If you suffer from hair loss problems, you have almost certainly heard of Finasteride. Approximately 7 million search results on Google give a fairly accurate idea of the interest in this drug. And it is that, together with minoxidil, they are the only two drugs really capable of curbing alopecia. If you want to know the history of finasteride, what it is and how it works, read on.
Do you know what Finasteride is?
Originally launched as a treatment for prostate diseases, Finasteride is an antiandrogenic drug , that is, it minimizes or inhibits the effect of male sex hormones (androgens). Specifically, Finasteride acts as a blocker of the type II 5-alpha-reductase enzyme , which is responsible for transforming testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Among other things, DHT is involved in the development of secondary male characters and the growth of the prostate. In people with androgenic alopecia , DHT is the hormone that attacks the hair follicle, miniaturizing it until it disappears.
Is Finasteride really effective in stopping hair loss?
Finasteride, administered in doses of 1mg per day , is capable of reducing the presence of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp by up to 60-70% . In this way, it largely prevents DHT from attacking the root of the hair follicles and, therefore, allows the hair to regain its normal cycle of growth , fall and renewal . Various studies have concluded that the drug is effective in up to 83% of the men who take it, managing both to avoid the miniaturization and fall of the follicles and, to a certain extent, that those who were weakened regain their thickness and strength.
Finasteride: different effects, for different areas of the hair
Here’s some bad news for most: Finasteride has been shown to be more effective on the top of the head and crown than on the forehead and hairline area . That is to say, it serves to keep the famous “cardboard” at bay, but somewhat less to counteract the entrances, the landing zone that first affects the majority of men and is most visible.
When does Finasteride start to work?
In general, its full effect is felt from 6-12 months after starting treatment, and they are consolidated from the second year. However, some people begin to experience positive effects as early as the third month . These effects are maintained throughout the time of use of the drug, but if you stop taking it , they begin to reverse over the next 12 months . In other words, it is a drug that must be taken for as long as you want to keep its action.
Is the Finasteride just a man’s thing?
In this case, the answer is yes: Finasteride is contraindicated for women , and prohibited in case of pregnancy , since it could cause the feminization of the fetus, if it were male. The indication of the drug is for men with androgenic alopecia between the ages of 18 and 40 . In children and adolescents it is not recommended as it could interfere with normal sexual development.