Generic Name: finasteride (fin AS ter ide)
Brand Name: Propecia, Proscar
Finasteride prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is involved in the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Finasteride (Propecia) is used to treat male pattern hair loss in men. Finasteride (Proscar) is used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate.
Scalp hair loss
Finasteride is also used to treat male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) in men, a condition that develops in up to 80% of Caucasian men. In the United States, finasteride and minoxidil are the only two FDA approved drugs for the treatment of male pattern hair loss as of 2017. Treatment with finasteride slows further hair loss and provides about 30% improvement in hair loss after six months of treatment, with effectiveness persisting as long as the drug is taken. Taking finasteride leads to a reduction in scalp and serum DHT levels; by lowering scalp levels of DHT, finasteride can maintain or increase the amount of terminal hairs in the anagen phase by inhibiting and sometimes reversing miniaturization of the hair follicle. Finasteride is most effective on the vertex but can reduce hair loss in all areas of the scalp.Finasteride has also been tested for pattern hair loss in women; however, the results were no better than placebo.