What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is drug that is used in the treatment of male pattern baldness. It was first approved for use in 1992 to treat men with enlarged prostates. Those taking finasteride for this reason realised that as well as helping to shrink the size of the prostate, it also resulted in hair growth. After 5 years of research, a lower dose of finasteride was introduced to the market as a safe and effective way to treat male pattern baldness.
What is the difference between finasteride and Propecia?
Propecia is the brand name of the drug that contains the active ingredient finasteride. Both Propecia and its generic counterpart finasteride, contain 1mg of the active ingredient, finasteride. Any differences between the two will be in the inactive ingredients such as the components that bind the tablet. In theory, there should be no difference in results between Propecia and finasteride.
Why is finasteride cheaper than Propecia?
The pharmaceutical company Merck were responsible for developing Propecia and introducing it to the market. They spent a huge sum of money in the research and development stage as well as in the marketing of Propecia as a treatment for male pattern baldness. The price of Propecia was set in order to claw back on the large investments made, whilst still being profitable. Merck had a license (patent) to be the sole producer of finasteride (sold as Propecia) until October 2014. After the patent expired, other companies were free to manufacture finasteride. Because Merck had already carried out the research and development of finasteride and demonstrated its effectiveness through successful clinical trials, other companies manufacturing finasteride do not need to do this, therefore, can set a lower price. The many companies manufacturing finasteride help to keep the price competitive.
How does finasteride work?
In males, the hormone testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Excess DHT has a negative effect on the growth of hair, by shrinking hair follicles to a point where they cannot produce hair. Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Less DHT means that no more hair follicles will experience damage, stopping hair from falling out and it also allows the hair follicles that it had previously destroyed, to regenerate and start producing hair again. This means that finasteride is able to slow and reverse hair loss in men.
How long does it take for finasteride to work?
Finasteride starts working on the scalp almost immediately. But because hair growth is a slow process, it usually takes around 3-4 months before the effects of finasteride are noticed and men find that they are experiencing less hair loss. Many men first experience hair shedding, however this is normal and a sign that your body is responding to finasteride. The 6-9 month stage is when most men will notice the effects of finasteride, as it takes a while for hair follicles to start producing new hair. At this point, you should be able to notice better hair growth than before having started finasteride.
It is important to take finasteride for one year continuously before you are able to get an idea as to whether it is working for you. How you respond to finasteride after the first year is also a good indicator of how successful your long-term treatment will be. It is important to note that not all men experience hair growth using finasteride. In these cases, finasteride is working to prevent further hair loss and stopping finasteride can cause hair to fall out.
How do you take finasteride?
Finasteride should be taken once daily, preferably at the same time each day. Each tablet should be swallowed whole with a glass of water, with or without food. Do not crush finasteride. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If you do not remember till the following day, do not take two doses together.
How long should I take finasteride for?
Finasteride should be taken continuously for as long as you wish to benefit from the results of it. Stopping finasteride will reverse the effects that it has had on your hair and any new hair re-grown will fall off and you will continue balding at the same rate as you did before treatment.
What happens if I miss a dose of finasteride?
Missing a dose of finasteride will not cause your hair to suddenly fall off again. It is unlikely that missing a dose here or there will affect results, however, several missed doses may mean that the levels of DHT (the hormone dihydrotestosterone that shrinks hair follicles), will start to increase again, causing hair to fall off. If you have forgotten a dose, take it as soon as you remember, providing that it is on the same day you forgot. Do not take two tablets together, or within a short space of each other.
Does finasteride work?
An independent panel of dermatologists assessing the effectiveness of finasteride over a 5-year period, concluded that finasteride had a success rate of 90%. 42% of subjects experienced a halt in balding, whist 48% experienced hair re-growth, proving finasteride to have a success rate of 90%.
Another study looking at the effectiveness of finasteride in 1553 men suffering with male pattern baldness over a 2-year period, showed that over 83% of men maintained or increased the number of hairs from the baseline.
Finasteride has been used by millions of men around the world and is commonly known to have a successful outcome in treating men with male pattern baldness.
Is finasteride safe to take?
Finasteride is generally a safe and well-tolerated drug. Clinical studies examining men taking finasteride concluded that side-effects were uncommon and most men experienced no side-effects. A clinical study assessing finasteride over a one-year period in over 3,000 men, found that only 1.7% of men taking finasteride discontinued treatment as a result of side-effects, compared to 2.1% of men who discontinued taking a placebo pill as a result of side-effects. It was reported that 1.8% of men taking finasteride reported a decrease in sex drive, compared to the 1.3% who were taking the placebo pill. 1.3% of men taking finasteride reported difficulties in achieving an erection, compared to the 0.7% who reported this effect that were taking the placebo. 0.8% of subjects taking finasteride reported a reduced volume of semen produced compared to the 0.4% who experienced this that were taking the placebo.
After the fifth year of treatment, the number of patients reporting the above side-effects had dropped to below 0.3%. This indicates that if you are one of the few individuals that is experiencing side-effects, they are likely to disappear after continued use of finasteride. It is important to note that side-effects are reversible and resolve once finasteride has been stopped.
Can women use finasteride?
Finasteride is only licensed for and should only be used by men. Finasteride has been shown to be somewhat effective in treating hair loss in women, however, it's teratogenic effects on the foetus has limited research to post-menopausal women. If pregnant women are exposed to finasteride, it can result in birth defects. Pregnant women should not handle or be exposed to finasteride.
DHT is the hormone that causes hair loss in men. Testosterone is converted to DHT and finasteride blocks this conversion. As women have less testosterone, the response to finasteride isn't as positive as it is in males.
Buy Finasteride Online
Finasteride is available to buy online from our registered pharmacy. Finasteride is the active ingredient also contained in the branded version, Propecia. Because this is a non-branded product, you are able to buy finasteride online for a cheaper price. Before our clinicians can prescribe this, you will need to fill out a short online questionnaire, which will determine your suitability for this product.
Is it safe to buy online?
Chemist Click are registered with the GPhC (General Pharmaceutical Society) and the MHRA (Medicines Health Regulatory Authority). You should always check the credentials of the pharmacy when buying treatment online. Click here to see our credentials.