What is Finasteride and How Does it Work?
Finasteride is a prescription medication that is used to treat male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is the hormone that causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop producing hair. By reducing DHT levels, finasteride can help to slow down or even reverse hair loss in men.
Who is a Good Candidate for Finasteride?
Finasteride is typically prescribed to men who are experiencing male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is characterized by a receding hairline and/or thinning at the crown of the head. It is most common in men over the age of 50, but can occur in younger men as well. Before prescribing finasteride, your doctor will evaluate your medical history and perform a physical exam to determine if it is safe and appropriate for you to take.
What are the Potential Side Effects of Finasteride?
Like all medications, finasteride can cause side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection
- Decreased volume of ejaculate
- Breast tenderness or enlargement
- Rash or itching
These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own after a few weeks or months of taking the medication. However, if you experience any of these side effects and they persist or worsen, you should contact your doctor.
Examples and Reviews of Finasteride
Many men have successfully used finasteride to slow down or even reverse hair loss. Here are a few examples and reviews:
- "I started taking finasteride a few months ago and I'm already seeing new hair growth. It's amazing!" - John, 35
- "I've been taking finasteride for over a year now and my hair loss has completely stopped. I wish I had started taking it sooner!" - Mark, 47
- "I had some side effects when I first started taking finasteride, but they went away after a few weeks. Now I'm seeing great results!" - Mike, 42
Recommendations for Taking Finasteride
If you are prescribed finasteride, it's important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Here are a few general recommendations:
- Take the medication at the same time each day
- Do not stop taking the medication without first consulting your doctor
- Let your doctor know if you experience any side effects
- Be patient - it may take several months to see results
Q: How long does it take for finasteride to work?
A: It can take up to 6 months to see results from finasteride. However, some men may see results sooner.
Q: Can finasteride be used by women?
A: Finasteride is not approved for use in women. It can cause birth defects in a developing male fetus if a pregnant woman is exposed to it.
Q: Is finasteride safe?
A: Finasteride is generally considered safe when used as directed. However, like all medications, it can cause side effects. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about taking finasteride.
Male pattern baldness can be frustrating, but there are options. Learn about the benefits of finasteride on our blog.