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Oral Minoxidil vs Finasteride for Hair Loss: 4 Important Differences

How is oral minoxidil different than finasteride for hair loss? Learn about 4 differences between these medications here.

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Oral minoxidil and oral finasteride tablets are both commonly used to treat hair loss. However, even though they can both be used for the same thing, there are quite a few important differences that you should know about.

Below, we will cover just how oral minoxidil and oral finasteride are different from one another.

1. How they work for hair loss

The way these two medications work for hair loss is pretty different.

Minoxidil is thought to help with hair loss efforts and hair growth from vasodilation increasing scalp blood flow, anti-inflammatory measures, and by being an antiandrogen.

Finasteride’s main mechanism for slowing patterned hair loss is by blocking the production of DHT. DHT is a hormone created from some of the testosterone in your body, and when it interacts with hair follicles it can damage and shrink them, causing patterned hair loss.

So, while finasteride is mainly utilized for hair loss issues primarily due to DHT exposure like patterned hair loss, minoxidil may be used for a wider range of hair loss conditions.

2. The FDA-approval status

Oral finasteride tablets are currently FDA-approved for hair loss treatment in men.

However, oral minoxidil tablets are not currently FDA-approved for use in hair loss, so using minoxidil for this indication is an off-label use. Oral minoxidil is currently only approved for use as a blood-pressure-lowering medication.

3. The possible side effects

Since these medications work differently in the body and are in completely different drug classes, it makes sense that the potential side effects are different.

The side effects of oral Finasteride tend to stem from its reduction of DHT. DHT plays a role in other parts of the body, too. So, when it is reduced to help out your hair follicles, it may come along with side effects in other places. While relatively rare, a few percent of the men using Finasteride tablets may report sexual side effects including ED or a reduced libido. Negative mood changes have also been reported with oral finasteride use.

Oral minoxidil may come along with side effects relating to its ability to reduce blood pressure. These may include too-low blood pressure, cardiovascular symptoms, or swelling of the legs, among others.

4. Who should not use these medications

Both oral minoxidil and oral finasteride are prescription-only medications, so a doctor will need to review your information and make a decision as to if these are appropriate for you.

But, in general, the following groups of people may not be good candidates for these medications:

Who should not use oral Finasteride: Finasteride is generally not used in women of childbearing age due to the possibility of adverse effects to a fetus. Oral finasteride may also be avoided in men who are already struggling with sexual concerns like ED. Although, topical finasteride may be an option for men who want to use finasteride for hair loss but want to reduce whole-body exposure to the medication.

Who should not use oral Minoxidil: Since oral minoxidil is classified as a medication to reduce blood pressure, it should be avoided in people who have too-low blood pressure. Also, oral minoxidil may have an effect on the heart and induce leg swelling. Someone who is already dealing with cardiac conditions or swelling issues may not be a good candidate for oral minoxidil.

Strut Health oral minoxidil and oral finasteride online

Here at Strut Health we make it easier to consult with a doctor online to see if these medications are a good fit for your hair loss goals. We offer both oral minoxidil and oral finasteride online, along with topical hair loss options.

Using our secure telemedicine platform, simply select the medication you are considering, complete an online questionnaire-based consultation, and check out.

One of our U.S. doctors will review your information and issue a prescription, if it is appropriate for you. Then, a U.S. compounding pharmacy will put your order together and ship it to your front door with our fast and free shipping.

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