Are There Any Contraindications For Finasteride
Finasteride is not indicated for use in women or children. However, it is sometimes prescribed off-label for postmenopausal women without problems. Finasteride is contraindicated in women who are or may potentially be pregnant. Finasteride is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to any component of the product.
It is not recommended in men that are subfertile. In men planning to have children, some doctors check sperm counts prior to starting finasteride and repeat it after 6 months of treatment. If the sperm count has reduced, finasteride should be stopped.
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.
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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Other Options For Treating Hair Loss
Finasteride works well on its own. However, its even more effective at preventing hair loss and improving hair growth when its used with other science-based medications.
One medication thats particularly effective with finasteride is minoxidil, a topical medication for hair loss that may increase blood circulation and nutrient supply to your hair follicles.
Just like finasteride, minoxidil is backed up by real scientific research showing that its effective at treating and preventing hair loss. Research has also found that minoxidil and finasteride are especially effective when used together.
For example, a study published in Dermatologic Therapy in 2015 looked at the effects of topical minoxidil on its own, finasteride on its own and a combination of finasteride and topical minoxidil together as treatments for hair loss in balding men.
The study found that 59 percent of the men treated using minoxidil and 80.5 percent of the men treated using finasteride showed improvements in hair growth, compared to 94.1 percent of the men who used both medications at the same time.
We offer minoxidil online, either on its own or along with finasteride in our Hair Power Pack. You can learn more about how finasteride and minoxidil work together in our full guide to finasteride and minoxidil for treating hair loss.
In addition to minoxidil, other products that could help to prevent hair loss, stimulate growth and maintain your hair include:
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:
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Why Does Finasteride Come In Two Tablet Strengths
Finasteride was initially released on the market in 1992, in a 5mg tablet strength which was FDA approved under the brand name Proscar for use in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. 5 years later, in 1997, another Finasteride-containing medication was released under the brand name Propecia.
Propecia is only available in the 1mg tablet strength, and its FDA-approved indication is only for androgenic alopecia in men, not anything prostate related.
So, why is the same ingredient approved for two separate and seemingly diverse indications?
It all comes down to strengths and Dihydrotestosterone .DHT is an androgen that develops from testosterone, and this hormone in surplus has been found to be a culprit in both prostate issues and the shrinking of the hair follicles in the scalp causing androgenic alopecia.
Finasteride help remedy these situations by blocking the enzyme which helps form DHT from testosterone, thus reducing the DHT levels in the body.
However, it turns out that 1mg of Finasteride may reduce DHT enough to help with prostate issues, and that 5mg Finasteride may be overkill for helping with male pattern hair loss issues.
Finasteride Oral Tablet Side Effects
Finasteride oral tablets can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking this drug. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of finasteride oral tablets, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you would like to notify the FDA about a side effect youve had with finasteride oral tablets, you can do so through MedWatch.
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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.
How To Tell If The Drug Is Working
You may notice less hair loss and more hair growth on your head.
Important Considerations for Taking Finasteride
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes you to start taking finasteride.GeneralDont crush, cut, or chew the tablets.
StorageStore at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F .Keep it away from light and high temperature.Dont store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
RefillsYour doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.TravelWhen traveling with your medication:When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.Dont worry about airport x-ray machines. They cant harm your medication.Be prepared to show the pharmacy label to TSA for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.Dont put this medication in your cars glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.Prior authorizationApproval is determined on a plan-by-plan basis.Are there any alternatives?There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.
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Finasteride Oral Tablet And Pregnancy
If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should not use finasteride. Finasteride isnt approved for use in females.*
Animal studies showed that male offspring of pregnant animals given finasteride were born with abnormalities in their genitals. This is caused by how the drug works. But animal studies dont always predict what will happen in people.
Its important to note that anyone who is pregnant shouldnt handle finasteride oral tablets that have been crushed or broken. This is because even skin contact with crushed or broken finasteride tablets could cause harm to a fetus. In case of skin contact, immediately wash the affected area with soap and water.
Finasteride oral tablets that havent been crushed or broken have a protective film coating that makes them safe to handle.
If you have additional questions about finasteride and pregnancy, talk with your doctor.
* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the terms males and females in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.
Other Uses For Finasteride
Finasteride is used to treat men with benign prostatic hyperplasia , which is caused by an enlarged prostate. Men with BPH usually have difficulty urinating, a decreased flow of urination, hesitation at the beginning of urination, and a need to get up at night to urinate. Finasteride will make these symptoms less severe and reduce the chance that prostate surgery will be needed.
Dosage of Finasteride for male pattern baldness
When treating hair loss, 1mg of Finasteride is taken daily.
Dosage of Finasteride for BPH
When treating BPH, 5mg of Finasteride is taken daily.
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How Long Does It Take To Work
Finasteride begins working as soon as you take a dose. But you may not feel the medication working right away. In fact, you may need to take finasteride for several months before you experience its full effects.
For treating BPH, youll likely take finasteride for at least 6 months to see whether it works to treat your BPH symptoms. The drug may take more or less time in some people to start working.
For treating hair loss, you typically need to take finasteride for at least 3 months before you notice improvement. The drug may take less or more time to decrease hair loss in some people.
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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Where Can I Get Finasteride
Finasteride is a prescription-only treatment in the UK, meaning you must consult a doctor in person or online before you can take it. Finasteride isnt available on the NHS and must be ordered privately. After taking an online consultation you can order Finasteride safely and quickly from LloydsPharmacy’s online hair loss clinic.
Propecia: The 1mg Finasteride Pill
Finasteride inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which is what converts testosterone into DHT. No 5-alpha reductase = no DHT.
And in 1997, finasteride was approved by the FDA to treat male pattern hair loss.
But hair loss wasnt the first medical condition finasteride was approved for. Five years earlier the drug was approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia . The dose approved for BPH 5mg was marketed under the name Proscar.
The finasteride dose approved for hair loss was much lower: 1mg. This formulation was given the brand name Propecia.
In the original trials for Propecia, the 1mg dosage was found to result in a significant net increase in hair count after 12 months. As far as side effects were concerned, the trials found:
Finasteride 1mg/d in the treatment of has been well tolerated, with a low incidence of drug-related adverse effects, chiefly in the area of sexual adverse events.
Since then, there have been many reports of negative side effects resulting from Propecia use. For more information, read The Truth About Finasteride Side Effects.
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So Whats The Catch With Finasteride
While there is no catch, finasteride doesnt completely cure male pattern baldness. Instead, it prevents testosterone from breaking down into the hormone linked to hair loss in men and is only effective for as long as you take the medication.
No matter how successful your treatment is and regardless of how much hair youve managed to grow back, if you stop taking finasteride, youll no longer get its benefits. Generally, if you stop taking finasteride, the hair youve managed to regrow will fall out again in about a year.
Think of finasteride as a way to put male pattern baldness on pause. Still, its an incredibly effective tool in the fight against hair loss and the only prescription treatment approved by the FDA for male pattern baldness.
Finasteride Oral Tablet And Birth Control
You should not use finasteride if youre pregnant or can become pregnant. Finasteride isnt approved for use in females.*
If youre sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while youre using finasteride.
For more information about taking finasteride oral tablets during pregnancy, see the Finasteride oral tablet and pregnancy section above.
* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term females in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.
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How To Cope With Side Effects
What to do about:
- problems getting an erection and less interest in sex these side effects should improve with time. If they do not get better, speak to your doctor.
- problems with ejaculating if the amount you ejaculate is less than usual or you have no semen at all, you do not need to worry as this side effect is harmless. Talk to a doctor if it does not get any better.