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Finasteride for hair loss

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This effective generic treatment can stop hair loss in up to 90% of men when taken regularly and in some cases encourage new hair growth. Finasteride should be taken as a daily tablet and is for hair loss caused by male pattern baldness.

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Male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness is a condition that results in thinning hair at the top and sides of the head. The condition is genetic and is thought to affect around half of all men over the age of 50 (but can be present in men as young as 20). The condition is not dangerous and does not signal ill-health, however for some men it can cause distress.

Symptoms of male pattern baldness occur when the male hormone testosterone is converted into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) by enzymes in hair follicles on the head. The hair follicles then become sensitive to DHT and begin to weaken and eventually die, which leads to reduced hair production.

Early signs of hair loss can be noticed around the temples, followed by thinning hair at the top of the head. This may develop into a completely bald patch alongside a receding hairline.

There are other causes of hair loss (such as stress or therapy) however the hair loss treatments offered by Online Doctor will not be effective in these circumstances. We advise you speak to your GP in these instances.

How does Finasteride work?

Finasteride is an active ingredient that stops the enzymes in hair follicles from converting the male hormone testosterone into DHT. Once DHT is blocked, the remaining hair follicles cannot become sensitive to it and shrink further. Regular use of Finasteride can halt hair loss, and in some cases revert it.

Do I need a prescription for Finasteride?

Finasteride is a prescription-only medication in the UK, meaning you must have a consultation with a clinician if you wish to purchase this hair loss treatment. Never purchase Finasteride from an Online Doctor service that doesn’t require you to have a consultation with a registered clinician.

At LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor, you may be asked to provide photos alongside your consultation, where one of our experienced clinicians will check your suitability for Finasteride before prescribing.

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Finasteride frequently asked questions

  • Is Finasteride safe?

    Finasteride is generally considered safe for long term use with very few men experiencing side effects. However, as with any medication, there can be some side effects such as reduced sex drive or rash around the nipples. It’s important to report any side effects to your GP and or private online service.

    Finasteride can be taken alongside other medications, but you must inform your prescribing clinician during your consultation. 

  • How long does Finasteride take to work?

    Finasteride may need to be taken as a daily oral tablet for 3-6 months before any detectable changes to your hair loss before any obvious changes to your hair loss is seen. If you experience no benefits after a year, the treatment will unlikely be effective for you. 

  • How to reduce side effects of Finasteride?

    Side effects for Finasteride are usually rare and mild. They include a rash, low mood, erection problems or tenderness around the nipples. In extreme cases, sexual side effects can remain after stopping the medication. It’s recommended that you take Finasteride alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle and inform your doctor of any changes so they can advise whether you should discontinue treatment. 

  • Can Finasteride be used to treat other types of hair loss?

    Finasteride is only effective for male pattern baldness on the head. It will not be effective on hair loss elsewhere on the body. Finasteride cannot be used by women.

  • What happens if I stop taking Finasteride?

    If you stop taking Finasteride, your hair follicles will begin creating more DHT which will lead to further hair loss. Finasteride is a long term treatment and is not a permanent cure for male pattern baldness.