HAIR LOSS / FINASTERIDE

Finasteride

Generic Propecia

Finasteride is the generic form of the brand Propecia®. Both medications work similarly in the body.

Finasteride is a type of medication known as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT. DHT is a male sex hormone that causes male pattern hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in people who are genetically susceptible.

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Transparent manufacturing

Finasteride manufactured by Ascend in India.

Overview

Finasteride is the generic form of the brand Propecia®. Both medications work similarly in the body.

Finasteride is a type of medication known as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT. DHT is a male sex hormone that causes male pattern hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in people who are genetically susceptible.

Finasteride is for use by adult men only and should not be used by women or children.

The most common side effects of finasteride include a decrease in sex drive, trouble getting or keeping an erection, and a decrease in the amount of semen. There may also be an increased risk of high grade prostate cancer. These and other side effects have been reported in those taking the 5mg dose rather than the 1mg dose. Contact your doctor if you experience serious side effects.

What is finasteride?

Finasteride is part of a family of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These drugs work by blocking the activity of 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a potent androgen (male sex hormone). It causes male pattern baldness (aka androgenetic alopecia) in men who are genetically predisposed to it, growth of the prostate leading to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Using 5-alpha reductase inhibitors to block this enzyme can slow or reverse hair loss and shrink the prostate over time.

Finasteride is used in the 1 mg dose to treat male pattern baldness and the 5 mg dose to treat symptoms of BPH. Finasteride works better if it is started earlier in the hair loss process. This is because there comes a time in the balding process when permanent changes in the scalp take place and prevent any hair regrowth (the specific point in time varies per person). However, even if that point as been reached, finasteride is still effective at preventing further hair loss. Research has shown that finasteride prevented further hair loss in 83% of men who took it for 2 years and 66% of men had some hair regrowth.

What is Propecia?

Propecia is the original brand name for 1 mg finasteride tablets for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. Most people who say they use Propecia today are actually taking generic finasteride 1 mg tablets, which have the same active ingredient as Propecia. The FDA requires that generic drugs demonstrate bioequivalence to the brand name drug, which means they act the same way in the body and are expected to produce the same effects as the original brand name drug.

How does finasteride work?

Finasteride works by blocking 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness in people who are genetically susceptible to it. By reducing levels of DHT, finasteride can slow or stop hair loss and even regrow hair in some cases.

How effective is finasteride?

Finasteride has been shown to be effective at preventing hair loss and even regrowing hair in some men. One paper summarized the findings of 3 studies that included a total of 1879 men and evaluated the effects of finasteride 1 mg on male pattern hair loss. Two of the studies were performed on men with hair loss primarily at the crown of the head and one study was performed on men with hair loss primarily at the hairline.

The studies showed that finasteride prevented further hair loss in

Can finasteride help with hair regrowth?

Short answer is yes. The same study from above that summarized the findings of 3 studies that evaluated the effects of finasteride showed that some men in the finasteride group has hair regrowth. The authors noted, “Based on standardized clinical photography, the chances of mild to moderate visible regrowth are 61% on the vertex (with an additional 5% achieving great visible regrowth) after 2 years and 37% on the frontal area after 1 year.” In the 2 studies done on hair loss at the crown of the head, 72% of men had further hair loss after 2 years. For clarity, vertex is the crown of the head and frontal area is the frontal or receding hairline.

The most common side effects of finasteride include:

  • decrease in sex drive
  • trouble getting or keeping an erection
  • a decrease in the amount of semen

Finasteride dosage

Finasteride is FDA-approved in the 1 mg dose (brand name Propecia®) for hair loss and the 5 mg dose (brand name Proscar®) for the symptoms of BPH. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that finasteride 1 mg and 5 mg were equally effective for male pattern hair loss. Healthcare professionals on the Roman platform will only prescribe 1 mg finasteride for hair loss treatment since the 5 mg dosage is not more effective and may cause more side effects. As mentioned above, the 5mg dose of finasteride is FDA-approved for BPH, while 1mg is FDA-approved for hair loss.

Important Safety Information

Important safety information

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