Hair Loss Treatments for Men: How Finasteride Works

Millions of men suffer from hair loss, but not all hair loss treatments work. Finasteride is currently the only FDA approved treatment that was created specifically for male pattern baldness. Finasteride has been clinically proven to work in about 80 percent of all men who try it and use it as directed.

Finasteride is very effective in halting hair loss, but in certain cases, Finasteride has been shown to prompt new hair growth as well. To get the maximum effectiveness from Finasteride, it should be used only for diagnosed male pattern baldness, since that is the form of baldness it's been approved for.

Enzyme Blocker

Finasteride works by stopping the path of a specific enzyme in the body. A certain form of testosterone, called dihydrotestosterone or DHT, has a negative impact on the hair follicle growth. Finasteride inhibits the action of 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that controls the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Once the conversion of pure testosterone into DHT has been halted, it is possible to slow down hair loss, and in many cases, stop hair loss completely. Finasteride is able to affect the hormone that it needs to control, but leaves the other necessary hormones unaltered.

Daily Dosages

Finasteride must be used exactly as prescribed to achieve the optimum results. Finasteride should be taken as directed, at the same time each day. To allow the medication time to build up in the bloodstream, normally it should be used at regular intervals. Finasteride is an oral medication and should be taken with a full glass of water. It is generally fine to take Finasteride with or without food; follow your doctor's instructions in regards to dosing. Finasteride should never be taken in a dosage that exceeds the prescribed dosage.
Taking extra dosages will not cause the medication to block enzymes more effectively and will not make the medication work any faster. Any advice that a physician gives in regards to Finasteride should be followed. While most of the time there will not be any specific food or beverage restrictions, in certain cases a physician may recommend specific actions, and these should always be followed.


Finasteride normally takes anywhere from three months up to six months before users start to see results. To get the best results, the medication must be taken daily and without interruptions. If there are no visible results after about six months, a physician and patient may decide together that it is time to discontinue treatment.
In some cases, a patient will choose to continue the medication for up to one full year. However, patients that find no noticeable results within a full year should not expect to get results from this medication. While patients who get no results at all are in the minority, Finasteride is not suited for every patient.

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