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Sons 101: Finasteride Explained

Medically reviewed by Dr Knut Moe,
Sons Medical Director

"In my experience, the treatments on offer with Sons include the most effective medical treaments available to treat male pattern hair loss."

18 August 2020
3-minute read

This article has been medically verified by Dr. Knut Moe - Medical Director at Sons

 

Finasteride is one of the two key active medications that forms the Sons treatment plans - it reduces the levels of DHT(dihydrotestosterone) the hormone responsible for male pattern hair loss which leads to the shrinkage of hair and eventual hair loss. It has a few select medical uses and is widely used to treat male hair loss.


Background

Finasteride was originally (and still is) used at a 5mg dose in the early 1990s to treat men with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), a common condition where the prostate is enlarged, leading to trouble urinating. It was discovered to be effective at treating male pattern hair loss following trials at a 1mg dose and was subsequently approved by the FDA to treat hair loss in 1998. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513329/


Does Finasteride work?

Yes, Finasteride is proven to treat male pattern hair loss in 90% of people who take it..


Some studies have shown an improvement of 30% to hair loss after six months of treatment and proved that its effectiveness continues as long as it is administered. It is also proven to be especially effective when combined with Minoxidil.


Is there clinical evidence for Finasteride use?

Yes, clinical studies have shown that Finasteride is an effective treatment for hair loss. 


In fact, Finasteride has been proven to be effective at lowering DHT levels by up to 60% and is effective in 90% of people who take it to treat hair loss.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29972712

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26031764


How does Finasteride work?

Finasteride helps reduce the production of DHT, a male hormone which causes hair shrinkage and eventual hair loss in those who are genetically susceptible to it.. 


During hair loss, DHT (dihydrotestosterone) binds to hair follicles which leads to the hair shaft shrinking in size until it becomes cut off from the hair follicle and dies. Finasteride counteracts this process by reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT and preventing its accumulation around the hair follicles. 


How long does Finasteride take to work?

With regular and consistent use, you can begin to see the effects of Finasteride around 3 months. However, most people will start to notice results between 6 and 12 months.


A good way to mark the progress of our hair loss treatment is to take a picture of yourself once a month from various angles. This will enable you to compare the differences in your hair quality and quantity.


Are there any side effects to taking Finasteride?

The chances of experiencing any adverse side effects associated with Finasteride are very low with less than 5 % people who take it experiencing them. The most common side effects include reduced libido and reduced quality of sperm. There have also been reports of effects on mood and of persistent side effects in some people on stopping Finasteride. A full list of side effects can be found in our patient information leaflet.


You must always read the complete list of side effects in the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) enclosed with your medication before taking it for the first time and if you have any questions please reach out to medical@sons.co.uk. If you experience any side effects, you should contact Sons or your GP immediately.


How should I take Finasteride?

Finasteride is most effective when taken as an oral tablet once a day. 


We recommend taking the medication at regular intervals and attaching it as part of your daily routine - i.e. after brushing your teeth in the morning.

 

The content provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not rely upon the information provided in this article for specific medical advice. Prior to starting any medication you should consult with your primary care provider if you are on any other medication to ensure that it is safe to do so and read the patient information leaflet, paying particular attention to potential side effects.  If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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