Is hair loss bothering you? If yes, you are not alone. Most men experience hair loss or baldness at some time in their life. Hair loss at the crown or on the middle of the head is common male pattern baldness. It is also called androgenetic alopecia, which is caused by a combination of hereditary and hormonal factors. According to our dermatologists, by 35, two-thirds of men will experience some level of hair loss. So if you do the math, by 50, the number doubles to 85 percent of men suffering from the issue, which gives us enough reason to be concerned.
If you are reading this article, you are possibly more concerned about your hair and looking for a remedy to curb hair loss. You have been worried about your hair growth cycle and have started searching for some effective treatment to cure baldness. While this condition is quite normal in most men, this normal aging process can be stressful, especially if the hair fall is excessive.
But we have the good news. Fighting hair fall can be a lot easier than you think and effective for most men by the use of finasteride. A long-term treatment program of finasteride for hair loss can show tremendous results in hair loss in men. In this article, we will understand what finasteride is; it uses consumption and side effects. Read on to discover more.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride, also known and sold under the name Propecia®, is a prescription medicine to prevent hair loss in men. It is an FDA-approved medicine used to treat thinning of hair as it prohibits the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is a powerful hormone that is believed to cause the hair follicles to minimize in size and stop hair from growing. Prohibiting the DHT from increasing will lead to an increase the hair growth curbing hair loss. It should be used by men only above 18 years of age and is not prescribed to be used by children or women.
Finasteride for hair is only available on prescription from a doctor, comes in oral tablets, and is primarily prescribed for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Uses of Finasteride
Finasteride or Propecia is used to treat male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia in males only. Male pattern baldness is a variety of androgenetic alopecia that calculates over 95% of hair loss in men. It can also be used to shrink an enlarged prostate in adult men. The medicine can be taken alone or taken in combination with another medication to reduce benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH symptoms. It may also reduce the need for surgery.
It may also reduce the urge to urinate, better urine flow, and reduce the feeling that the bladder is not fully empty, decreasing nighttime urination.
This medication works by decreasing the number of natural body hormones responsible for the prostate's growth.
That said, doctors disapprove of this medicine to treat prostate cancer. It may, however, decrease the risk of developing a severe form of prostate cancer. Before taking this medication, it is always great to speak with your doctor about the benefits and the risks involved with this medication.
What Are the Side Effects of Using Finasteride?
It's hard to find a drug that is without side effects. Finasteride use too has its share of side effects, but only a little percentage of men have reported side effects – there's still a possibility of side effects. Before you start taking medicine, here are few side effects that you may experience-
Sexual side effects – This medicine works by blocking DHT. It is a male sex hormone derived from testosterone, which is another sex hormone. Sadly, this sex hormone has a link to hair loss.
The good news is significantly fewer males have experienced side effects. Less than 2 percent of men experienced these side effects, such as low libido, erectile dysfunction, and a lower volume of ejaculation. For most men, these side effects parted while taking the medicine. However, there have been reports stating sexual side effects could persist even after discontinuing the medication.
Other side effects that men have reported experiencing are
- Testicular pain
- Ejaculation pain
- Allergic reactions
- Neurological pain
- Low blood pressure
- Mental fogginess
- Breast enlargement and tenderness
Some of these side effects continued even after discontinuation of the medicine.
If you are worried about the side effects of the medicine, make sure to speak to your doctor about your concerns. If you are struggling with chronic liver disease, it is best to avoid using this medicine. If you are on medication and have experienced side effects, talk to your doctor as to whether you should continue medication or not.
How to Consume Finasteride?
While finasteride can cure male pattern baldness, it is not a miracle and only effective for as long as you take the medication. No matter how successful you were to profit from the medicine hair growth, you will not get the benefits anymore if you stop taking it. Therefore, think of this medicine as a pause to pale baldness and not cure it completely; however, it is an effective medicine to fight against hair loss.
So How to Use Finasteride?
Besides the benefits you will reap by taking finasteride hair growth, you must be cautious enough to avoid using it if you have certain medical conditions. If for any reason you have prescribed the medicine, you mustn't be-
- Suffering from any allergic reactions caused by any medicine
- Taking any medicine, either prescribed or not, any complementary or herbal medication
The recommended dosage of finasteride or available in the name of Propecia is 1 mg tablet once daily. You will also find a finax tablet available. These tablets are prescribed to be taken orally. It is more effective if you take the tablet at the same time every day as it will help you take medicine regularly without a gap.
Without breaking or crushing the tablet, swallow it whole with water. You can take the pill before or after having food.
If you missed a dose, take it whenever you remember. However, do not take two tablets together in a day to make up for the missed dose.
It is always a great practice to read the manufacturer's leaflet or printed information from the inside of the pack. It will give you extra details on the medicine that you might want to know.
Usually, a patient is prescribed to take 1 mg of finasteride every day for three months or more if desired results are not observed. However, if the uses do not show any results even after 12-months, additional consumption of this medicine is no better.
The medication is also available in topical form. The topical finasteride can be as miraculous as the oral tablets, and daily application thickens hair and helps revive damaged hair. It also helps in the different stages of receding hairline.
Precaution to Take While Using Finasteride?
Finasteride is not meant for children and women. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not touch broken, or crushed tablets as the skin may absorb the medicine and cause congenital disabilities in male babies. If accidentally a woman comes in contact with the drug, one should immediately wash the affected area with soap.
This medicine does not treat prostate cancer but may increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer.
Some men may become affected with infertility with the consumption of this medicine. Cases of these side effects have been reported. So if you fear this, speak to your doctor about your concern.
Like we discussed, finasteride cannot completely curb male baldness but effectively stops hair loss. This medicine has been used by men across the globe and has seen promising results. That said, it is great to clear all your doubts with your doctor and only proceed when you are delighted. Should you discover any side effects, speak to your doctor immediately.