Finasteride is a steroidal compound, which is proven to reduce the secretion of an enzyme that converts androgen testosterone into 5-dihydrotestosterone (DHT)(1). Increased DHT concentration is responsible for hair loss amongst males. Finasteride is thus indicated for the prevention of male pattern hair loss (scalp region). The FDA first approved Finasteride in 1992 for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. The mode of action was a reduction in the secretion of the DHT enzyme; in 1998 the drug was approved for male pattern hair loss(2). Finasteride is administered orally and available in 5mg concentration
Finasteride is approved for the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and treatment of male pattern hair loss.
A clinical trial conducted demonstrated oral administration of Finasteride in male patients with male pattern hair loss reduced the rate of hair loss by over 66%. The effect lasted for two years(3). The drug is exclusive to males and contraindicated in females. The concentration for treatment of male pattern hair loss is 1mg and is generally prescribed for three months.
Common side effects of Finasteride include erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, loss of libido(4). Some males experience a decrease in ejaculatory volume. However, all side effects are reversible with the discontinuation of the drug. Other less common side effects of the drug include breast enlargement, breast tenderness amongst males, and male breast cancer. Hypersensitivity reactions like rash, swelling of lips and face have been documented through clinical and post-marketing studies(2,4). The drug is safe in older males, and no known interaction with food is documented.
1. Is Finasteride Safe?
Finasteride has not shown any systematic side effects and the drug effects on male reproductive organs. The drug has demonstrated a half-life of 8 hours and is eliminated through urine. Finasteride is considered a drug with a safe clinical profile.
2. Does Finasteride Regrow Hair?
Finasteride prevents hair loss over the scalp region. Various clinical studies have shown that Finasteride helps promote hair regrowth in many males suffering from male pattern baldness(5).
3. Is Finasteride A Steroid?
Finasteride is identified as a steroid-like drug(2). The drug is classified as a synthetic azasteroid compound and is a specific inhibitor of an intracellular enzyme that converts the androgen testosterone into DHT.
4. Can A Man Take Finasteride While Trying to Conceive?
If you are trying to conceive, Finasteride should be avoided as it is known to reduce libido; common side effects include erectile dysfunction, ejaculation dysfunction. It is recommended to consult your physician before consumption of Finasteride if you are trying to conceive.
5. Can I Take Finasteride Every Other Day?
Finasteride is a relatively safe drug with reversible side effects. However, it is recommended to follow the regime prescribed by your physician.
6. Can You Take Finasteride and Biotin Together?
No interaction was found in clinical studies between Biotin (Vitamin B7) and Finasteride. Thus both the drugs can be taken together if prescribed by your physician.
7. Does Finasteride Cause Memory Problems?
A systematic review on the side effects of Finasteride has shown limited evidence on Finasteride leading to memory problems(6). However, it is recommended to consult your physician if you have a history of psychotic diseases before taking Finasteride.
8. How Long Does Finasteride Stay in Your System?
The half-life of Finasteride is 6 hours(7). The drug is free-floating in plasma, and the peak concentration of the drug in plasma is reached 1-2 hours post-administration. The concentration of Finasteride decreases significantly within 24 hours of consumption.
9. Can Finasteride Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
When prescribed in combination with Dutasteride for benign prostatic hyperplasia for the long term, Finasteride has shown to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus(8).
10. Who Should Not Take Finasteride?
Finasteride should only be consumed if prescribed by a qualified physician. Finasteride should not be consumed by female patients, pregnant women, and children.