When it comes to hair loss treatment for men, there are a lot of products on the market that make bold claims without being backed up by medical science. However, finasteride is not among these gimmicks. It’s one of only two products on the market that’s been approved by the FDA to successfully treat men’s hair loss – minoxidil being the other product. In one clinical test, finasteride was given to patients to take over a 24-week period. Not only did the patients’ hair shedding stop upon using the product, they most of them actually increased hair growth during this timeframe as well.
The success stories surrounding finasteride are well documented, but what about the conservation efforts? Here are some ways to ensure that your newly-grown hair stays strong, healthy, and most importantly, growing at all times.
Keeping Your Finasteride Results
First and foremost, you need to continue taking finasteride to enjoy its benefit. While finasteride is proven to be effective at preventing men from losing their hair – 83% of guys stop experiencing hair loss and more than 60% grow additional hair while taking it – it’s a drug that you’ve got to be committed to taking for the long-haul. In fact, as soon as finasteride was approved by the FDA for treating androgenic alopecia and was introduced to the market, one of the few criticisms that people had about the medication was that you have to take it consistently to enjoy its benefits. The truth is that most guys can lose much of their regrown hair about six months after quitting their haircare regimen, which is something you should consider when thinking about your finasteride results. So when coming up with ways to keep the hair that finasteride helped you grow, it’s best to plan on taking the medicine over the long-term.
Add Minoxidil to Your Routine
Using finasteride on its own is enough to promote denser hair growth, but when you add minoxidil to the mix, you get the ultimate combo of baldness prevention. Studies show that people who apply 5% minoxidil to their scalp twice a day for a 48-week period can grow nearly 20 new hairs per square centimeter on their scalp. Just like finasteride, minoxidil works best when used over extended periods of time. And when minoxidil is combined with finasteride, it’s been known to increase hair density for the majority of men who use them together.
Take Biotin Supplements
Biotin or B7 is a vitamin that plays an important role in preserving the health and strength of our hair. Over the recent years, biotin supplements have become increasingly popular because of their ability to improve the way our hair, nails, and skin look. Biotin’s anti-balding properties are a result of the vitamin’s ability to disrupt the conversion of DHT in the scalp. Just like finasteride (but far weaker), biotin protects hair follicles from being attacked by DHT, the male hormone that’s been linked to androgenic alopecia. What’s even more interesting is that biotin supplements are quite effective at helping promote hair growth, especially for people with vitamin deficiencies.
Kick the Habit
If you want to protect your hair from things that cause damage, start by quitting cigarettes. While it’s an unorthodox way to prevent hair loss, kicking the pack-a-day habit (or however much you smoke) can actually do wonders for your hair. Researchers in Taiwan have been able to establish a clear link between tobacco and male pattern baldness, noting that men who smoke 20 or more cigarettes in a day are far more likely to lose their hair – including that hair you’ve just grown thanks to finasteride! This is because cigarette smoke ends up restricting the supply of blood to your hair follicles, causing them to wither up and die over time. In addition, cigarettes can also damage the DNA of your hair follicles, seriously inhibiting your scalp’s ability to grow strong and healthy strands of hair.
Maintaining Your Full Head of Hair
There are no secrets to keeping the hair that you’ve got. For the most part, you need to live a healthy lifestyle to ensure that your hair has all of its essential vitamins and nutrients. The best way to do this is to exercise and eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. So, ditch the processed food for lean meats and veggies.
As long as you continue doing your hair loss treatment and continue making healthy lifestyle choices, you should benefit from your finasteride results for years to come.
Important Safety Information
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Finasteride is for use by MEN ONLY and should NOT be used by women or children.
Read this Patient Information before you start taking Finasteride and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia).
It is not known if Finasteride works for a receding hairline on either side of and above your forehead (temporal area).
Finasteride is not for use by women and children.
Who should not take Finasteride?
Do not take Finasteride if you:
- are pregnant or may become pregnant. Finasteride may harm your unborn baby.
- Finasteride tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the medicine during handling, as long as the tablets are not broken or crushed. Females who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not come in contact with broken or crushed Finasteride tablets.
- If a pregnant woman comes in contact with crushed or broken Finasteride tablets, wash the contact area right away with soap and water. If a woman who is pregnant comes into contact with the active ingredient in Finasteride, a healthcare provider should be consulted. If a woman who is pregnant with a male baby swallows or comes in contact with the medicine in Finasteride, the male baby may be born with sex organs that are not normal.
are allergic to any of the ingredients in Finasteride. See the end of this leaflet for a complete list of ingredients in Finasteride.
What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking Finasteride? Before taking Finasteride, tell your healthcare provider if you:
have any other medical conditions, including problems with your prostate or liver
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
How should I take Finasteride?
- Take Finasteride exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to take it.
- You may take Finasteride with or without food.
If you forget to take Finasteride, do not take an extra tablet. Just take the next tablet as usual.
Finasteride will not work faster or better if you take it more than once a day.
What are the possible side effects of Finasteride?
decrease in your blood Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. Finasteride can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done you should tell your healthcare provider that you are taking Finasteride because Finasteride decreases PSA levels. Changes in PSA levels will need to be evaluated by your healthcare provider. Any increase in follow-up PSA levels from their lowest point may signal the presence of prostate cancer and should be evaluated, even if the test results are still within the normal range for men not taking Finasteride. You should also tell your healthcare provider if you have not been taking Finasteride as prescribed because this may affect the PSA test results. For more information, talk to your healthcare provider.
There may be an increased risk of a more serious form of prostate cancer in men taking finasteride at 5 times the dose of Finasteride.
The most common side effects of Finasteride include:
- decrease in sex drive
- trouble getting or keeping an erection
a decrease in the amount of semen
The following have been reported in general use with Finasteride:
- breast tenderness and enlargement. Tell your healthcare provider about any changes in your breasts such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge.
- decrease in sex drive that continued after stopping the medication;
- allergic reactions including rash, itching, hives and swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, and face;
- problems with ejaculation that continued after stopping medication;
- testicular pain;
- difficulty in achieving an erection that continued after stopping the medication;
- male infertility and/or poor quality of semen.
in rare cases, male breast cancer.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.
These are not all the possible side effects of Finasteride. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA1088.
How should I store Finasteride?
- Store Finasteride at room temperature between 59˚F to 86˚F (15˚C to 30˚C).
Keep Finasteride in a closed container and keep Finasteride tablets dry (protect from moisture).
Keep Finasteride and all medicines out of the reach of children.
General information about the safe and effective use of Finasteride.
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in this Patient Information. Do not use Finasteride for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Finasteride to other people, even if they have the same symptoms you have. It may harm them.