What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a treatment for men over the age of 18 with male pattern hair loss, a common condition characterised by thinning scalp hair that can result in a receding hairline or a balding at the top of the head. Its active substance, finasteride, forms part of the type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitors class of medications.
How does it work?
A hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen that causes the hair to thin and a decrease in hair growth. Finasteride works to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that normally converts testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), lowering the levels of DHT in the scalp. This helps to reverse the balding process, and contributes to increasing hair growth and preventing further hair loss.
It is only effective for men with partial hair loss, not complete hair loss.
How do I take Finasteride?
You should swallow only one tablet with water daily, with or without food. Do not take a double dose to make up for one you might have forgotten and do not crush or chew the tablets.
How long does it take to work?
To see the full benefit of Finasteride’s effects may take a few months of treatment. Furthermore, to maintain the growth of hair, it is important to keep using the medication or any hair gained from the treatment can disappear within the next 9-12 months.
What is the difference between Finasteride and Propecia?
Propecia is a brand name and, like Generic Finasteride, contains finasteride as its active ingredient. Both have the same amount of finasteride as all generic medications available in the UK must demonstrate equivalency and the same effects in the body. Generic medicines are medically equivalent and as equally effective as the original, but are usually significantly cheaper.
How do you take Finasteride?
Timely treatment is crucial to avoid losing as much hair as possible and you should therefore talk to you doctor about treatment options as soon as you begin to notice signs.
You should take Finasteride at the same time every day with a full glass of water. It is important that you take it regularly to see the long-term benefits, so it is a good idea to incorporate it into your daily routine. You can take it with or without food, as desired.
It is best to take it exactly as prescribed. You should talk to you doctor before taking larger doses of for a longer period than recommended.
Does Finasteride have side effects?
All medicines have the potential to cause side effects on the body, although not everybody experiences them.
- Some common side effects for Finasteride include:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Decreased Sex Drive
If you decide to continue using Finasteride, these side effects may lessen after some time. If the symptoms are inhibiting and do not resolve, you can consider stopping the medication with your doctor.
- Some people can also have allergic to this medication and the following symptoms are indicative of this:
- Skin rash and itching
- Swelling of lips, face, tongue or throat
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
If you experience these signs it is essential that you stop taking the medication and see your doctor immediately.
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
- The patient information leaflet can be found here.