Finasteride (Propecia) hair loss treatment
Finasteride may not be a name you’re familiar with, but if you’re concerned about hair loss, it may be something which can make a big difference to your hair loss. More commonly known as Propecia, it’s a well known treatment for hair loss, or male pattern baldness, which has been available since 1997.
Not available on the NHS, and only available as a private prescription, finasteride comes in the form of a 5 mg daily tablet which stops the male hormone testosterone being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone which stops healthy hair follicles from absorbing the nutrients they need, and much like a plant without water, results in withering of the follicle. Now in poor condition, the damaged follicle stops hairs from growing, and results in baldness. With the DHT blocked, hair can grow normally, the follicles remain unaffected. The balding process is slowed or stopped. It is possible to regrow recently lost hair with consistent treatment.
90% of people who have taken finasteride report that they’ve seen an improvement in their condition.
Doctors recommend that finasteride is taken for up to six months before any assessment of progress can take place. It’s usually around that period that you would start to see real improvement in the condition of the hair. Stopping finasteride is not recommended, as baldness and hair loss can return six months to a year after you stop.
As with all medicines, there are potential side effects, but thankfully with finasteride, these tend to affect only a tiny proportion of people who take it. The Doctor will explain both the potential benefits and sode effects with you at consultation. Many UK doctors recommend finasteride as the top non surgical treatment choice for male pattern baldness.