What is Finasteride?

Finasteride (Generic Propecia)

Finasteride is a drug that comes in the form of an oral pill that needs to be taken once a day. It is about 85% effective in inducing hair growth in the first three to four months. Under the right care and supervision of a doctor, it can treat hair loss remarkably and get you back on track. 

Overview

Finasteride is a type of medication which acts like a barrier that prevents your body’s testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a male sex hormone that causes the hair follicles to gradually lose their strength and eventually stop growing hair.

Finasteride is a drug that is solely meant for the use of adult men, and should not be used by another gender or age group. 

It is not common to experience serious side effects with finasteride, but the most common side effects include a decrease in sex drive, trouble experiencing or maintaining an erection, and a potential decrease in sperm count.

What is finasteride?

Finasteride is a part of a drug family called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These drugs act like a barrier which prevents your body’s testosterone from converting into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The androgenic hormone of DHT causes the hair follicles to gradually lose their strength, which overtime leads to hair loss. When this testosterone is blocked, it reduces the DHT levels in the body which stops the powerful hormone from reaching hair follicles, which can prolong, or entirely reverse the hair loss.

How does finasteride work?

Minoxidil is a vasodilator, meaning it widens the blood vessels and increases blood flow into areas of the body. Minoxidil applied to the scalp activates the walls of the blood vessels allowing more blood flow to scalp and hair follicles. This induces an early anagen phase when applied to your scalp, in turn, causes the hair follicles to accelerate through the rest of the growth phase. Minoxidil starts showing results after the six months mark with a few or no noticeable changes in the first three months. It is recommended to use this treatment for at least a year to see the actual results of the drug.

How effective is finasteride?

Finasteride has shown to be positively effective at preventing further hair loss in men, in some situations the drug has even shown some signs of regrowth. A study was conducted with 2,000 men evaluating the effectiveness of a 1mg dose of finasteride on male pattern hair loss. The results showed positive impacts as 83% of men noticed less hair loss at the crown of the head, and 70% noticed less at the hairline. 

Side effects of finasteride 

Like most drugs, finasteride has some side effects but only a small portion of people using finasteride experience these side effects. It is always good to understand what to expect.

Does it affect my sex drive?
Sexual dysfunction has been rarely noticed in a few men who take finasteride according to the FDA study in 2012. Even though there is a very low probability (less than 2 percent) of experiencing a loss of libido and other sexual dysfunction issues, it is good to talk to your doctor about your concerns.

What are the common side effects?
A low percentage of men taking finasteride notice breast tenderness, depression, skin rashes, or testicular pain. Discuss all the existing pre-conditions and family history with your doctor before you start taking finasteride.