What is Finasteride?
The sad fact: 25% of men with male pattern baldness (MPB) start losing hair before age 21. The good news is, Finasteride can pump the breaks on MPB. Finasteride (generic for Propecia†) is an FDA-approved prescription medication that treats MPB at the crown and mid-scalp.
By preventing testosterone from converting into DHT (the hormone your follicles dread most) it averts the shrinking that leads to hair fallout. After a few months of regular use you’ll notice thicker hair and reduced hair loss.
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INFORMATION ABOUT FINASTERIDE
IMPORTANT PATIENT INFORMATION
Finasteride tablets, USP are for use by MEN ONLY and should NOT be used by women or children. Read this Patient Information before you start taking finasteride and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.
Finasteride is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia).
It is not known if finasteride works for a receding hairline on either side of and above your forehead (temporal area).
Dosage and Administration
Finasteride tablets may be administered with or without meals.The recommended dose of finasteride is one tablet (1 mg) taken once daily.
In general, daily use for three months or more is necessary before benefit is observed. Continued use is recommended to sustain benefit, which should be re-evaluated periodically. Withdrawal of treatment leads to reversal of effect within 12 months.
Increased Risk of High-Grade Prostate Cancer with 5α-Reductase Inhibitors
Men aged 55 and over with a normal digital rectal examination and PSA ≤3.0 ng/mL at baseline taking finasteride 5 mg/day (5 times the dose of finasteride) in the 7-year Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) had an increased risk of Gleason score 8 to 10 prostate cancer (finasteride 1.8% vs placebo 1.1%). Similar results were observed in a 4-year placebo-controlled clinical trial with another 5α-reductase inhibitor (dutasteride) (1% dutasteride vs 0.5% placebo). 5α-reductase inhibitors may increase the risk of development of high-grade prostate cancer. Whether the effect of 5α-reductase inhibitors to reduce prostate volume, or study-related factors, impacted the results of these studies has not been established.
Finasteride is not indicated for use in pediatric patients
Decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels.Finasteride can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking finasteride because finasteride decreases PSA levels.
WHAT IS FINASTERIDE?
Finasteride (generic for Propecia®†) is an FDA-approved medication used to treat male pattern hair loss (gradual thinning of the hair on the scalp, leading to a receding hairline or balding on the top of the head in men). Finasteride belongs to a class of drugs known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.
† Propecia is a registered trademark of MERCK & CO
HOW DOES FINASTERIDE WORK?
Finasteride works by blocking the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme changes testosterone to DHT, the hormone believed to contribute to hair loss in men.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS FINASTERIDE?
In studies, 80% of men taking Finasteride 1mg preserved their original hair follicle counts and 64% experienced some regrowth after two years of continued use. Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it, and it may take up to 3 months to notice a difference.
You must continue to take this medication to maintain your hair growth. When you stop taking finasteride, any gain in hair quantity is generally lost within 12 months.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO USE FINASTERIDE BEFORE SEEING RESULTS?
Daily use for at least three months may be necessary before a patient will notice the prevention of further hair loss or increased hair growth.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF FINASTERIDE?
Be sure to tell your doctor what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
The more common side effects that can occur with finasteride include:
– decreased sex drive
– trouble getting or keeping an erection
– ejaculation disorder
– increase in breast size and tenderness
– skin rash
If these effects are mild, they may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor.
CAN WOMEN USE FINASTERIDE?
Finasteride is not indicated for use in women with hair loss (female pattern hair loss). Finasteride is contraindicated in women when they are or may potentially be pregnant, because it may cause abnormalities of the external genitalia of a male fetus.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I STOP TAKING FINASTERIDE?
If a patient stops taking finasteride, DHT levels will rise again in the scalp, and it is likely that hair loss will resume.
In case of medical emergency please contact your local Physician or hospital for immediate care. Do not rely on your online Physician for emergency medical care.