For more information on what Finasteride can do for you, as well as understand its potential risks and benefits of treatment, please read the information stated below. If you have any further questions, please contact our medical support team at any time.
Our doctors have reviewed your online medical evaluation and have determined that you qualify for the prescription of Finasteride, the medication used to treat hair loss in men.
Losing one’s hair may have felt like a losing battle, but all is not lost. You made that first bold step to take action against male pattern baldness and hair loss. In being open about seeking treatment, our doctors have formulated a treatment plan for you.
Finasteride is used to treat androgenic alopecia, which helps patients maintain the hair they have, or even regrow some of the hair they have lost. The medication your doctor has prescribed should only be used as directed, and only by you. A generic form of Propecia ®, Finasteride has been approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness, androgenic alopecia.
As a digital health clinic in Singapore, all our consultations adopt the telemedicine approach, which relies on your honesty upfront, especially at the point of taking your online medical evaluation. In order for you to enjoy the convenience of telemedicine, we would need your cooperation in reading everything below carefully, including the inserts that come with your prescription, and keeping clear communication with your doctor. Should you show any side effects, or should the medication not work or have stopped working over a prolonged period, should you be prescribed any new medications for other symptoms, or changed your medicine regime, should you visit another doctor, please do contact us. It is your personal responsibility to keep all your healthcare providers informed of your ongoing treatment and prescriptions.
Please be aware that taking Finasteride may cause some side effects. Although the vast majority of men who are prescribed Finasteride have no difficulty with it, familiarising yourself with the possible side effects will help you identify if you are one of the men who may experience them. In the event that you do, please contact a doctor immediately.
As our doctors have prescribed medication as part of your treatment plan, being fully informed on your health conditions is very important. Finding a treatment plan to suit your needs is important to us, and you may choose to reject it or request for a modification in your plan. Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any queries you may have regarding this.
Please read all inserts that come with your package as well as the information listed below. Keep this information in a convenient location, should your medical condition change and you need a quick reference.
Finasteride belongs to the 5-alphae reductase inhibitors group of drugs. They work by blocking the activity of 5-alpha reductase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is an androgen which causes the following: male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, in men who are genetically predisposed to it; growth of the prostate leading to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH); and lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Using a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, such as Finasteride, helps to block this enzyme to slow or reverse hair loss and shrink the prostate over time.
To treat male pattern baldness, the recommended Finasteride dose is 1mg per day, while the recommended dosage to treat symptoms of BPH is 5mg. Finasteride works better if it is started early in the hair loss process. This is due to the fact that at a certain point in the balding process, permanent damage occurs to the scalp, preventing any hair regrowth. This limit varies from person to person, but even if that point has been reached, Finasteride is still effective in preventing further hair loss.
With Finasteride, the side effects in men are kept minimal, although there have been exceptions – some patients have reported a decrease in semen production, a decrease in libido (this was resolved when they stopped the medication), or erectile dysfunction. In most cases, they resolved either while still on the medication or when the medication is stopped. However, the possibility of permanent damage can occur in some patients. Should sexual-based side effects occur, such as decreased sexual desire or difficulty gaining or maintaining an erection, we recommend to stop taking the medication immediately.
There have been rare reports of breast cancer in men. The PDR states that there has been 1 case of breast cancer in a man treated with Finasteride tablets, and 1 case in a man treated with a placebo, in a study of 18,882 men. Currently, not much is known about the long-term use of Finasteride and male breast cancers.
Some side effects are based on the feedback that patients have given in the past known as post marketing reports, where they voluntarily report the side effects experienced, although not all may be directly linked to the use of Finasteride. Some men have reported breast tenderness and/or enlargement. Others have reported gaining hypersensitivity reactions such as a rash, itching, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue throat and face. There have been reports of depression, problems with ejaculation that continued even after stopping the medication, as well as that of testicular pain.
