Does Finasteride Really Work for Hair Loss?
One of the most popular hair loss treatments on the market today is Finasteride. Sold under the brand names of Propecia or Proscar, it is a prescription medication specifically designed to treat male pattern hair loss. In this post, we want to look more closely at the facts relating to the long-term effectiveness of finasteride as a hair loss treatment for genetic hair loss in men and consider the drug’s side effects.
How Finasteride Works as a Hair Loss Treatment
Finasteride is a DHT-blocking prescription medication that works by inhibiting the action of the enzyme 5α-reductase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that plays a significant role in the development of male pattern baldness. By reducing DHT levels, finasteride helps to slow down hair loss and promote hair regrowth.
Numerous studies, over the years, have demonstrated the effectiveness of finasteride in treating male pattern hair loss. Clinical trials have shown that a daily dose of 1mg of finasteride can halt the progression of hair loss in up to 90% of men. As with all such statements, it is important to note that results may vary from person to person, and individual response to the medication between one patient and another can differ significantly.
Long-term Benefits of Finasteride Treatment for Hair Loss
One of the principal advantages of finasteride as a hair loss treatment is its long-term effectiveness. Unlike some other treatments that may provide temporary results, finasteride offers a sustained benefit over an extended period. With consistent daily use over a four to six month period, individuals may start to notice a visible improvement in their hair density with decreased hair shedding.
Sexual Side Effects of Finasteride: Fact and Fiction
There has been some concern regarding the potential sexual side effects of finasteride. In clinical trials, approximately 3.8% of male patients reported some form of sexual side effects while taking finasteride, such as decreased libido, difficulty achieving an erection, or decreased semen volume. However, it should also be noted that 2.1% of patients using a placebo also experienced similar side effects.
The reported sexual side effects of finasteride are relatively rare and reversible in most cases. While some individuals may experience these side effects, the majority of men taking finasteride do not. Before starting to take Finasteride for hair loss, consult with your primary care physician or other qualified healthcare professional to determine your eligibility to take Finasteride, and what other drug interactions may occur with other medications you are currently taking. Carefully monitor all drug interactions and side effects and immediately contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.
Maintaining Safety & Managing Potential Side Effects
It is important to be aware of potential side effects associated with finasteride and take necessary precautions. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions, such as skin rash, itching, or difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms occur, immediate medical attention should be sought. Additionally, individuals should be cautious about excessive alcohol consumption while taking finasteride, as it may interact with the medication.
Post-finasteride syndrome refers to a condition where individuals continue to experience side effects even after discontinuing finasteride treatment. However, hair loss experts and medical professionals have found little scientific evidence supporting the existence of post-finasteride syndrome. Most men who experience side effects from finasteride typically see such side effects diminish after discontinuation of the medication.
Who Should Avoid Finasteride?
While finasteride is generally safe for use, there are certain individuals who should avoid taking it. Women, especially those who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, should not handle finasteride due to the potential risk it poses to fetal development. Individuals with kidney problems, liver disease, or prostate cancer should also avoid finasteride.
Long-term Safety of Finasteride
Extensive studies have been conducted to evaluate the long-term safety of finasteride. A seven-year-long study observed individuals who consumed finasteride for an extended period and found no serious long-term consequences associated with the medication. However, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional and discuss any concerns or potential risks before starting any medication.
Connecticut Hair Loss Specialists
Male pattern baldness is a common issue affecting many men, but there are a number of effective men’s hair loss solutions that can help not only restore your hair but at the same time restore your confidence and sense of personal well-being. By seeking early intervention for thinning hair and exploring appropriate men’s hair restoration solutions, you can take control of your hair loss and once again feel confident and assured in your appearance, career, and social life. Remember, it is immensely important to consult with your doctor if you experience hair loss simultaneously or in parallel with other health issues or after starting new medication to determine the appropriate course of action.
Do you have questions about male hair loss and what you can do about it? At InVisions of Connecticut we are here to help. We offer a free, private hair loss evaluation and consultation and invite you to contact us to arrange a consultation for yourself where you can get all your questions and concerns andswered fully and completely.
Health Risks Associated with Long-Term Finasteride and Dutasteride Use: It’s Time to Sound the Alarm – PMC (nih.gov)