How Long Does Finasteride Take to Work?

finasteride pill close-up
Written by
Morgan German

Hair loss is a problem that many people face daily. For some, it is a minor issue that can be fixed with the right hair care products. But for others, hair loss can be frustrating and embarrassing.

Finasteride may be a good option if you are losing your hair. This medication can help to stop hair loss and regrow a thicker, more natural-looking head of hair.

You may be wondering how long it will take for the medication to start working. In this blog post, we'll discuss how long finasteride takes to work, as well as some factors that can affect its efficacy.

We hope this information will help you make an informed decision about whether finasteride is right for you.

How long does finasteride take to work?

finasteride work after 3 months

As soon as finasteride is absorbed into your body, it begins to work. The very first dose of finasteride will begin blocking testosterone conversion to DHT.

But, you won't see results overnight, so don't get discouraged. Finasteride results timeline can vary from person to person

Your hair loss may increase initially in the form of hair shedding after you start taking finasteride. This is normal, though; the new hair usually appears in a few months.

The typical results can be seen after three or four months of treatment. Within six or twelve months of treatment, you will notice an increase in hair thickness and regeneration.

How quickly does finasteride reduce DHT?

Within eight hours of taking finasteride, serum DHT concentrations are rapidly decreased. With continued treatment, DHT suppression is maintained for at least 24 hours. It is important to remember, however, that this does not mean that you will immediately see an improvement in the level of hair loss or an improvement in your hair's thickness.

Up to 4 years of daily finasteride 5mg tablet use reduced serum DHT levels by approximately 70%. As a result, testosterone levels in the blood increased by about 10 to 20% while remaining within normal physiologic limits.

How to speed up finasteride results?

finasteride pills on orange background

Now that you know how long it takes for finasteride to work, you might be wondering if there's anything you can do to speed up the process.

There are a few things you can do to improve your results:

Combine finasteride with minoxidil

Minoxidil is a medication that you rub onto your scalp as a foam or liquid. Researchers believe it stimulates hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles. A clinical trial of 100 people found that the use of finasteride together with minoxidil was more effective than either one alone for treating androgenic alopecia.

An LLLT device can be used

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is another option that can be used in addition to finasteride and minoxidil.

By emitting a constant red LED light, inflammation is reduced, and blood flow to hair follicles is increased. In a randomized controlled trial, LLLT significantly increased hair growth with minimal side effects.

Massage your scalp regularly

An effective way to help treat baldness is through scalp massage. In a study of 327 men with male pattern baldness, nearly 69% experienced hair growth or stabilization of their hair loss following scalp massage. A total of 36 hours of massage was required to see results on average.

Use hair growth routines

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Make sure to eat a balanced, healthy diet

There is no evidence that diet plays a role in male pattern baldness, but eating a balanced diet is important for health and well-being. It's important to eat healthy to prevent hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

Take Vitamin D

Vitamin D is naturally produced by the skin when exposed to the sun. The best way to get your vitamin D is to eat fatty fish, egg yolks, and cheese. 

A lack of vitamin D has been linked to hair loss. One study found that people with hair loss had significantly lower vitamin D levels than those without hair loss.

How effective is finasteride?

Finasteride is an effective medication for treating receding hairline, BPH and male pattern hair loss. In clinical trials, finasteride has been shown to shrink the prostate gland and reduce hair loss.

After using finasteride for two years, men with androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) saw their hair count around the crown go up by almost 16%.

The results of a longer-term study conducted in Japan were even more dramatic. After taking finasteride for 10 years, 99.1 percent of the 532 men in the study experienced no further hair loss. 

Does finasteride work forever?

a person taking finasteride tablets

It is important to remember that finasteride does not work forever, and if you stop taking it, your natural balding process will resume. Consequently, finasteride will cause any hair that has grown back to fall out. Due to its rapid excretion from the body, finasteride must be taken continuously. 

Continual dosing allows finasteride to remain in your body for a prolonged period, allowing it to work efficiently. Once you stop taking Finasteride, testosterone will begin to convert to DHT, resulting in hair follicle shrinkage.

Does finasteride regrow hair?

There is some evidence that finasteride can lead to hair regrowth after a certain time. But, it's better to consider the medication as a preventative measure.

The results of finasteride vary from person to person. Even though finasteride may not improve your hairline or hair thickness, you shouldn't stop taking it.

According to one study, 48% of participants saw improvements in hair growth after taking finasteride after one year, and 66% of participants did so after two years.

