Finasteride 1mg hair loss tablets are a rather successful and efficient medicine used in the treatment of male pattern baldness. This generic version of better-known branded Propecia is developed and marketed by Merck Sharp and Dohme pharmaceutical company. As a generic medicine, it’s virtually identical to Propecia in terms of active ingredient and mechanism of action. Specifically, it works by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone – a compound that plays a central role in hair loss.
What’s on this page?
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss is a very common condition among men with onset that can vary significantly when it comes to total duration of the process and the age at which the first signs appear. Roughly one third of men will notice the signs of male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia) before age of 30, and more than half of men aged 40 or more. In general, when other causes (such as stress or illness) are taken into account, as much as two thirds of all men will experience hair loss at some point in their lives.
However, androgenetic alopecia isn’t the only type of hair loss. Others can be brought on by certain health conditions or treatments used. In some cases, this might be a sign that you should visit the doctor, so he can assess whether the medicine you might be taking is really safe for you.
Genetics have been singled out by scientists as the most important factor in determining whether you will get affected by male pattern hair loss. If the condition is running in your family, the chances are high that you won’t be able to do too much to prevent the process.
Finasteride 1mg and male pattern baldness
Finasteride is designed specifically for the treatment of male pattern baldness. This generic version of branded Propecia is developed by Merck Sharp and Dohme pharmaceutical company. Male pattern baldness usually follows very distinct patterns and as such, it is easy to identify. Most commonly, the hair starts thinning at the very top of the head – this is also known as vertex hair loss – from where it will spread to the front or the sides of the hair. In other cases it might, on the contrary, start at the front and then move upwards (so-called receding hairline).
This condition can also manifest at different ages. Some men get affected as early as in their 20s, while others might not notice any signs of hair thinning until well into their 30s. The time it will take for someone to go completely bald cannot be precisely determined either. For some, the process is gradual and slow, while for others it can be very sudden and quick.
Male pattern baldness is caused, on a bio-chemical level, by the conversion of testosterone into hormone dihydrotestosterone, a compound that plays a crucial role in the closing up of the hair follicles, leading to general decrease of hair production. This process will eventually result in a complete halt of hair production by the body. Finasteride 1mg tablets remedy this by inhibiting aforementioned process of conversion. When administered in higher doses, this same medicine is used for the treatment of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH for short) so it’s important to keep in mind that 1mg dose is made specifically for treating hair loss and larger doses should not be taken.
How is Finasteride used?
This medicine is rather simple to use – one pill is taken daily for a period of 3 to 6 months (until the effects of Finasteride have developed fully). By following all the additional directions provided by your doctor or pharmacist exactly, you will ensure optimal efficiency of the medicine while simultaneously decreasing the chances of any side effects. Some most general guidelines one should keep in mind include:
- Typical dose is one tablet daily
- Take the medicine with water
- You can take the medicine with or without food
- It takes between 12 and 26 weeks for the medicine to reach optimal concentration
- If you miss a dose, don’t take a double one to make up for it – simply continue treatment as usual
- You should visit your doctor from time to time to check on the progress of the treatment
- Once you stop the treatment, it is likely that the hair regrown (if any) will be lost again within 9 months to a year
Are there any Finasteride side effects?
Before the beginning of the treatment, you should thoroughly read the official patient information leaflet that is issued with every pack. In addition, you should ensure that you fully understand the instructions presented to you by a doctor or a pharmacist. By doing so, you will minimize the risk of potential side effects.
However, it is also important to be familiar with the side effects so you can notice them early if they do manifest. You should contact your doctor immediately if:
- Any of the side effects become serious or more pronounced
- You become depressed or have suicidal thoughts
- You notice changes in breast tissue (lumps, pain or nipple discharge)
- You notice the usual symptoms of an allergic reaction
The documented side effects can be rather varied and, naturally, not everyone will experience them. If they do manifest, you will probably experience just a couple of the following:
- Allergic reaction
- Breast swelling
- Testicular pain
- Increased heartbeat
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Problems with ejaculation
- Elevated liver enzymes
There are several different scenarios when the doctor can opt against prescribing you this medicine. It can happen if there is a risk of interaction with other treatments you might be taking at the same time. Likewise, some other health conditions can be considered to be contraindications.
When it comes to drug interactions, Finasteride has been known to react harshly to presence minoxidil. At the same time, this medicine should not be used if you are already using other drugs with the same active ingredient for the treatment of enlarged prostate (like Proscar).
It is also important to note that this medicine should never be used by women. And this is especially important for pregnant women – they should avoid any contact with Finasteride since it may harm the development of their baby. As this medicine can also pass into semen of male users, it is important to always use a condom so that your partner doesn’t come into contact with the medicine.
Finally, as this medicine contains lactose, it shouldn’t be used by anyone who is lactose-intolerant.