Finasteride is generally prescribed to men for treatment of MPB or BPH. According to the PDR it is important to take note that Finasteride can pose a danger to the following groups:
1. Women – Finasteride if labelled Category X for good reason. It can lead to birth defects in a woman’s unborn child. If you are pregnant, possibly pregnant, nursing, or biologically a woman, you should not be using Finasteride at all. A pregnant, breastfeeding, or potentially pregnant woman who touches a tablet, must wash her hands immediately with soap and water, and contact her doctor.
2. Children – Like most hormonal medication, Finasteride is not for use with children, and should be kept out of their reach.
3. Liver impairment – Finasteride is metabolised in the liver, therefore men with problems in that organ may not be able to clear Finasteride from the body as readily as those with a normal liver. Do check with your doctor and list down any pre-existing medical conditions in your online medical evaluation.
While on a Finasteride prescription, men should not donate blood during and up to one month after stopping the medication.
A prostate specific antigen is a blood test used to screen men for prostate cancer. Using Finasteride can make the PSA level very low, even for men with prostate cancer. This makes interpreting the levels of PSA more difficult. A man with a normal level while on finasteride may have prostate cancer that goes undetected. Do let all your doctors know about your Finasteride prescription. Another point to note is that should your PSa levels increase while on Finasteride, you should get a medical evaluation, as according to the PDR can pose a risk of prostate cancer, even if it is within the normal range for men taking 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
The PDR states, “No drug interactions of clinical importance have been identified.” Compounds that have been tested include antipyrine, digoxin, propranolol, theophylline, and warfarin and no clinically meaningful interactions were found.
Also, finasteride (1 mg or more), was used in studies with “acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid, α-blockers, analgesics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, beta blockers, calcium-channel blockers, cardiac nitrates, diuretics, H2 antagonists, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, prostaglandin synthetase inhibitors (also referred to as NSAIDs), and quinolone anti-infectives without evidence of clinically significant adverse interactions.”
This lack of effect on other medications and inability of other medications to affect a drug (finasteride) is exceedingly uncommon. Still, interactions that have yet to be identified are possible.
Male pattern baldness (MPB), also known as androgenic alopecia, affects both genders. A receding hairline along the temples affects about 98.6% of men, and 64.4% of women. Hair loss on the front of the hairline affects nearly 60% of women over the age of 80 years, while 75% of 80-year-old men are bald in both these areas.
But hair loss doesn’t just happen to the elderly. In fact, 60% of men experience significant hair loss by the time they turn 35 years old. 20% of men are already losing hair in two places while in their early twenties: the hairline and the crown. These two areas ultimately blend into the fully bald top of the head which we are all familiar with. The ‘horseshoe’ pattern of hair is often all that remains.
Genetics plays a large part in MPB. A man’s genes are what determines if he loses his hair or not, but with over 250 genes coming from either parent, that’s a wide base for DHT (dihydrotestosterone) receptors to land on. It is caused by DHT and not testosterone itself. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink and lose the ability to create new hairs, known as ‘miniaturization’. Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT, thus reducing hair loss. Testosterone is changed into DHT by an enzyme called 5 alpha-reductase. That enzyme comes in many different forms, with one of them being the enzyme which converts testosterone into DHT in the prostate and on the scalp.
With your Finasteride prescription, you can expect to experience an improvement in hair regrowth and a reduction in hair loss. However, there will likely be no visible changes before 3 months. The noticeable changes occur after around 3 to 4 months of daily use, where you may notice that hair loss has slowed down, stopped, or that your hair has even started to regrow.
We’ve categorised Finasteride’s performance into three categories:
The First Save (1-2 months)
At this initial stage of daily use, there will likely be no visible changes. It takes time for your body to adjust to a hormonal drug. Though some people have reported shedding more fine hairs than before. This is temporary and completely normal.
The Second Growth (3-6 months)
At this point, some changes may be noticeable. Hair loss may have slowed down, stopped, or in some cases be reversed. Take a photo to track your hair progress.
The Third Wave (6 months and up)
Congratulations on sticking it out this long! By now your hair loss may have considerably slowed or stopped, and some people have even reported signs of regrowth, usually at the crown. Consistent daily treatment is required to maintain these results and further increase the chances of regrowth.