The drug Finasteride is mainly used to treat two male afflictions. First, it seeks to cure benign proplastic hyperblasia (BPH). The prostrate encircles the urethra. BPH then, is a condition where there is an enlargement of the prostate gland. An inflated prostate restricts the passage of urine that may cause pain upon urination. Second, it is used to treat male pattern baldness. It is a condition that results in hair loss and a receding hairline. The causes are usually tied to genetics and the conversion of testosterone for the development of adult reproductive organs.
Finasteride is under a drug class classified as a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. What this does is to inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme naturally binds with the male hormone, testosterone to produce dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a more powerful androgen than testosterone. As a side note, an androgen is a compound that can be either natural or synthetic. Androgens influence the development of the male characteristics in humans.
Examples of these are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. DHT is produced through the binding of testosterone and 5-alpha-reductase to develop the masculine physique of males. The thing about DHT is that it can increase the rate of prostate enlargement in BPH. It can also cause hair follicles to shrink which leads to hair loss or male pattern baldness. Being a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, Finasteride limits the binding between testosterone and the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. It then restricts the production of DHT to decrease the rate of prostate enlargement in BPH and hair follicle shrinkage in male pattern baldness.
Finasteride is a drug that is usually ingested. It comes in two United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) forms: Proscar and Propecia. Proscar is used to treat BPH while Proscar is used to treat male pattern baldness. The dosage of Proscar for male adults is usually five milligrams daily with results to arise in about six months. Propecia is required to be taken at one milligram daily for about three months before the rate of hair loss starts to decrease. Finasteride is only recommended for males. It is not recommended to use this drug to treat hair loss in women and children.
There have been mixed reports about the incidence of impotence with the use of Finasteride, and a large amount of hype and hysteria. In reality, the proportion of users estimated to experience side effects of some description is less than 2%. It follows that Proscar use may carry a more significant risk due to it’s higher finasteride content, therefore it is recommended that users stick to a 1mg dose, as is intended for the treatment of male hair loss. In the real world, the probability that a person taking a 1mg dose (Propecia) will experience any side effects is extremely low.