In terms of prevention, 83% of people who took finasteride after two years didn't lose any more hair. Even though the medication doesn't promote hair growth in everyone, it works pretty well to prevent male pattern baldness.

What is finasteride?

finasteride tablets

Finasteride is a prescription medication used to treat hair loss. This product is FDA-approved and backed up by a large number of scientific studies showing measurable improvements in hair count and density.

Many brands sell finasteride, but the one of most popular brands is Propecia.

How does it work?

Male pattern hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are treated with finasteride. It works by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

DHT is a hormone that plays an important role in the development of BPH and male pattern hair loss. Finasteride reduces DHT levels in your body by inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase. which slows hair loss and shrinks your prostate gland.

DHT is a highly potent androgen hormone, or "male sex hormone." Male genitalia is developed before birth by this hormone. Hair growth and secondary sex characteristics are also influenced by DHT during puberty.

Some men get benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) due to DHT binding to prostate gland receptors. 

It occurs when hair follicles shrink and can no longer produce hair because they bind to scalp receptors.

How does finasteride work compared to other hair loss treatments?

balding man

As of now, finasteride is one of the most well-studied, effective hair loss treatments.

Finasteride is a hair loss treatment that works by preventing the body from converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a hormone that is responsible for hair loss in both men and women. Finasteride is available as a pill that is taken once daily. It is typically used to treat male pattern hair loss.

Finasteride can be effective because it helps to prevent hair loss at the source.

One of the most common side effects of finasteride is sexual dysfunction.

How to take finasteride?

Finasteride is taken orally, with or without food. Finasteride should be taken at the same time each day. There will be a difference in the dose of this medicine depending on the patient.

Make sure you follow your doctor's professional medical advice or the directions on the label. Only average doses are included in the following information.

Dosage for male pattern hair loss

The dose of finasteride for male pattern hair loss is 1 mg per day. For people younger than 18 years, the dosage has not been established. This drug is not prescribed for use in children.

Dosage for benign prostatic hyperplasia

The typical dosage for finasteride to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia is 5 mg per day. This drug is not prescribed for use in children.

Regularly skipping pills won't result in the same results as adhering to the daily treatment schedule. It's not necessary to take higher doses of finasteride because the medication builds up in your system over time.

What are the possible side effects of finasteride?

man stressed finasteride side effects

There is no drowsiness caused by finasteride oral tablets, but there is a possibility of other side effects. If you're worried, we also have alternative options to finasteride.

Common side effects

It is important to be aware that finasteride may lead to the following common side effects:

  • A decrease in sexual drive
  • Having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • A disorder of ejaculation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Tenderness and enlargement of the breast
  • Rash on skin

It may take a couple of weeks or a few days for these mild side effects to disappear. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if they're severe or don't disappear.

Serious side effects

This medication can have serious side effects, including:

  • You may have swelling in your lips, tongue, throat, or face
  • Pain or lumps in your breasts
  • Nipple discharge

If you notice any serious side effects, you should contact your doctor right away.

Side effects after stopping

It's also good to know that finasteride has the probability of causing side effects AFTER you stop the treatment. The occurrence is called PFS - post-finasteride syndrome.

Important considerations for taking finasteride

travel consideration for finasteride

If your doctor prescribes finasteride, keep these considerations in mind.

General

Take the finasteride tablets as directed and do not crush, chew, or cut them.

    Storage

    • Finasteride should be stored at room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
    • Ensure that it is kept away from light and high temperatures.
    • The medication should not be stored in damp or moist areas, such as bathrooms.

    Refills

    The prescription for this medication can be refilled at any time. Refilling this medication shouldn't require a new prescription. On your prescription, your doctor will state how many refills are authorized.

    Travel

    If you are traveling with medication, you need to keep the following in mind:

    • Make sure you always carry your medication with you. Never place it in a checked bag when flying. Make sure it's in your carry-on bag.
    • There is no need to worry about airport X-ray machines. Your medication won't be affected by them.
    • Airport staff may ask you to show them your pharmacy label. It is always a good idea to carry the original prescription container along with you.
    • Please do not leave this medication in your car's glove compartment or trunk. Make sure you avoid doing this during very hot or very cold weather.

    Conclusion

    man worried about hair loss

    Finasteride is a medication that is used to treat male pattern baldness. It takes three to four months for the typical person to see results from finasteride. However, results may vary from person to person.

    Make sure you eat a balanced, healthy diet, use a DHT-blocking shampoo, and take finasteride with minoxidil to improve your results. Taking vitamin D supplements may also be beneficial.

    Pictures for illustrative purposes only.

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