Topical Finasteride and Minoxidil Drug Facts
Alopecia is an umbrella term for several types of hair loss. It can reflect the loss of hair follicles, hair shafts, or both. Different types of alopecia have different underlying causes, and thus will have different treatments. Your doctor prescribed the following medication based on your specific needs.
Your Medication May Contain One or More of the Following:
This medication causes a prolongation of the anagen hair phase and helps increase hair follicle size. You may experience at first a worsening of hair loss as the medication is helping shed the telogen phase of hair, but this should resolve within 4-6 weeks of continued treatment.(1) Studies have shown that topical minoxidil 5% used once daily for 24 weeks was well tolerated and promoted hair regrowth in male pattern hair loss, resulting in improved scalp coverage and increased hair density.(2)
DHT is the main culprit in male pattern hair loss. Finasteride inhibits an enzyme located in the hair follicle that converts testosterone to DHT, thereby decreasing the DHT in the scalp. It halts hair loss in 90% of patients, and partial hair regrowth occurs in 65% of those receiving finasteride.(3) Continued use is necessary to sustain regrowth.
Do not use this medication if:
- You are pregnant or planning to become pregnant (Pregnancy Category X, Contraindicated in Pregnancy)
- You have a history of prostate cancer
- You have a history of liver disease - inform your doctor before use
- You have a psychiatric history – inform your doctor before use
- You are allergic to minoxidil, finasteride or any of the ingredients in your medication
- Your hair loss is sudden and/or patchy
- Your hair loss is associated with childbirth
- You are under 18 years of age. Do not use on babies or children.
- Your scalp is red, inflamed, infected, irritated, or painful
Ask a doctor before use if you have heart disease
When using this product
- do not apply on other parts of the body
- avoid contact with the eyes. In case of accidental contact, rinse eyes with large amounts of cool tap water.
- some people have experienced changes in hair color and/or texture
Stop use and notify a clinician if you experience any of the following:
- chest pain, rapid heartbeat, faintness, or dizziness
- sudden, unexplained weight gain
- your hands or feet swell
- scalp irritation or redness
- unwanted facial hair growth
Side effects: in clinical trials, 3.8% of male patients noticed some form of sexual side effects (versus 2.1% of patients using the placebo), including less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex.(4)
- For External Use only
- May be harmful if used when pregnant or breast-feeding. Keep out of reach of children
- Do not donate blood if you are using this medication
- Inform your physician that you are taking this medication
- Women of child-bearing potential should not handle this medication.
- Using more medication than prescribed will not speed up results and may lead to increased risk of side effects
- Inform your doctor if you experience breast tenderness or enlargement
Store at Controlled Room Temperature 20° to 25° C (68° to 77° F)
Information contained on this handout is provided as an informational aide and for reference use only. The content herein is not intended to be, act as, or replace medical advice or diagnosis for individual health conditions nor is it making evaluations as to the risks or benefits of particular compounded preparations. Please consult a licensed healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment. Information and statements within this handout have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
1. Piliang, MD. M, L. Pearson, MD R, Lowenstein, MD E, Scherger, MD, MPH J. Alopecia, First Consult. Clinical Key. https://www-clinicalkey-com. proxy1.athensams.net/#!/content/medical_topic/21-s2.0-1014848. Published 2011. Accessed July 10, 2018.
2. Hasanzadeh H, Nasrollahi S, Halavati N, Saberi M, Firooz A. Efficacy and safety of 5% minoxidil topical foam in male pattern hair loss treatment and patient satisfaction. Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina Pannonica et Adriatica. 2016;25(3).
3. Kaufman KD, Shapiro J, Binkowitz B, Gormley GJ. Finasteride in the treatment of men with androgenetic alopecia. Finasteride Male Pattern Hair Loss Study Group. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Oct;39(4 Pt 1):578-89. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(98)70007-6. PMID: 9777765.
4. McClellan KJ, Markham A. Finasteride: a review of its use in male pattern hair loss. Drugs. 1999 Jan;57(1):111-26. doi: 10.2165/00003495-199957010-00014. PMID: 9951956.