Finasteride is a prescription medication primarily used to treat male pattern baldness and prostate enlargement. As with any medication, it has both potential benefits and drawbacks, which are outlined below.
1. Hair Growth
Finasteride can be effective for treating male pattern baldness, with studies showing that it can stimulate hair growth in up to 90% of men who take it. However results vary from person to person, and results are usually minimal.
2. Prostate Health
Finasteride can also help to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate gland, thereby improving urinary symptoms associated with prostate enlargement.
3. Lowers risk of prostate cancer
Research suggests that finasteride may lower the risk of developing prostate cancer in men. This treatment pill has been shown to lower the risks, but it does not specifically treat the issue.
1. Sexual side effects
Finasteride can cause sexual side effects such as reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and decreased ejaculate volume. These side effects are typically reversible upon discontinuation of the medication, but in rare cases, they may persist, and remain permanent.
2. Breast tenderness or enlargement
In rare cases, finasteride may cause breast tenderness or enlargement, which can be uncomfortable or embarrassing for some men. It can also cause feminisation, which is often undesirable in men.
3. Depression and anxiety
Some studies have suggested that finasteride may increase the risk of depression and anxiety. Men (and women) who suffer from depression or/and anxiety, should not take finasteride.
4. Birth defects
Finasteride should not be taken by women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as it may cause birth defects in male fetuses. It should also not be taken by men during conceiving.
5. Long-term use
There is some concern that long-term use of finasteride may increase the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, although more research is needed to confirm this.
It is important to note that these potential side effects are relatively rare, and most men who take finasteride experience no major negative side-effects. However, as with any medication, it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks and to discuss any concerns with your doctor.
Safe alternative to finasterideIf you are looking for a safe alternative to finasteride, there are several options you can consider. Minoxidil is a topical medication used for hair loss treatment. It is available over the counter and has minimal side effects. This can be used to treat hair loss, however, results tend to be minimal.
If you are keen to avoid medications, then HR23+ is something worth considering. HR23+ is a potent hair supplement that uses saw palmetto that helps block the formation of DHT. It also uses l-lysine, which is an amino acid that has been shown to improve hair growth and reduce hair loss. The addition of pumpkin seed extract has been shown to improve hair growth and reduce hair loss.
It is important to note that these alternatives may not be as effective as finasteride and may take longer to show results, but they have been shown, in some cases, to be more effective, and safer.
It is always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication or supplement.