How Long Do You Have To Take Finasteride Before You Start To See Hair Regrowth?

Finasteride is commonly used to treat male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia) and can also help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged, per National Health Service (NHS). Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a hormone that is responsible for the enlargement of the prostate gland in men with BPH, as well as for the miniaturization of hair follicles in men with male pattern hair loss (via Medical News Today). By reducing the levels of DHT in the body, finasteride can help to slow down or even reverse hair loss in men with androgenetic alopecia, a common form of male pattern baldness, per Biochemistry, Dihydrotestosterone

According to the NHS, finasteride is available in oral tablet form and is usually taken once a day. If you're already taking finasteride, you might wonder how long it takes to work for hair regrowth. The effectiveness of the treatment depends on various factors.  

When will you see hair growth results?

According to the NHS, it can take up to 3-6 months on finasteride before any noticeable hair regrowth occurs. Indeed, in a 2021 randomized control trial published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, finasteride effectively increased hair count in most of the subjects after 24 weeks of treatment. However, the effectiveness of finasteride may vary from person to person. It's also vital to note that hair loss can be progressive; even with treatment, it may progress over time. Therefore, it's always best to maintain realistic expectations when using finasteride or any other hair loss treatment. Please remember that if you stop taking finasteride, symptoms may return.

If your hair loss persists, it's best to speak with a healthcare professional to discuss the potential cause, as well as any alternative treatment options that may be available. While finasteride is generally well-tolerated, it may cause side effects in some individuals. So, if you are considering finasteride for hair loss or BPH, check with your doctor first.

Common side effects of finasteride

The side effects of finasteride are usually sexual. Some men may experience a decrease in libido, erectile dysfunction, or decreased semen volume while taking this medication, per Drugwatch. These side effects can be concerning for some men and may even persist after stopping the medication.

Another common side effect of finasteride is breast enlargement and tenderness. This is due to hormonal changes caused by the medication. In addition to these side effects, some men may experience weakness, headache, dizziness, skin rash, or hives, and male breast cancer while taking finasteride. Skin hives are usually a sign of an allergic reaction and should be reported to a healthcare provider right away, says the Cleveland Clinic.

Although side effects have been reported, for many men, the benefits of this medication outweigh any potential risks. Nevertheless, it's always best to speak with your doctor first to determine if the medication is right for you.