Finasteride is a medication widely used in treating hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia in men. It is also used to treat excessive hair growth in women and as a crucial part of hormone therapy for transgender women. It was approved for medical use in 1992, even though it was patented much earlier in 1984.
What is Propecia?
Propecia is one of the brand or trade names for Finasteride, the active drug ingredient. Other popular brand names for Finasteride are Proscar, Finide, and others.
Difference between Finasteride and Propecia
Both Propecia and Finasteride technically refer to the same hair loss therapy drug. However, Propecia is one of the branded versions of the drug, while Finasteride is the active ingredient, which also shares the same name with a cheaper generic version of the drug.
Is finasteride effective at stopping hair loss? How does it work?
Several studies, including one in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Journal, have proven that Finasteride is useful for promoting hair growth. It is taken by mouth daily, and Finasteride functions by blocking certain male hormones’ effects on the hair follicles. It may also block male hormones that cause prostate enlargement hiding early symptoms of certain kinds of prostate cancer. However, this is beneficial for shrinking the prostate and preventing the need for surgery or other treatments.
Specifically, the male hormone is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The drug reduces this hormone production by up to 70% as an antiandrogen, affecting both the scalp and prostate. Therefore, men should discuss with their doctor how finasteride can affect prostate cancer screening before they begin treatment.
When will I see results? How long does finasteride work?
Finasteride is very effective at halting hair loss while stimulating hair growth. Although it starts working on hormones immediately, it takes some time to see lasting results. Within 3 to 8 months of treatment, positive changes can already occur, although this may vary from person to person.
To obtain the most effective results, a person should take Finasteride daily for a year, so patience is needed. Hair follicles ordinarily require many months to have a generative growth phase and start producing new hair.
There should be as little interruption as possible since, without the drug, the hormone levels will rise to their normal levels causing probable hair loss once more.
Here are some before and after results from using Finasteride/Propecia via Youtube.
How much dosage to take?
The recommended dose of finasteride tablet under the United States Pharmacopeia guidelines is one 5 mg tablet taken once a day.
Does finasteride cause shedding?
Shedding is completely normal as it is a part of its natural growth cycle and is only temporary when starting the drug regime. The Finasteride shedding is, in fact, a good sign. It shows that Finasteride is beginning to work as the damaged older hairs are falling to allow the regeneration of more robust hair strands.
The initial thinning or shedding should not be concerning. However, it would be suitable to diminish expectations for early results in the first few weeks of using the medication. There rumors that it causes increase baldness is false. Instead, Finasteride causes restoration of thinning hair while concurrently improving larger hair follicles, so the perceived baldness is only this period dormancy as the hair slowly begins to grow.
Some people mistakenly stop taking their recommended Finasteride dosage once they notice any shedding. This mistake only sets them back as the hormones return to normal levels. Remember that even if none or few improvements occur at the start of taking Finasteride. However, the medication is continuously working.
The shedding is mild and would only last a few months. An observation is that after an average of six months, the hair growth is quicker, while the hair loss rate slows to almost a halt. Also, the hair is thicker and more robust in appearance.
Finasteride Side Effects
Finasteride side effects are typically rare although, there are reports of depression and sexual dysfunction. In a few cases, the sexual dysfunction may last even after stopping the medication and manifest as decreased libido, increased breast size, and possible erectile dysfunction. Finasteride can also reduce prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
Finasteride/Propecia vs Minoxidil/Rogaine
Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil) are two FDA-approved medications. They have become popular hair loss treatments in the pharmaceutical market. Yet, the two drugs work and function in entirely different ways.
Minoxidil is a vasodilator that increases blood flow in some regions of the body. For easy application to the scalp, it is available as a spray, as a liquid, and as a topical foam. Applying Minoxidil on your scalp causes a vasodilating effect. This effect allows more nutrients and oxygen to flow through your blood to your hair follicles working as a growth agent. Minoxidil is not known to affect any hormone production.
Finasteride prevents hair loss by stopping testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and can even cause mild regrowth in thinning hair patches. Another key difference is that this an oral medication.
Often healthcare professionals recommend Finasteride first since it stops hair loss at its source, DHT production. However, both drugs are also commonly used together for a synergistic effect.
Propecia or Dutasteride?
Propecia (finasteride) and Avodart (dutasteride) are drugs function in the same way. However, Finasteride blocks about 70% of DHT production, while studies suggest that Dutasteride blocks up 90% or more DHT production.
How much is Propecia?
How much is Propecia? It and other brand types of Finasteride cost an estimated amount of $25 to $75. Be mindful that Propecia is typically not covered by insurance plans and a monthly supply maybe required.
How much is generic finasteride?
The lowest GoodRx price for the most common generic Finasteride is around $7.85, which is about 88% less than the average retail price of $69.25.
Where can I buy Finasteride/Propecia online?
It is possible to buy it online from various vendors. However, Finasteride is a prescription-only medication. So you will need a prescription before you buy any variants of Finasteride.
Is Finasteride in Morr F?
Yes, finasteride is one of the main active ingredient of Morr F alongside minoxidil.