Male pattern baldness is the common type of hair loss that develops in most men at some stage. The condition is sometimes called androgenetic alopecia.
Hair is made in hair follicles. A hair normally grows from each hair follicle for about three years. It is then shed, and a new hair grows from the follicle. As balding develops, affected hair follicles gradually become smaller than normal. Each new hair that grows is thinner and shed more quickly than before. This eventually leads to a much smaller hair follicle and a thin hair that does not grow out to the skin surface.
Male hormones are involved in causing these changes. Hair follicles convert testosterone (the main male hormone) into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Affected hair follicles become more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone and this causes the hair follicles to shrink.
Before taking finasteride
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking finasteride it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
How to take finasteride
• Take one (1 mg) tablet each day, exactly as your doctor tells you to. Try to take your doses at the same time of day, as this will help you to remember to take them.
• You can take the tablets before or after meals.
• If you forget to take a dose on time, take it when you remember. If you do not remember until the following day, skip the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- •Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
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