Finasteride is a drug indicated to stabilize the process of androgenic alopecia in men between 18 and 41 years of age. It works as a treatment against hair loss in the early stages of alopecia in men. Its efficacy has only been studied in the mentioned age range.Due to its chemical nature, Finasteride is a 4-azasteroid that inhibits human 5-alpha-reductase type II , present in hair follicles, with a selectivity one hundred times higher than human type I 5-alpha-reductase, and blocks the conversion peripheral testosterone in the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

What is Finasteride for?

In men with male pattern baldness, the scalp contains miniaturized hair follicles and larger amounts of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Finasteride prevents the process responsible for the miniaturization of the hair follicles of the scalp, which helps to reverse the baldness process.

Finasteride is used to delay and progressively prevent hair loss in men between 18 and 41 years of age. Its effectiveness has been demonstrated in studies in men of this age range, with mild to moderate hair loss, but not complete, on the crown and in the frontal / middle area.

In these studies, hair growth was assessed using four different measures, including: hair count, assessment of head photographs taken by a group of expert dermatologists, investigators’ assessment, and patient self-assessment.

Recommended dose of finasteride

Finasteride is exclusively taken by mouth , in the form of brown, round, biconvex film-coated tablets . The recommended dose is 1 tablet (or the equivalent of 1 milligram) daily . It can be taken with or without food, without repercussions for the stomach. There is no evidence that increasing the dose delivers an increase in efficacy.

The efficacy and duration of treatment must be monitored and evaluated by the doctor. In general, it takes 3 to 6 months of treatment, once a day, before stabilization of hair loss can be observed. Consistent use is recommended to keep profit moving forward .

If the treatment is interrupted, the beneficial effects begin to disappear after 6 months and it returns to the situation of the beginning, before the treatment, after between 9 and 12 months. For its consumption, no dosage adjustment is necessary in patients with renal insufficiency. No information is available for patients with hepatic impairment.

Contraindications of finasteride

Caution should be exercised in the administration of finasteride, or completely avoid its consumption in patients such as:

  • Hypersensitive to finasteride or any of the excipients
  • Pregnant women
  • Lactating women
  • Males under 18 years of age. There is no information on the efficacy and safety of finasteride in these.
  • Men who are being treated with a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor for benign prostatic hyperplasia or for any other condition.

Side effects of finasteride

The possible adverse reactions reported by finasteride, according to clinical studies, are of various natures, which can be classified according to the organs or systems they affect:

Immune system disorders (frequency unknown):

  • Acne
  • Itching
  • Urticaria
  • Angioedema
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, and face

Psychiatric disorders (uncommon):

  • Decreased libido
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Cardiac disorders (frequency unknown):

  • Palpitation

Hepatobiliary disorders (frequency unknown):

  • Increased liver (liver) enzymes

Reproductive system and breast disorders (Frequency less than unknown):

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculation disorders (decreased volume)
  • Breast enlargement and tenderness
  • Pain in testicles
  • Infertility

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical opinion. Consult a doctor.


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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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