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Finasteride can be an effective treatment for male pattern baldness, a hereditary condition that affects around half of all men. While it can start as early as 20, usually men don’t start to notice excessive hair loss until their late thirties. It is not possible to reverse male pattern baldness, however, it is possible to slow the process down or even stop it completely with the right treatment, such as Finasteride.
Many men are reluctant to see their doctor about baldness; some cite embarrassment, while others simply don’t want to waste their GP’s time. At Oxford Online Pharmacy, you can complete an online questionnaire to allow the doctor to assess whether this is the correct treatment for you. You don’t have to endure the hassle of trying to get an appointment, the embarrassment of seeing your doctor, or the inconvenience of picking up your prescription; your hair loss treatment could be on your doorstep in discreet packaging within 24 hours.
On this page, you will find the following information about Finasteride:
Finasteride is a non-branded (generic term) and is the active ingredient in popular hair-loss drugs such as Propecia. Finasteride belongs to a group of medicines called Type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
Both men and women lose an average of 100 hairs a day; hair falls out naturally and the follicle produces new hair. For men with male pattern hair loss, these hair follicles gradually reduce in size. New hair grows thinner, is weaker, and falls out more quickly. Eventually, the hair is not strong enough to break the surface of the scalp, leading to complete baldness.
This process is caused by testosterone. Hair follicles convert testosterone into the hormone dihydrotestosterone; as hair follicles become increasingly sensitive to dihydrotestosterone, they shrink. Finasteride minimises the amount of testosterone that is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can help hair to thicken and regrow in most men who suffer from male pattern baldness.
Finasteride is used to treat hair loss with good results. It is also used (in higher doses) to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While Finasteride has proven results for hair loss over the scalp, it cannot cause hair regrowth in completely bald areas, or reverse receding hairlines.
In 2014, the UK patent for Propecia expired, which meant that Finasteride could be made and sold by other pharmaceutical companies under different names. Finasteride is simply a non-branded version of Propecia and the effect of the market competition means that it is now possible for men to access hair-loss medication at much lower prices. It is possible to buy Finasteride online with a prescription for less than 30% of the price of branded Propecia.
Finasteride can lead to erectile dysfunction or reduced libido. In most cases, these side effects are reversed once the patient stops taking the treatment. The risk of developing erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorder or decreased libido reduces as time goes on; after 2-4 years of taking Finasteride, the risk disappears completely.
Other side effects of Finasteride are rare but can be serious. There are links to Finasteride and breast cancer, and in very few cases, men taking the drug have reported having suicidal thoughts. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:
In addition, if you need to have a PSA blood test (prostate-specific antigen), you must inform your doctor that you are on Finasteride as this can affect the results.
If you experience any serious side effects or an allergic reaction, it is important that you stop taking Finasteride immediately. If you don’t experience any adverse effects, it could take 3-6 months for the drug to have its full effect. If you stop taking Finasteride, you will probably lose the hair that regrew as a result of the treatment within a year.
At Oxford Online Pharmacy, we know that everyone is different. Our team of doctors is on hand to give you the best possible advice and guidance; simply add Finasteride to your basket and complete our quick online consultation. If the doctor has a different recommendation for you, or if they would like to change the dosage, they will let you know. For more information about hair loss treatment online, please get in touch.
The recommended dosage of Finasteride is one 1 mg tablet daily. Finasteride may be taken with or without food. Treatment should continuously be assessed by the treating physician. Generally, three to six months of one tablet a day is required before evidence of stabilisation of hair loss can be expected*. Continuous use is recommended to sustain benefit*.
Finasteride is not indicated for use in women or children and adolescents.
*Disclaimer. Individual results may vary
Side Effects of Finasteride
With any medication you take, there is always a risk of side effects. Some are more common than others, and often side effects may subside with the regular usage of the medicine. If the side effects do not subside, you should report them to us, or your GP.
The following side effects are important and will require immediate action if you experience them
Stop taking this medicine and talk to your doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency department if you have any of the following symptoms:
• swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
• difficulty swallowing • skin rash, itching, lumps under your skin (hives)
• breathing difficulties
If you notice any of the following, talk to your doctor straight away:
For a full list of side effects, please read the patient information leaflet here
General warnings from our Clinical Lead Dr Roisin McHugh
1.Finasteride/ Dutasteride has in rare cases caused depression. If you develop any symptons of depression such as low mood please stop the medication straight away and discuss with a health care professional.
2.Infertility has been reported in men who took finasteride for long time and had other risk factors that may affect fertility; this should improve on discontinuation of finasteride/ dutasteride. Long-term clinical studies about the effects of finasteride on fertility in men have not been conducted.
3. Finasteride/dutasteride can affect a PSA blood test result, so please inform your own doctor that you are taking it
4. You should promptly report to your doctor any changes in your breast tissue such as lumps, pain, enlargement or nipple discharge as these may be signs of a serious condition, such as breast cancer (very rare).
5. It can cause erectile dysfunction. If you have any questions regarding any of this please email or telephone the pharmacy. Regards Dr Roisin McHugh