Can Finasteride Be Used for Hair Loss in Women?

Finasteride can be used to treat female pattern hair loss although the medication states that it should not be used by women. Although testosterone is known as a male hormone, it is also present in the female body as it is produced by the adrenal glands. When converted to dehydrotestosterone in women testosterone can cause pattern baldness and hirsutism.

Why Does Finasteride Packaging Say that it is not Suitable for Women?

Finasteride packaging often says that the drug is not suitable for women. This is because, whilst women can take it with no more risk to their own health than men, finasteride is known to cause mutations in male foetuses. As a result of this finasteride is not recommended for women in their child- bearing years. However, it can be used successfully in post- menopausal women as well as in women who are unable to have children for medical reasons.

What Are the Uses of Finasteride in Women?

Finasteride can be used to treat female pattern baldness in the same way that it is used to treat male pattern baldness. Finasteride is not FDA approved for this use because of the risk of foetal mutation; however, this cannot affect women who are unable to have children.

When used to treat female pattern baldness finasteride should be taken alongside the contraceptive pill if you are still menstruating as it can cause the irregularity of the menstrual cycle. The dosage of finasteride for women is 2 .5 mg a day compared to only 1 mg a day for men. Studies have shown that finasteride is not as effective for the treatment of female pattern hair loss as it is for male pattern hair loss.

As well as treating female pattern baldness finasteride can also be used to treat hirsutism. This is a condition in which some women suffer from extreme hair growth in areas not associated with female hair such as the face, body, and back.

Finasteride is prescribed in doses of 5 mg a day to treat hirsutism and is effective in increasing the amount of time that hair takes to grow. This means that if you suffer from hirsutism and rapid hair growth you will reduce the amount of times that you need to remove hair.

Can Finasteride Be Taken During Pregnancy?

Finasteride should not be taken during pregnancy as it can be deforming to a male foetus. Finasteride can cause the mutation of the male genitals causing a male to be born with female genitals. Pregnant women should not come into contact with finasteride at all, as it can be absorbed through the skin and cause serious deformities to the foetus.

Because of these risks, finasteride is very rarely prescribed to women who are able to have children even if they do not intend to have children at the time of treatment. Finasteride is usually prescribed to post menopausal women, women who are infertile, and women who have had tubal ligation, also known as female sterilisation, to prevent pregnancy.

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