Minoxidil and Finasteride: Making a Switch
Minoxidil and Finasteride are both FDA approved for treating androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss) in men. In general, those individuals who get an improvement with minoxidil and then stop - all the newly acquired hairs will be lost.
Can adding finasteride now prevent this loss?
And the answer is that it can for some men - but not all. In fact, a 2003 study confirmed that adding finasteride does not always block the hair loss that comes with stopping minoxidil.
In short, a given individual will know in 4-6 months if they are one of the individuals that finasteride can block the hair loss after stopping minoxidil - or not. I often advise my own patients to simply overlap the two treatments (Finasteride and minoxidil together) for 4 months and then stop minoxidil.
Tosti et al. Finasteride treatment may not prevent telogen effluvium after minoxidil withdrawal. Arch Dermatol. 2003 Sep;139(9):1221-2.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Vancouver office at 604.283.9299