Finasteride (Propecia®)

In most cases hair loss is hereditary, with the so-called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) playing a major role. DHT is produced with the help of the enzyme 5α-reductase out of the male testosterone hormone. It influences the growth phase of hair, contributing to the gradual demise of the hair roots. Finasteride suppresses the 5α reductase enzyme, without affecting the male hormone testosterone. Finasteride does not naturally exist in the hormonal balance, and its intake slows the action of the enzyme and decreases the concentration of DHT in the scalp. The demise of further hair roots is reduced, with already dead hair roots being stimulated to produce new hair.

Finasteride: usage and side effects

Finasteride is a prescription-only drug suitable for the treatment of both men and women. Generally speaking, Finasteride tablets need to be taken once a day over a 3 - 6 month period before any visible effect can be seen. To achieve best results, Finasteride needs to be taken permanently. It is recommended that a doctor be regularly consulted during treatment. Prescription drugs can unfortunately have negative side effects. Those of Finasteride are only minor, and generally speaking toleration is very good. The vast majority (96 %) of patients do not suffer from any side effects. Clinical studies show that a mere 3.8 % of men treated suffer from sexual side effects (decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, reduced ejaculation). Unfortunately adverse side effects have been reported in recent years, like persistent diminished libido, erectile dysfunction and depression (PFS-Syndrom). (Read more on this topic) 
These observations suggest that extreme caution should be exercised prior to taking 5α-reductase (Finasteride) for hair growth.

Successfully fighting hair loss

86% of men participating in a study of Finasteride drug treatment and showing hair loss in the crown area noted no further hair loss or even perceived new hair growth. Studies also show that some 50% of participating men noted they had more hair within 12 months. A third study, in which men with a receding hairline and hair loss on the top of their heads participated, showed increased hair growth in 37% of all participants.

Topical Finasteride

Although topical Finasteride is not FDA approved yet, there have been several studies resulting in the effectiveness of topical Finasteride being very similar to oral Finasteride but with fewer side effects. Any additional information about topical Finasteride can be provided by the clinic.