Finasteride ꟷ Everything You Need to Know

Finasteride is a popular hair loss medication that is not only used in treating hair loss but also enlarged prostate in men. This 4-azasteroid compound is man-made and is aimed to inhibit steroid Type II 5a-reductase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for converting androgen testosterone into DHT or 5a-dihydrotestosterone. This hormone is potent and can result in hair follicles getting miniaturized which can eventually lead to the cessation of hair growth.

Propecia tablets contain 1mg of finasteride. These film-coated tablets are taken orally and are considered as the first course of treatment for men who are experiencing androgenetic hair loss. The medication requires a doctor’s prescription.

Finasteride needs to be taken orally and will usually take up to three months before one can start seeing the benefits. The medication is meant to work for the long term which requires you to take it continuously. In the event that the drug does not show any benefit even after taking it for 12 months, the best thing to do is to stop the treatment as this would mean that the medication is not going to benefit you. In addition, if you stop taking finasteride, whatever hair you have gained for the length of time you were taking it.

The drug can be taken with a meal or without one. For the treatment of androgenetic hair loss, the recommended daily dosage is 1mg. Finasteride has been known to provide successful results in men from 18-40 years old who are experiencing moderate hair loss along the vertex as well the anterior area, in the middle of the scalp.

How long does the effect of Finasteride last?

When taking finasteride for hair growth, always remember that the process is never immediate. In most cases, it will take between three and four months before one can start seeing results. Provided that you are taking finasteride daily, based on your doctor’s directions, then expect to see results within three to four months. In most cases, you can see the full effects of the medication in 6-9 months’ time as it will take time for new hairs to be produced.   

It is important to note that finasteride does not always replace the hair you’ve already lost. In most cases, men that take the medication do so in order to stop further hair loss they are experiencing instead of actually regrowing hair. It is possible too that you may not see any improvement after taking finasteride although it is actually working by preventing you from losing any more hair.

If taking finasteride for hair growth, bear in mind that you may still experience falling hair. This is because hair fall, after all, is a natural part of the hair’s growth cycle. Hair falls to pave the way for new hair. Seeing some hair particles in your comb or in the shower is to be expected.

In order to get the full results of finasteride, make sure to wait for an entire year of continuously using it daily. Skipping the tablets is not ideal as this may prevent the drug from working to its full effect.

Even when you cannot see any visible new hair, it is important not to stop taking finasteride. Stopping the medication would only mean that your natural hair will go back to its original amount and worse, you might even continue losing more hair.

When finasteride is used according to your doctor’s specific instructions, it is quite effective at preventing hair loss. Patience is crucial when taking the medication though since it can take several months for the effects to be obviously visible and for new hairs to actually be produced.  

Finasteride side effects

Taking finasteride can lead to a decreased desire for sex or sexual ability. There are men who experience a reduction in the amount of semen they release when having sex. While the side effect may be harmless, there are instances when it has continued for some men even when they have ceased to take the medication. Always let your doctor know if you find any of the side effects to persist or to get worse.

Contact your doctor immediately if you have serious side effects such as a breast lump, nipple discharges, testicular pain, inability to urinate, as well as breast tenderness or enlargement. Allergic reactions to the medication is rare but in the event that you do get some, make sure to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms considered as serious allergic reactions include swelling or itching especially of the throat/tongue/face, severe dizziness rash as well as trouble breathing.


Let your doctor know if you are allergic to the medication or if you have any types of allergies at all before taking it.

Discuss your medical history with your doctor too before you start using the medication. This is especially true if you have liver disease, prostate cancer, urinary problems and other infections.

Finasteride should never be used in children. The drug can also be absorbed by the skin. In the event that the tablet gets crushed or if its film coating gets broken, it should never be handled by a pregnant woman or one who has plans of becoming pregnant. Exposure of a male fetus to the drug can lead to him developing abnormal genitals.

Finasteride should only be used by adult males. A crushed or broken tablet must never be handled by a woman who is pregnant. Breastfeeding women should never handle the tablet.