Effectiveness for Male Pattern Baldness

There have been several studies looking at how well the medication treats male pattern baldness.
Male Baldness
One study looked at using finasteride for vertex male pattern baldness (hair loss at the very top of the head) in men. At first, the men who took finasteride had new hair growth, while the men who did not take finasteride continued to lose hair. After about a year, the increase in new hair growth stopped for the men on finasteride, and these men started to slowly lose their hair again. However, the hair loss was much slower for the men taking finasteride than for the men who were not taking finasteride.
After five years of taking finasteride, 48 percent of men had increased hair growth, 42 percent had no change (the hair loss had stopped), and 10 percent had lost hair. For the men who were not on finasteride, 75 percent had lost hair after five years.
In a study looking at finasteride for hair loss treatment near the front of the head (in the center) in men, finasteride was effective in increasing hair growth. This study did not include men with hair loss near the temples.
Female Hair Loss
A small study looked at finasteride for postmenopausal women with female pattern baldness. This study did not show a difference for the women who took finasteride. This could mean that the medication is not effective for female hair loss, or it could mean that the study did not include enough women to be able to notice a difference.

When and How to Take Finasteride

Some general considerations for when and how to take the medication include:
  • Finasteride comes in tablet form. It is taken by mouth once daily.
  • It may take as long as three months to see results for hair loss with this drug and as long as six months to see results for BPH.
  • It can be taken with or without food.
  • It should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the drug in your blood.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it. If you are taking finasteride for male pattern baldness, hair loss will return within one year after you stop taking it.
The Dirty, Messy Part of BPH

About Finasteride

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