Talking about hair loss, androgenic alopecia is a very common type of hair loss in men. It is a genetically inherited type of alopecia, which means that you can get this trait from your father or grandfather. It is very common post-puberty. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) plays a pivotal role in this type of hair loss. The amount of hair loss depends on how susceptible your hair follicles are to dihydrotestosterone.
Let’s talk about how dihydrotestosterone affects our hair follicles. According to various research articles, dihydrotestosterone has shown to cause miniaturization of hair follicles i.e. it causes hair follicles to shrink. It has also been seen that the number of dihydrotestosterone receptors also increases in the areas of hair loss.
When talking about finasteride, it is an inhibitor of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Finasteride works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone by blocking the action of the enzyme called 5-alpha reductase so that the effects of DHT are blocked. Finasteride does not affect the testosterone levels in the body.
What is the recommended dose of finasteride?
Finasteride should be taken in the dose of 1mg/day for atleast one year to see the full effects. Remember that the biggest drawback of this medical treatment is that it has to be continued indefinitely. That means as long as you take the finasteride, you are going to see the results, and when you discontinue using that, withing 4-6 months, the effects would be gone!
Who can have maximum benefit from finasteride?
The younger you are, the more beneficial it is going to be for you.
What are the side effects of finasteride?
Finasteride blocks the actions of dihydrotestosterone, which is the active form of testosterone, so the side effects are apparent. It can cause erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and enlargement of the male breast.
Are the side effects of finasteride reversible?
Yes! The side effects of finasteride are reversible. The unfavourable effects that finasteride puts you through can be reversed once you stop the treatment.
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Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP