Finesteride in Treatment of Alopecia (Baldness)

If you are suffering from baldness or alopecia, you might have tried many treatment modalities in alternative medicines and could not get desired results, than it is high time you try modern medicine. Modern medicine can offer some remedy to baldness or alopecia. USFDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) has approved use of finesteride (Propecia) for treatment of alopecia or baldness in males.

Finesteride, marketed as Propecia, Proscar etc. is used for treatment of alopecia. Finesteride is a 5-alpha reductase enzyme inhibitor drug. 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and by blocking 5-alpha reductase enzyme finesteride blocks the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which is more powerful androgen than testosterone. Due to lower level of powerful dihydrotestosterone, the androgenic activity in the scalp is reduced. By reducing androgenic activity in the scalp, finesteride helps in preventing hair fall and also helps in regrowing of hairs.

Studies have shown that men (approximately 2 out of 3 who takes finesteride 1 mg daily) with mild to moderate hair loss can get hairs regrow, as seen by increased hair count. Finesteride can also prevent fall of hairs. If a patient is taking finesteride for treatment of baldness (alopecia), if there is no increase in number of hairs (or regrowth of hairs) at least the hair fall can be prevented.

Side effects of finesteride:

Finesteride has several side effects, some of which are potentially serious. Side effects of finesteride include impotence, ejaculation disturbance, abnormal sexual performance, erectile dysfunction, gynecomastia (breast development in males), pain in testicles etc. The side effects generally disappear in those who discontinue the treatment with finesteride and also in most of the patients over time who continue to take finesteride despite side effects.

Finesteride is not recommended in females for treatment of baldness as it is not effective in treating baldness in females. Finesteride should be avoided during pregnancy and those women planning pregnancy.

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