Finasteride is supposed to be a long-term medication, so what happens if you stop taking it? Learn about what to expect when stopping Finasteride for hair loss.
Finasteride is a popular medication for hair loss, and is the only FDA-approved prescription medication for male pattern hair loss. For many men using Finasteride, they can see the full results from the medication after about 1 year or consistent use.
So, does that mean that after 1 year is up you can stop your treatment and go about your life with your improved head of hair? Not exactly.
Below, we will cover how Finasteride works for hair loss, why it is meant to be a long-term hair loss treatment, and what normally happens when you stop using the medication.
When you take Finasteride the medication starts functioning as a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. This means that it will block the 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that normally converts about 10% of the testosterone in your body into DHT.
DHT is a known culprit in male pattern hair loss, and can cause some hair follicles to shrink or stop producing hair altogether. Everyone has some DHT in their body, but it is your genetic sensitivity to it that determines if you experience male pattern hair loss or not.
So, by Finasteride coming in and reducing the amount of DHT around in your scalp, it helps prevent additional hair losses by this hormone while giving the follicles a chance to recover and potentially regrow in some.
The half-life of Finasteride in most men is 5-6 hours. This means that once Finasteride is not taken daily, the drug will clear your system completely over the course of several days.
Once Finasteride is no longer around to stop the conversion of some testosterone into DHT, your DHT levels will likely return to normal and start having the same negative effects on your hair follicles.
Since Finasteride is a relatively short half-life drug, this also means that if you do not take it every day as prescribed, you may not block the same amount of DHT and you are unlikely to get the maximum hair benefits from the medication.
According to the patient package insert for the brand name Propecia (Finasteride 1mg), once the medication is stopped you are likely to lose the hair you have regained within 12 months of stopping the medication.
The same levels of excess hair shedding that you were experiencing before treating your hair loss will also likely resume, as you are no longer keeping the DHT from interacting with the follicles.
All this means that if you are planning on starting a Finasteride treatment plan for your hair loss, it is important to consider this a long-term medication.
Unfortunately, you can’t just treat until your hair is where you want it to be and then stop the medication, or all the improvements will likely be lost.
Consistency is key for the best results with Finasteride, and following a daily dosing schedule without missing doses is the recommended way to use this medication for hair loss.
Talk to your doctor if you are hesitant about starting on a long-term medication plan, and they can help you decide if a Finasteride regimen is a good fit for you.
Medications are not without potential side effects, and this medication may not be a good choice for you. By speaking with a doctor you will better understand if Finasteride is a good option for your hair loss treatment.
At Strut Health we have a focus on hair loss treatment for both men and women. We offer both topical and oral Finasteride and Dutasteride medications.
You can have a free online 10-15 minutes questionnaire and image-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today. They will decide if Finasteride is an appropriate option for you and choose the best formula for your current hair, your medical history, and your hair goals.
If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription can be shipped to your front door with our free shipping. If you have any questions or need dosing adjustments along the way, our staff and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups to help you through your treatment.