Finasteride. If you’re experiencing male pattern baldness, it’s a name you should know. And that’s because finasteride is one of only two FDA-approved products to treat hair loss and promote hair regrowth.

What is finasteride?

Finasteride is a prescription tablet that is used to treat hereditary hair loss. It’s the generic version of Propecia®.

So, are Propecia® and finasteride the same thing?

Yep, both drugs have the same ingredients and are therefore equally effective at stopping hair loss!

What about Proscar®?

Proscar is another brand name for finasteride, but it refers to the finasteride 5mg. Finasteride 1mg is typically what’s used to treat hair loss, while finasteride 5mg is often prescribed for prostate issues.

Can finasteride be used topically?

You can find topical finasteride for sale online, but you should know that unlike the tablet, it isn’t FDA-approved for hair loss treatment. Does that mean the topical medication doesn’t work as well as oral finasteride? Not necessarily.

The truth is that scientists just don’t know as much about the topical form of finasteride as they do about the oral one. Multiple studies suggest that topical finasteride can be effective, but more research is needed to find out if it comes with any unusual side effects.

If more positive studies come to light, the FDA may consider changing its stance on topical finasteride. Until then, we’d suggest sticking with the oral version, just to be on the safe side.

Where can you buy finasteride?

You can buy finasteride online on at a lower cost than your pharmacy. It’s a prescription medication, so you’ll need to complete a quick consultation with a doctor to make sure it’s right for you. But don’t worry, the doctor visit is free and most people hear back within 24 hours.

Oh, did we mention that we’ll ship your finasteride 1mg directly to your door in discreet packaging so you never run out?

What does finasteride do?

If you’re experiencing male pattern baldness, taking finasteride tablets daily can both slow hair loss and help your hair regrow thicker on the crown and in the middle of your scalp. Most guys start to see results within four to six months of taking it.

How does finasteride work to stop hair loss?

Male pattern baldness occurs when hair follicles shrink over time, growing increasingly thinner strands of hair until, eventually, they stop growing any new hair at all. Men who are genetically prone to male pattern hair loss have a sensitivity to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a hormone derived from testosterone. So, the surest way to prevent hair loss and minimize its impact is to block DHT.

That’s where finasteride comes in: Testosterone is converted to DHT by 5α-reductase (that’s 5 alpha reductase if you’re trying to say it aloud), an enzyme that is held in the oil glands of a hair follicle. Finasteride blocks the action of this enzyme, effectively stopping your body from producing DHT to begin with. As a result, male pattern baldness (a.k.a hair loss) is stopped in its tracks, and your hair may even grow back thicker than ever.

Does finasteride really work?

It sure does! Clinical trials found that a daily dose of finasteride 1mg halted hair loss or increased hair growth in up to 90% of men.

The key is that you have to remember to take it daily (here are a few easy tips on building this habit).

What are the potential side effects of finasteride?

Like all prescription products, finasteride may cause side effects.

Though rare, in clinical trials, 3.8% of male patients noticed some form of sexual side effects (versus 2.1% of patients using the placebo), including less desire for sex, erectile dysfunction, or a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex. This may continue after stopping treatment.

You can read more about the side effects here.

Who should use finasteride?

If you’re experiencing male pattern hair loss, finasteride’s a solution to consider. It’s most effective for hair regrowth around the crown and the middle of the head.

Who should not use finasteride?

Finasteride is for men only, and should not be taken by women. It can affect hormone levels, so it’s very important that women who are pregnant, could become pregnant, or breastfeeding don’t handle it. If you have liver disease or problems, kidney problems, prostate cancer, or allergies to finasteride, you should not take this medicine.

Interested in an FDA-approved topical solution to address hair loss? You may want to investigate minoxidil (generic Rogaine®) instead. Unsure which treatment—if either—is right for you? Answer a few questions here and speak to a licensed physician about the best route for you.

P.S. Now that you know all about finasteride, wondering how to actually say it? We’ve got you covered: fi • NAS • te • ride

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department. If you are contemplating suicide, call 911 or call/text the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. These services are available 24/7.

If you would like to learn more about finasteride, please see the full prescription information here. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit MedWatch: or call 1-800-FDA-1088.)

Image credit: Jack Archer