How long does it take to work?
Clinical studies show improved hair growth usually noticeable after 4-6 months of taking 1 mg of finasteride per day. The maximum benefit is observed in 1-2 years. At 5 years men have a 90% chance of having more or the same hair they started with. This compares with 25% of men who do not take the drug.
The studies were conducted in men aged 18 to 41 years with mild to moderate hair loss, but not complete hair loss.
How does finasteride work?
Hair grows in the hair follicles usually for about three years. Then the hair falls out and new hair grows from the follicle. For men affected by male hair loss, as they grow older, hair follicles gradually become smaller. New hair becomes thinner and falls out faster, eventually they do not grow enough to break the surface of the scalp (baldness).
Male hormones cause these changes. Hair follicles convert the male hormone testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Hair follicles become more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone, and this causes hair follicles to shrink.
Finasteride 1mg reduces the amount of testosterone converted to DHT, resulting in hair regeneration and hair thickness in most men.
Men at any stage of men’s hair loss are likely to benefit. Finasteride 1mg is most effective for hair loss in the upper part of the scalp (top). It has not been shown to reverse the frontal retreat of the hair, the hair loss being only in the temple areas, nor does it restore the hair in completely bald areas.
- If hair loss was rapid and recent, or where there are symptoms of serious illness, such as unexplained weight loss, fevers, persistent diarrhea or excessive fatigue, you should consult a doctor.
- If hair loss is broken or irregular, or comes out in clusters, or there is inflammation on the scalp, the scalp should be examined.
- Blood tests performed to detect prostate cancer (PSA) can give misleading results when taking 1 mg of finasteride.
If treatment is stopped, the beneficial effects begin to be reversed by six months and return to the beginning by 9 to 12 months.
- Pregnant women should not contact finasteride. The tablets are therefore film-coated.
What are the possible side effects of finasteride?
Finasteride 1mg is usually well tolerated by most men and side effects are common. Men taking finasteride are at increased risk for impotence, erectile dysfunction, decreased libido and ejaculation disorder for the first year of treatment, but this risk disappears after 2-4 years of Use and side effects usually improve over time.
There are reports of cases of persistent decreased libido or erectile dysfunction after discontinuation of the drug, and the patient’s leaflet has been updated to reflect this. A review found some evidence that finasteride increased the risk of sexual dysfunction, but these individuals did not discontinue treatment because of these side effects.