Finasteride is the generic name for the incredibly popular hair loss treatment Propecia.
Since its introduction in 1997, finasteride has been demonstrated to be highly effective in numerous clinical studies to treat hair loss (male pattern hair loss or pattern hair loss).
In a study conducted over a period of five years, 90% of men showed significant regrowth and the vast majority said they had maintained their volume of hair.
What is the difference between Finasteride and Propecia?
Propecia is a brand name for finasteride. Both medicines contain the same active ingredients and are used for the same purposes with regards to hair loss treatment.
It works by reducing the effects of natural enzymes within the body called reductase inhibitors, specifically 5-alpha reductase.
This enzyme normally converts testosterone into DHT. DHT is a more active variation of testosterone which amongst many things has an effect on hair follicles. DHT attacks hair follicles causing hair to slowly fall out Some men have a higher sensitivity to these effects and this is mostly genetic. It blocks the effects of 5-alpha reductase, this leads to a reduction in the concentration of DHT both in the blood. There is then a subsequent reduction in the volume of DHT within the scalp which helps prevent hair loss as well as stimulating new hair growth.
The initial results take upto 3 months to show. You will notice a significant reduction in hair loss by 6 months. By 9 months most men show some evidence of new hair growth.
Often men require a whole year’s treatment to notice significant hair growth. It should be borne in mind that this is highly variable from person to person.
It is very straight forward to take finasteride. Only one tablet should be taken daily. It can be taken at any time, with or without food. If you forget to take your daily dose, you do not need to take an extra tablet, just continue as normal. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you have missed.
If you miss more than one tablet, please refer to the patient information leaflet available to download or speak to your own doctor or healthcare professional looking after you.
Long-term usage is advised in order gain the maximum benefits. Once you’ve stopped taking your treatment, balding may resume within 6 to 12 months.
Who should not take Finasteride?
- Women should NOT take this medication under any circumstances
- Pregnant women should avoid handling crushed or broken tablets, there’s a possibility that the drugs could be absorbed through the skin and lead to abnormalities in a male baby. It’s safe to handle the whole tablet.
- Children and anyone under the age of 18
- Men who are already taking finasteride 5mg (Proscar) or any other 5α-reductase inhibitor such as dutasteride (Avodart) for an enlarged prostate.
- You have an allergy finasteride
- You have been diagnosed with severe liver dysfunction
- You have a history or suspicion of male breast cancer
Who can take it?
- It should be used by adult men only, for the treatment of male pattern baldness.
- It’s been proven to be effective at stabilising hair loss in 18 to 41-year-old men. Its effectiveness in older men has not been established, and may be reduced. If you start it at an older age, it may not work as well.
- Please note that use by men over the age of 41 is an ‘off-label’ use of our generic Finasteride brands.
Prescribing ‘off-label’ is common practice by doctors to ensure a medication can safely benefit as many patients as possible.
Side effects are generally uncommon.
However, some have been reported and include:
Sexual Side Effects and Sexual Dysfunction
- Loss of libido
- Erectile dysfunction
Rarer side effects:
- Breast enlargement/growth in men (gynaecomastia)
- Pain in the testicles
Stop using finasteride if you notice any of these side-effects and Consult your G.P as soon as possible.
For more information please read the attached patient information leaflet (PIL). All medications have side-effects.
Finasteride prescription online. As Finasteride is a prescription only medication, you will require a prescription for this treatment. Simply complete our online medical questionnaire and pay for the treatment. One of our doctors will review your consultation. If approved we will deliver it to you the next day.
Finasteride Q &A
Finasteride is for only for male hair loss (pattern hair loss). It should NEVER be used by females.
Propecia and Finasteride contain the same active ingredient and work identically. Finasteride is the generic (non-branded) version of Propecia, this means Finasteride is a lot cheaper.
You should start seeing results after three to six months. Our advice is that you then continue taking Finasteride for at least a year to consolidate the gains.
The beneficial effects of retaining hair and regrowth will stop. Our advice is that if you notice positive results (slowing down of hair loss and new regrowth of hair) you should carry on taking Finasteride to sustain the gains.
The key to tackling male pattern hair loss is to start early. If your hair follicles do not produce hair at all, there is no point taking any medical treatment. The key therefore in tackling balding is to start early.
There have been clinical reports of Finasteride causing depression, this appears rare. If you notice any changes to your mood whilst taking Finasteride contact your GP.
A clinical study has shown that Finasteride stops hair loss for 83% of men, and that over 2 years 66% of men will see some regrowth.
Male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss in men and is typically an inherited condition. As the condition progresses, hair follicles shrink in number. This type of hair loss is amenable to treatment so long a significant number of hair follicles are still viable.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. It is still not clear what trigger this form of hair loss. Your own immune system starts to attack the hair follicles, it is believed to be a combination of numerous factors. Oral or topical treatments can help in some individuals, but there is no treatment.
Finasteride takes 3-6 months of daily use (one tablet to be taken every day) to show gains. In clinical trials 9 out of 10 men experienced some improvement.
It is most effective in men with moderate hair loss caused by male pattern hair loss ( hair loss on top). It does not appear to be effective in treating a receding hair line.
If you stop taking Finasteride, you will start to lose hair again.
- PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections
- low-level laser treatment (LLLT)
- Hair transplants
- Hair pigmentation treatments and hair fibres
It is unlikely to be harmful if you have taken just one extra dose. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Doubling the dose of will not make your hair grow any faster, but may cause more side effects.