Finasteride (Propecia) for hair loss – what is it and who can use it?
Finasteride (or Propecia) is most commonly used to treat urinary problems that are the result of an enlarged prostate gland. Finasteride is considered a steroid reductase inhibitor and works by reducing the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. Less DHT means a smaller prostate gland, which in turn resolves the urinary problems.
For individuals that have hair loss caused by an excess of DHT in the body, finasteride can prove useful. In these cases, the reduced DHT allows hair growth to increase and hair loss to slow.
Finasteride should be used by adult men only. While the drug hasn’t shown that it causes harm to women, it also hasn’t shown enough evidence that it helps them either. The most recent research still deems the efficacy of Finasteride in female pattern baldness controversial.
As with any medication, there are some important side effects that should be noted. The most prominent is a decreased sexual drive. Additionally, the drug may also affect fertility.
When deciding whether to start a medication, one should always weigh the pros and cons with an experienced and certified doctor. Together, you can come to a conclusion as to whether the benefit is greater than the risk of side effects.
Here at Modena, we specialize in the medical management of hair loss. Upon evaluation of your scalp and hair loss history by Dr. Yazdan, a determination can be made as to if you would be a good candidate for finasteride treatment.
If you’re experiencing hair loss and would like to explore your options, give us a call for a medical management consultation today.