QUESTION: I was advised to take finasteride for my male balding. How many years must I take it?
Finasteride must be used long term to maintain its effects. The drug was formally FDA approved in 1997 and many of my patients have been on it well over 16 years. It is therefore intended for long term use.
The drug lowers the levels of the potent androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone or "DHT". Levels are reduced by 60 % within just a few days. Side effects of the drug include decreased libido (sex-drive) impotence, depression, mood changes, enlargement of breast tissue, and testicular pain. Other side effects are also possible so be sure to speak to your physician before starting
Jeff Donovan MD PhD FRCPC FAAD
US & Canadian board-certified Dermatologist