There are several types of alopecia (hair loss), each with different causes and treatment options. Finasteride is a medication that treats a certain type of alopecia. Could it be right for you? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a prescription drug that comes in pill form. You take it by mouth once a day, ideally around the same time each day, the American Academy of Dermatology says. It is recommended for use by men experiencing who have androgenic alopecia.
What Types of Alopecia Does Finasteride Treat?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved finasteride to treat one type of alopecia: male-pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia. This is the most common type of hair loss, according to NYU Langone. Androgenic alopecia affects about 50 million men in the United States.
“Finasteride is a very effective treatment for androgenetic alopecia in men,” Robert Leonard, DO, founder of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates in New England, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “It works 83% of the time to stabilize progression of hair loss, and it works 60% of the time to actually regrow hair. It works in the vertex, or crown—bald spot area—almost exclusively.”
You have to take finasteride exactly as prescribed to get results. You might need to use it for 4 months until you see a difference in your hair, the American Academy of Dermatology says. It usually works better if you start taking it as shortly after you first notice hair loss. If the drug works for you, you’ll need to keep taking it to avoid losing any new hair you’ve grown.
The American Academy of Dermatology also says it’s important to discuss finesterade’s possible side effects with your dermatologist. According to MedlinePlus, the side effects can include:
- Trouble getting or keeping an erection
- Less sexual desire
- Problems ejaculating
- Testicle pain
- Changes in the chest area, like lumps, pain, or nipple discharge
Let your doctor know about any side effects you have right away.
Don’t Wait. Get Help Today.
The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to see positive results from a medication like finasteride. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.