7 Fast Facts - Topical Finasteride for Hair Loss!

#1) Treats Hair Loss +BPH - In Men

Finasteride in the tablet formulation is commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men that have a large prostate. However, finasteride can also be used to treated male pattern baldness (alopecia).

#2) Some Woman Should NOT Use It

Finasteride should not be used in women who are or are planning to become pregnant. Finasteride can have potentially harmful effects on the fetus, thus it is recommended women also avoid handling broken tablets.

#3) Regrows Hair and Preserves Hair Already On Scalp

It is thought that Finasteride works by preventing a key enzyme, which converts testosterone to a chemical called DHT. By inhibiting this step, DHT levels go down. It is proposed that men suffering from hair loss have higher DHT levels in the follicles in their scalp in comparison to men who hair on their scalp. These high DHT levels can cause the hair in the scalp to shrink as time goes on and can lead to baldness.

#4) Topical Finasteride = Better Adherence, Safer?

Studies comparing oral Finasteride to the topical version have shown that both formulations are equally as effective. However, the topical formulation has more of a localized effect, so systemic side effects (side effects which effect the entire body), such as decreased libido; erectile dysfunction and those seen with oral form may be avoided.

#5) Needs To Be Compounded By A Compounding Pharmacy

Topical Finasteride is currently not available commercially, so you will not find it at your local community pharmacy. Topical Finasteride can usually be compounded into foam, solution. Compounding pharmacies have the proper experience, equipment and personnel to safely compound and customize this medication for you.

#6) Needs To Be Gently Rubbed Into Scalp

Topical Finasteride typically comes in a solution formulation, which is rubbed gently on the scalp. Your doctor and pharmacist can advise you on the best/proper way to apply this medication.

#7) Topical Finasteride Can be Compounding With Other Medications

Topical Finasteride can also be compounded with other medications used commonly to treat hair loss, such as minoxidil, Tretinoin, Spironolactone, Estradiol, Progesterone or a Corticosteriod. Reach out to your doctor to discuss potential treatment options for treating your hair loss issues.


  • Propecia (finasteride) prescribing information. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merk & Co., Inc; 1997
  • Chandrashekar BS, Nandhini T, Vasanth V, Sriram R, Navale S. Topical minoxidil fortified with finasteride: An account of maintenance of hair density after replacing oral finasteride.Indian Dermatology Online Journal. 2015;6(1): 17-20. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.148925.
  • Hajheydari Z, Akbari J, Saeedi M, Shokoohi L.Comparing the therapeutic effects of finasteride gel and tablet in treatment of the androgenetic alopecia.Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2009 Jan-Feb;75(1):47-51. PubMed PMID: 19172031

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