Finasteride slows hair loss, regrows hair, and prevents further baldness in most men. But it takes time to work—it can take months to even a year to see results. Finasteride was not mutagenic in an in vitro bacterial mutagenesis assay or mammalian cell chromosome aberration assays. No pharmacokinetic interactions were observed with the oral administration of Finasteride and other drugs.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

During the first few months of finasteride use, you may not notice a change in your hairline, crown or overall level of hair thickness. That is normal and doesn’t mean that the medication isn’t working. It just takes time for the hormones in your body to make their way through the first phase of their natural growth cycle. So how does Finasteride work for hair loss? It’s important to understand how it works to measure your expectation. After three to six months of daily finasteride use, you should see a noticeable improvement in your hairline, crown and overall scalp hair thickness. However, these early results will be different from your final results. As the medication works in your system, you will continue to see improvements in your hairline and crown over time.

Another factor impacting your results is how consistently you take the medication. If you often forget to take your tablet or miss a few days, it can significantly impact how quickly you start to see results. Try to take your medication at the same time every day so that it’s easier to remember. You may still experience some thinning even after you’ve reached your ideal results. It is why many people combine Finasteride with minoxidil, a topical treatment that also stands up well in clinical trials.

What Are the Side Effects?

Finasteride comes as an oral tablet and is taken once daily. It is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, which blocks an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, shrinks hair follicles and causes hair loss over time. It stops this from happening and can even lead to new hair growth in some people. It is why it’s best to take this medication daily — missing doses can affect your results.

The drug can cause some side effects, which are usually mild and will pass in a few days or weeks. If they persist, get assistance from your doctor or pharmacist. Other common side effects include thinning the beard or other areas of the head or erectile dysfunction. It can result from lower levels of the hormone sex hormone testosterone. Some studies suggest that the drug may increase your risk of prostate cancer. Your doctor will monitor your PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels if this concerns you. Pregnant women should not handle this medication, as it can be absorbed through the skin. It can lead to congenital disabilities in the male fetus. Finasteride can also reduce fertility in men.

Can I Increase My Dose?

Finasteride is a small tablet that can be taken with or without food. It is important to take it simultaneously each day and not miss any doses. Forgetting to take your pill can result in a lack of results, as the drug needs to be present in your body at the right level to work. You can increase the dose of Finasteride under a doctor’s supervision, but it is advisable to stay within the maximum recommended dosage. Higher drug dosages can lead to an enlarged prostate or other serious side effects. Talking with your doctor before starting new medications, supplements, or vitamins is also good. It can help ensure they are safe and won’t interfere with your treatment plan. The pharmacology of this medication is that it decreases dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which normally causes the prostate to grow larger and leads to hair loss in men. In some men, lowering DHT levels can halt or reverse the course of baldness and encourage new hair growth. In some cases, it can also increase the thickness and density of existing hair.

Are There Any Alternatives?

Finasteride is an effective medication that can slow and even reverse the progression of male pattern baldness. It does not regrow hair, but it does help the hair follicles remain active and stimulate new hair growth. It has also been shown to promote the re-entry into the anagen phase of those follicles that have become resting in their telogen phase, which can result in thicker and stronger hair growth. The results from taking Finasteride can be gradual, and it can take three to six months or even up to a year before the full effects of the medication are seen. The most important thing to remember is that the medication needs to be taken consistently daily to work properly. Taking it for only a few days can cause the drug levels to drop and stop working as effectively. If you want to try a natural remedy, several supplements have been shown to help promote hair growth and stop further loss. One option is to see Palmetto, which is as effective as Finasteride in treating male androgenic alopecia. Another alternative is a topical hair loss foam called minoxidil, which has been shown to promote hair growth and reduce hair loss in some men. However, it is less effective than Finasteride and only works regularly.