Finasteride – How It Works & What Are the Side Effects

Finasteride is an anti-hormonal compound used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness by inhibiting type II 5-alpha reductase.

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Finasteride is a medicine that contains Finasteride. It is used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) and male pattern baldness (hair loss on the scalp in men).

Higher doses are used in the treatment of prostate cancer in men. Doses less than 1mg are used in the treatment of hereditary male pattern baldness, also known as male pattern baldness. Your doctor will determine the appropriate dose and duration of treatment for each indication based on your clinical condition.

Finasteride works by blocking the production of a chemical in the body that causes hair loss and enlargement of the prostate gland.

Finasteride is a synthetic 13 azasteroid compound and a specific inhibitor of the steroid type II 5α-reductase, which is an intracellular enzyme that converts the androgen testosterone to 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It acts similarly to dutasteride, which is another 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, by producing an anti-androgen effect. Finasteride is an active oral drug that was first approved by the FDA in 1992 for the treatment of prostatic hyperplasia to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of acute urinary retention or the need for surgical intervention. Benign prostatic hyperplasia and androgenetic alopecia are androgen-dependent disorders characterized by elevated local levels of DHT.2 In the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, alpha-blockers such as tamsulosin and terazosin are also used. Compared with alpha blockers that focus on rapid symptom relief, 5α-reductase inhibitors target the underlying disease by blocking the effects of primary androgens associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Androgenetic alopecia, thereby reducing the risk of secondary complications while controlling symptoms.


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Finasteride is an anti-androgen compound that works by inhibiting serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production and suppressing (DHT) in men by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for DHT biosynthesis. The maximum effect of a rapid decrease in serum DHT levels should be observed 8 hours after the first dose.

Over the years, serum DHT levels decrease by about 70% and mean circulating testosterone levels increase by about 10-20% in the physiological range. 13 In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Finasteride reduced intravenous DHT levels by 91% but Finasteride was not expected to reduce DHT levels to castration levels because circulating testosterone was also converted to DHT by isoenzyme type 1 is expressed in other tissues.1  DHT levels are expected to return to normal within 1 days after stopping the drug.  Finasteride is used to reduce prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) in adult men. It can be used alone or in combination with other medications to relieve symptoms of BPH and may also reduce the need for surgery. The drug improves the symptoms of BPH and provides benefits such as a reduced urge to urinate, better and less spasmodic flow of urine, less sensation of the bladder not emptying, and reduced frequent urination at night. Finasteride works by reducing the amount of natural hormones in the body that can cause prostate growth.

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