Finasteride: FDA approved for Male Balding
Finasteride is FDA approved for androgenetic alopecia in males but may also help hair loss from other conditions.
Finasteride for Male Balding
Finasteride was approved in 1997 for male balding at a dose of 1 mg. This approval came 5 years after finasteride was approved for treating prostate enlargement at a dose of 5 mg. Although generics are now available, the finasteride pills was initially marketed only as Propecia. For males with balding, it helps all areas that are thinning with the crown helped somewhat more than the front. Young males under 40 seems to get more benefit in the frontal areas of hair loss than men over 40. Side effects of finasteride should always be reviewed before starting.
What conditions does finasteride help?
Finasteride is approve for male balding but may help several other conditions. These conditions include frontal fibrosing alopecia, some types of female patterned hair loss and very rare cases of lichen planopilaris including fibrosing alopecia in a pattern distribution (FAPD). Such uses are "off-label" and prescribed only in select cases.
What conditions does finasteride not help?
Finasteride does not help other types of hair loss. It does not appear to have benefit in alopecia areata, trichotillomania, telogen effluvium, infectious causes of hair loss, and scarring alopecias such as folliculitis decalvans.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887