Finasteride (Propecia) for Hair Loss

Located in Sarasota and also serving Tampa, Florida, Hair Transplant Center is ready to give you the best service and bring back the confidence in you.

You might worry about having hair loss at the temples or on top of your head. Lots of men fret over this. But just remember, hair loss is natural. In America, two-thirds of men will lose hair by the time they are 35. When they are 50 years old, 85% of men have lost their hair.

You probably have done more to deal with hair loss than many other men. We are sure that you have started looking for ways to stop, prevent, or reverse male pattern baldness. The good news is treating hair loss is easier than you think. To tell the truth, fighting hair loss can be simple and effective for many men who are experiencing it. However, you must be patient and willing to commit to a long-term treatment program.

Some men lose their hair. Why? There are a few reasons. They might not have the right information about the hair loss treatments that work. They may not know which is best for them. However, there are some treatments that can slow baldness or even stop it altogether. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about these treatments, and men need to find out what works best for them before deciding on anything in particular. Consulting an expert is crucial.

You may be feeling very self-conscious about your hair loss, but real, lasting hair loss solutions are not quick fixes. The solution requires time and commitment. One such treatment that takes time to see results is finasteride, often called by the brand name Propecia.

So, does the finasteride actually work? Let’s learn more.

Read More Show Less

How Propecia Was Developed

Originally, the pharmaceutical company Merck was looking to develop a treatment for men with enlarged prostate. 

Finasteride’s purpose was to help men with an enlarged prostate. Merck made Proscar in 5-milligram doses to help these people. A study was done to see if the medicine could help people’s hair grow. While some had placebos, the ones who were on Propecia saw hair growth by the end of the study. Men who didn’t take Propecia lost their hair over time. So, when Merck wanted to create a drug that would help people who have hair loss, they already had a drug for this purpose. They repurposed it and made Propecia for hair loss.

In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration gave approval for the drug Propecia. From this point, Propecia became the first drug of its kind to treat male pattern baldness. It remains the first line of drug choice for people experiencing hair loss issues.

Read More Show Less
Finasteride (Propecia) for Hair Loss

Does Propecia Actually Work?

Propecia is the only prescription medicine that the FDA says can help with male pattern baldness. Finasteride is also very effective in stopping hair loss, but it’s not permanent for all people who use it. Some people wonder if Propecia is good for them. So the question is: Does it really work?

The answer is yes. The most effective treatment to stop hair loss is Finasteride/Propecia. Among those who use it, 80% tend to see improvements, while 66% will experience some hair growth.

Taken once a day, Propecia is an effective pill for hair loss. It helps reduce hair loss and in some cases, it can promote regrowth of hair. Tests have shown that treating hair loss with Propecia can prevent shrinking of the follicles, which helps reduce hair loss.

A prescription for Propecia is one tablet (1 milligram) a day. It is important to take it every day for three months or more to see results. Finasteride is most effective in people who have mild to moderate hair loss.

Read More Show Less
How Does Finasteride Work?

Finasteride blocks a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT)…..

Finasteride for Women’s Hair Loss

Women have a difficult situation when it comes to drug…..

Finasteride Side Effects

Finasteride is a drug that can help treat male pattern baldness…..

How Does Finasteride Work?

Finasteride blocks a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which affects men’s ability to grow hair. But there are exceptions to this rule, like the hair follicles on the sides and back of your head. These follicles are not affected by DHT as much as those on the front, top, and crown of your scalp. Finasteride works by lowering these levels so you don’t go bald around your hairline anymore.

Finasteride works by stopping a hormone called 5-alpha-reductase from making more DHT. Some people are more sensitive to DHT than others, which explains why some men will lose their hair at a higher rate than others. Finasteride keeps your hair follicles from shrinking and allows you to keep your hair longer.

There is no limit to what finasteride can do. It blocks DHT at its main source, which means that it will probably delay or prevent hair loss. It will regrow some hair, regardless of your pattern of balding.

It usually takes six months to see the real results of using finasteride. Continuous use with a 1-milligram dose of finasteride per day for one year shows an increase in hair count. However, stopping will lead to increased production of 5-alpha reductase and DHT, which, of course, will lead to hair loss once more.

If you have been taking finasteride for a year and it has not helped, then you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor will probably tell you to stop taking finasteride. If you want a more permanent solution for your hair loss concerns like transplants, then speak with a doctor about follicular unit extraction (FUE).

Finasteride for Women’s Hair Loss

Women have a difficult situation when it comes to drug treatments for androgenetic alopecia. Doctors are not sure if finasteride will work for females with hair loss. It is also not approved by the FDA to treat female pattern baldness. It belongs to Category X, which means the risk of this drug in pregnant women outweighs any possible benefit.

Doctors usually recommend that women use over-the-counter treatments for female pattern baldness, which you can apply directly on the scalp. Sometimes, doctors also suggest medicines that can stop the production of DHT.

A study from 2007 to 2011 looked at 256 women. They took finasteride in 5-milligram doses and found that it didn’t have any bad side effects. But, if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, do not take finasteride. Propecia can cause birth defects if taken during this time. If you are taking propecia and are premenopausal, it is strongly recommended that you use contraception.

Finasteride Side Effects

Finasteride is a drug that can help treat male pattern baldness. It can block the body from turning testosterone into DHT, which causes hair loss. But, it also may cause side effects like impaired sexual function and decreased sex drive. The side effects usually go away when people stop taking the drug.

In April 2012, the FDA issued a warning that finasteride could cause sexual side effects. It has been linked to many reports of decreased sex drive and ejaculation in men who take it. But, there are other medical reasons and prescriptions that can also cause these side effects in men. When they studied the reports of men who took finasteride, they found that these side effects happened in about 4%-6% of people taking this drug, but it was usually reversible.

Before taking finasteride, you should talk to your doctor about the risks. Some side effects that you might have are sexual symptoms and other serious side effects. Contact your doctor right away if any of these happen to you:

  • Chills, confusion, or cold sweats
  • Hives or welts, itching, skin rash
  • Swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Swelling of the lips and face
  • Redness of the skin
  • Tingling sensation of hands or feet
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness when standing up
  • Breast enlargement and tenderness

What If Finasteride Doesn’t Work?

It is important to keep in mind that successful hair loss treatment does not come quickly. It takes time and it can be hard to do, but it works if you are consistent. Finasteride stops testosterone from turning into DHT and stimulates hair growth. You may need to take finasteride for a whole year before you see the results. If you miss doses or stop taking finasteride as regularly, then you might notice that the treatment isn’t working as well anymore because of the increase in DHT at your scalp.

Most of the time, restored hair will still fall out if you stop taking finasteride. It’s possible you may see an increase in hair loss after stopping the drug — with all of your restored hair falling out within six to nine months. When this happens, a hair transplant may be your next step. If you consider getting follicular unit extraction (FUE), get in touch with us today and submit a virtual consultation form to discuss treatment options with us!

Skip to content