versions of finasteride available, which are manufactured throughout the world.
The active ingredient is the same, of course. And its unlikely, in my view, that your results will be dramatically different, whether you go with the generic or the name-brand Propecia.
But if you do use a generic and have positive results, it would probably be wise to stick with the same version of that generic medication for as long as possible to ensure consistency. Consult with your doctor and/or pharmacist about this if you have any questions or concerns.
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How Does Propecia Work
Using the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which is the enzyme involved in steroid metabolism, Propecia blocks the conversion of testosterone to the androgen Dihydrotestosterone . Testosterone is a hormone thats present in both men and women, though men typically have more testosterone present in their bodies. About 10 percent of testosterone in all adults is converted to DHT. However, testosterone is what contributes to growth in body hair.
DHT is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, which signals to the hair follicle to undergo miniaturization, hair transplant surgeon at Ziering Medical, Dr. Rae Lynne Kinler, explains. Over time, this leads to a finer, thinner, lighter hair shaft, which progressively gets smaller until the follicle no longer produces a hair shaft.
How Long Does It Take Propecia To Work
Dr. Lopresti notes that Propecia must be used daily for at least 18 months to clinically assess the results of treatment. With that being said, patients can start seeing results as early as 3 or 4 months.
From there, Dr. Sieber says that the effects build up around 12 months before they begin to plateau. The hair is still being protected, but increased hair thickness may level out around 12 months or so, he says.
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Do Finasteride Side Effects Stop With Usage
Scientific studies show that finasteride is a safe, effective hair loss treatment with few, mild side effects. However, a small percentage of men that use finasteride might experience side effects such as depression and short-term sexual dysfunction.Of these side effects, sexual dysfunction is the most common, with finasteride use increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction and hypoactive sexual desire for some men.Currently, data regarding long-term side effects from finasteride is mixed. FDA study data shows that the vast majority of men that experience side effects from finasteride also notice that these side effects stop when they stop using the medication.However, a small number of men that use finasteride report long-term side effects that continue after they stop taking the medication. At this point, most studies view this aspect of finasteride usage as an area of active research.
So What Happens If You Stop Taking Finasteride
In short, once you stop taking finasteride, you can expect that the hair youve preserved will start to fall out, just like it did before you took the medication. Finasteride only works while the drug is active in your body, meaning youll go back to a normal rate of hair loss once its excreted.
If youve experienced side effects from finasteride including sexual dysfunction, breast tenderness and rashes in most cases, they will stop once you stop taking it. This is documented in most studies of finasterides side effect profile.
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Serum Vs Scalp Dht Levels
Before we get into the research, it is important to understand what biomarkers are used. When speaking of finasteride, the two most common are serum DHT and scalp DHT levels.
DHT is synthesized in various tissues, but primarily in the liver. It then circulates throughout the body by way of blood . It finally arrives at the scalp and attaches to the follicles androgen receptors.
When assessing various finasteride dosages for hair loss, the levels of DHT in the blood and hair follicle are therefore the most important.
Is Finasteride Right For Me
You may like to know whether finasteride is the right hair loss treatment for you. While the answer will differ for each person, there are a few things to consider before making the decision.
As a treatment option that covers the symptoms of hair loss but does not treat it, keep in mind you will need to continue treatment indefinitely. This could mean you will be taking finasteride for the rest of your life if you want to maintain the benefits.
You should also remember that some side effects associated with finasteride can continue even after the drug has left your system. This can negatively impact your sexual function and can contribute to symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Finally, the drug especially the branded Propecia -can be costly. Considering you will need to take it indefinitely, it will add up to many thousands of dollars over your lifetime.
Ultimately, only you can decide whether finasteride is right for you.
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Therapeutic Efficacy Of Finasteride In Female Pattern Hair Loss
Finasteride has been commonly used in men with AGA and benign prostatic hyperplasia, and is progressively prescribed in women with hyperandrogenism-associated conditions including acne vulgaris, hirsutism and pattern alopecia induced by testosterone in female-to-male transgender patients., Nevertheless, studies of the efficacy of oral finasteride in FPHL are limited because of the potential risk of teratogenicity in the male fetus. The dosage of finasteride for FPHL ranges from 1 to 5 mg daily. Case reports and series using various regimens showed increased hair density and reduction of hair shedding in pre- and postmenopausal women with or without hyperandrogenism. Evidence from clinical trials of finasteride in FPHL is summarized in .
Can They Be Used Together Safely
After learning more about just how these medications work for hair loss and what they can do, you may have trouble deciding which direction sounds more appealing.
Well, it turns out that you may not need to choose at all, and if it is ok with your doctor, you are likely safe using both medications together for hair loss.
These medications work on very different targets for hair loss, Finasteride blocks DHT, while Minoxidil increased blood flow, so there is little to no risk of interaction or overlap between the two.
However, you will still need to speak with a doctor before starting these medications to make sure that they do not interact with any additional condition you may have or other medication that you are currently using.
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Study: Finasteride Treatment Of Patterned Hair Loss In Normoandrogenic Postmenopausal Women
A 2004 study performed in Switzerland tested the effects of 2.5mg and 5mg finasteride on five postmenopausal women over a span of 18 months .
The efficacy of the drug was evaluated by patient and investigator assessments, as well as a review of photographs taken at baseline and at months six, 12 and 18 by an expert panel.
As the results of this study indicate, the 2.5mg dose of finasteride was enough to decrease hair loss, increase hair growth, and improve the appearance of hair within 18 months of use. Even further, there were no adverse effects reported.
Do keep in mind that assessments were subjective and, as such, cannot be held up as proof of finasterides positive effects on pattern loss in women. In addition, the sample size was quite small.
Fortunately, there is another more recent study with an objective study design.
Finasteride & Hair Transplants
When it comes to hair transplants and Finasteride there are a few scenarios that may affect results.
Firstly, if you are thinking of getting a hair transplant you may consider taking Finasteride for a minimum of a year before going under the knife especially if you are under 30 and the rate of your hair loss progressing is still being evaluated.
This is because it can take Finasteride anywhere from 6 months 1 year to start showing results.
Waiting for this time allows a surgeon to work on thinner areas of the scalp that may not have been covered or dense before starting the drug.
In 2005 it was found that taking 1mg of Finasteride daily improves hair transplant scalp areas and increases hair density.
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Finasteride Hair Loss Treatment For Women
Finasteride is mainly used to treat male pattern hair loss.
It aids in preventing further hair loss while also stimulating hair growth. However, there are also studies that show that it works for women. The usual dose for men is to take a 1mg daily.
This dose, however, isnot effective in women, according to a pilot study conducted on post-menopausal participants. The most effective dose for them would be 2.5 to 5mg, according to a few studies and case reports.
The studies conducted by researchers indicated that finasteride also works effectively in treating female pattern hair loss, but it is crucial to clarify the optimal dosage for specific cases. Researchers did not describe side effects dependent on the dose of the treatment.
Another study was conducted by the Department of Dermatology at the University of Bologna to determine the effectiveness of finasteride when it comes to treating female pattern hair loss. The setting was an outpatient consultation for certain hair conditions. The study was performed on 37 women suffering from hair loss. They received 2.5 mg oral finasteride while they also took an oral contraceptive that contained ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone.
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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