Finasteride is an oral medication taken to treat androgenic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss. Until recently, no study longer than 5 years has confirmed the efficacy and safety of Finasteride (commercially known as Propecia). The results of a 10-year study have now been released and confirming the prolonged usefulness of Finasteride.
Rossi et al, in a study published in Dermatologic Therapy, reviewed 1mg of daily Finasteride use in 118 men between 20 and 61 years old. They used pictures and statistical analysis, as well as patient reports, to judge the effectiveness and side effects of the treatment over 10 years.
Important observations from the study include:
- The effectiveness of Finasteride is not reduced over time
- The daily intake of 1mg of Finasteride “produced significant and durable increases in hair growth in men with AGA”
- Subjects over 30-years of age showed better hair growth in the long-term than younger subjects
- Over 10 years, 14% of patients had decreased rates of hair growth, while 86% had increased or stable rates of hair growth
- 5.9% of patients reported side effects; many of these patients still continued taking Finasteride because of its benefits
The researchers conclude their study as follows:
“[F]inasteride is a safe and effective treatment for controlling male pattern baldness with long-term daily use even in men over the age of 40 years. The satisfactory clinical results, the few side effects observed, and the lack of alternative medications, led us to consider finasteride an effective treatment especially if taken in the early stages of AGA.”
It is important to consider the scientific assessment of a medicine’s efficacy and safety. The Gabel Center, a hair transplant clinic in Oregon, offers hair restoration services that may include a recommended dosage of Finasteride.
Source: ROSSI, A., CANTISANI, C., SCARNò, M., TRUCCHIA, A., FORTUNA, M. C. and CALVIERI, S. (2011), Finasteride, 1 mg daily administration on male androgenetic alopecia in different age groups: 10-year follow-up. Dermatologic Therapy, 24: 455–461. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2011.01441.x