Finasteride is a drug that is used to treat male hormonal disorders. In men, Finasteride is used to treat hair loss, hyperplasia and prostate cancer. It increases the hair growth and slows down the hair loss in male pattern baldness.
Many people have benefitted from its effective results regarding hair loss. But there are a number of things that need to be considered before drawing out this conclusion that finasteride is the best drug for treating hair loss.
Let’s finds out a bit more about the effectiveness of this miracle drug.
For the treatment of hair loss and baldness in men, it is not an exaggeration to call Finasteride a wonder drug. It is noted that Finasteride has absolutely no effect on hair loss problems in women and in placebo studies.
Availability in the market
Finasteride is available in the market by two popular brand names; Propecia and Proscar.
Propecia is available in a dose of 1mg and Proscar in a dose of 5mg, both are manufactured and marketed by Merk and Co.
Finasteride is not only used for the hair loss treatment but, Proscar (Finasteride 5mg) use for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. As Finasteride is a blocker of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), it also helps in blocking the unwanted effects of dihydrotestosterone on the body in prostatic hyperplasia by relieving difficulties in urination related to it.
In 1992 Proscar (Finasteride 5mg) was first marketed to treat prostatic hyperplasia. In 1997 during the clinical trial studies, it was observed that Proscar (Finasteride 5mg) helped in increasing hair count and improves the quality of hair especially on top of the scalp and on a vertex. It was accidentally discovered that Finasteride can be used for hair loss treatment. So, in 1998 it was brought in the market as a hair loss treatment.
Male pattern hair loss, what does it mean?
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a male androgen hormone that is present on the hair follicles which prevail male pattern hair loss. At puberty as well as in foetal stage dihydrotestosterone is responsible for sexual development in an individual. DHT is also present in women. It is a by-product of male hormone “testosterone “the production of DHT is initiated when testosterone bind to an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase. DHT is present in every human but it does not initiate hair loss until it presents in a right amount, but if any change occurs in its normal concentration then it shows devastating results. There is an increase in the amount of testosterone in the body at puberty so the chance of binding with the enzyme “5-alpha-reductase” it also increases and in this way more DHT is produced. As more DHT is produced in the body, so it creates an imbalance in the concentration of DHT in the hair follicle.
The most common type of baldness is known as androgenetic alopecia that is associated with the hereditary thinning of hair that persuades due to androgen (a hormone). The binding of DHT to the androgenetic receptor in the hair follicle triggered the conversion of large terminal follicles into smaller ones, this results in the shrinking and weakening of hair follicle that lead to producing fragile and thin hairs that eventually fall out.
It seems that androgenetic alopecia follows a definite pattern that is restricted areas including crown, top of the scalp and front hairline but it does not affect the hair at the back of the head and sides. It is not possible to reverse the effect of androgenetic alopecia because it is in the genetics of an individual. Its beginning and impact cannot be predicted, so to recover hair treatment should start as early as possible.
Propecia & Finasteride
Some natural alternatives of Finasteride:
Finasteride is used for the treatment of male pattern baldness. It works by inhibiting the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Dihydrotestosterone causes the shrinking of hair follicles due to which hair loss occurs. According to reports it was observed that the patients taking Finasteride to show an improvement in the hair growth that is visible in less than 3 months. Despite all these miracles done by Finasteride, it shows some side effects that are related to sexual functions, such as enlargement of the breast, diminish sex drive and testicular pain. Results of Finasteride are only visible until if therapy continues.
To avoid the side effects related to Finasteride there are many alternative therapies available in the market.
Approximately 5000 years ago a system of healing use that originated in India known as “Ayurveda “. It promotes healing by using herbal remedies, change in diet and change in lifestyle of a person. According to the Ayurvedic philosophy, the growth of hairs is related to bone and tissue development, so to treat hair loss the imbalance in bones and tissues must be considered. Treatment can be done by applying herbal oils directly on the scalp and by taking supplements orally and by changing the lifestyle that reduces stress and strengthens the immune system of a person.
It is a herb that is commonly found in the South-eastern United States. It is derived from a small palm tree. According to experts, Saw Palmetto inhibits the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. It prevents shrinking hair follicles and enhances hair regrowth by inhibiting the production of DHT.
Saw palmetto can be taken as an oral supplement, the dosage in men is about 300mg to 500mg. some of the major side effects of saw palmetto are nausea, stomach discomfort, vomiting and these side effects can be reduced by saw palmetto with food. A person taking medicine should consult his doctor before initiating the herbal therapy especially, when taking some other medication because herbal remedies may diminish the effectiveness of other prescription medications.
According to the National Institute of Health, the deficiency of zinc also contributes to hair loss. If your hair loss because of zinc deficiency, then by taking daily supplements of zinc can stop hair loss and may even enhance hair regrowth. you should consult your doctor before taking zinc as a hair loss treatment. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and abdominal cramp are the adverse effects due to excessive intake of zinc.
Treatment of Hair Loss other than Finasteride:
Minoxidil is not very popular among consumers therefore it is quite underrated for the treatments. Minoxidil is a vasodilator which means it works by increasing blood flow to the area where it is applied and in result stimulating hair follicles. As a result, their function is improved as it prolongs the growth phase with the increase in pigmentation and caliber produced by their hair fibers. On the other hand, topical Minoxidil is available in the form of prescription compounded formula 82M, which is stronger and less oily or greasy than OTC Rogaine or other generic versions. Formula 82M consists of a penetrating agent (Retin-A or retinoic Acid) and other synergistic ingredients that increase the outcome of both the typical generic and rogaine versions of Minoxidil without affecting your hairstyle or causing inflammation on the skin. These ingredients contain mild anti-inflammatory, strong antioxidants and scalp/hair conditioners in a propylene-glycol (alcohol) free base. For best results, application to the scalp twice a day is recommended with the Finasteride alternative.
Laser Therapy (LLLT):
This is not your ordinary laser comb or laser hood inconveniently located in your doctor office miles away. The two premiere manufacturers of hair devices for hair regrowth are Capillus and Laser Cap. Example: Today medically approved, powerful, portable hands free and physician prescribed MC2 laser cap consists of 300 diodes, providing chemical free clincal strength hair regrowth treatments at your home or wherever it’s possible to wear a hat. Laser therapy is a chemical free Finasteride alternative with zero side effects. It is one of the most cost-effective treatments over time, if you used an MC2 lasercap for 17 years, it would cost less than $0.50 cents a day. In the recent ISHRS conference in Las Vegas, the MC2 prototype was revealed and will be available for prescription in 2017. It is recommended to use Lasercap therapy for 30 minutes (1/2 hour) every other day for best outcomes.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) with ECM:
Taking advantage of powerful growth factors locked inside your own blood platelets, PRP has been used successfully for over 10 years for tissue regeneration and repair in many areas of medicine. When it is used with ECM extracellular matrix (Acell or BioD) results of hair growth can last upto two years from a single lunchtime office visit. When performed in a proper manner PRP is effectively painless and has no downtime or recobery. Most patients use PRP as an alternative of Finasteride to avoid the possible side effects of systemic drugs.
Another approved hair growth drug Propecia consists of a new compounded topical version of Finasteride offering a disparate delivery route that is directly into the scalp, which minimizes plasma drug level compared to oral route and hence lowering the chances of possible side effects according to recent scientific studies. Research is still in progress but remains promising for this alternative of Propecia, allowing male pattern hair loss patients a unique way to gain benefits of Finasteride. Compounded formula 82F has a combination of both topical Finasteride and Minoxidil in the highly-rated, well known and user-friendly formula 82 delivery system. This has been used in tens of thousands of patients in the U.S and South America. Patients prefer to call Formula 82F as FINoxidil as it consists of both Finasteride and Minoxidil. (Note: Not for use in pregnant women)
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