Finasteride For Women: Treating Female Hair Loss
Your hair is an integral part of who you are. Losing it can feel crushing, but there are effective and safe ways to enjoy healthy hair growth once again.
Finasteride for women can help you encourage hair regrowth – but it’s still being researched.
- Finasteride seems generally safe for postmenopausal women. Premenopausal women should be able to use it as well, as long as they use it with specific precautions.
- Finasteride provides reliable results for men at about 1mg daily. Women may require doses between 2.5mg – 5mg to see hair regrowth.
- If finasteride is going to work for you, you should see results in 4-6 months. If not, you have other options!
In this guide, we’ll discuss Finasteride efficacy, methods for using it well, whether you’re a good candidate for finasteride – and how to get generic Finasteride and brand-name Propecia for up to 44% percent off.
What Does Finasteride for Women Do?
Thirty million women in the United States suffer from female pattern hair loss. Finasteride can help those women treat their hair loss and work to restore hair growth.
Finasteride, or the active ingredient in brand-name Propecia, is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. It inhibits, or stops, an enzyme – 5-alpha reductase – whose main job is changing testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
This is a big difference. Testosterone is an important sex hormone. Healthy men and women both have it in carefully regulated amounts.
DHT is more active and, as far as hair health goes, more damaging.
DHT running rampant in the male or female body can damage hair follicles. This results in hair loss.
Finasteride prevents that entire process from happening and effectively protects healthy hair growth. (In one study, 90% of men with hair loss or androgenic alopecia who took Propecia experienced cessation of hair loss, and 66% experienced hair regrowth.)
Right now, the regulators have only approved finasteride for men.
But women suffer from androgenic alopecia, too. So – what about finasteride for women?
Does it work? And (even more importantly) is finasteride safe for women to use?
Does Finasteride for Women Work?
Finasteride for women has a promising success rate, but it’s challenging to study because it’s not yet approved for women.
Female pattern hair loss is more complex than male pattern hair loss.
For one thing, men have about 10-20 times more testosterone than women. (Even women with hormonal imbalances that drive higher testosterone levels, such as PCOS, usually have less testosterone than the average man.)
As finasteride works on testosterone, it’s very effective in men. Up to 90% of male patients enjoy slower hair loss after taking this medication.
Finasteride for women can reportedly produce fantastic results. For some women, it works. For others, it produces no results. It depends on what’s causing hair loss.
Researchers are still working on figuring out how best to use finasteride for women but it may stand to reason that women whose hair loss is due to a testosterone imbalance may benefit.
Is Finasteride Safe for Women?
There are no large-scale studies demonstrate that it’s safe to use in women.
We know finasteride is safe for men, and the smaller studies delving into finasteride for women’s efficacy indicate it’s safe for certain populations. (We’ll talk more about those in a minute.)
While finasteride does come with risks for some side effects, the main reason it’s difficult to study finasteride for women at scale or clear it for approved use is its safety risks for pregnancy.
Finasteride can lead to congenital disabilities (or potential harm to unborn fetuses) if a woman takes them while pregnant.
In the pharmaceutical research industry, this is often considered a non-starter for further research for a drug when the target population is women of reproductive age.
A few studies have found ways around that risk, and this risk doesn’t mean that finasteride for women will never be widely approved. However, it does mean that women taking finasteride may need precautions before starting prescription use.
Have There Been Studies on Finasteride for Women?
Yes, there have been studies on finasteride for women – though they’re unfortunately rare.
Here are the main conclusions from four finasteride studies featuring female patients:
- In 2019, a team looked at the efficacy of finasteride for 30 postmenopausal women compared to finasteride plus Rogaine. The result? Significantly superior results for women using combo hair loss therapy.
- In 2006, study participants took a high (2.5mg) dose of oral finasteride alongside an oral contraceptive. 62% of the patients saw improvement.
- In 2013, 40 postmenopausal study participants took an even higher dose of finasteride – 5mg – daily for 18 months. After six months, 34 patients showed significant or moderate improvement.
- In 2019, a small study showed that the same 5mg dose caused significant side effects (ranging from reduced libido to edema) when administered to premenopausal women.
The scientific community learned a few things from these studies.
- Women need higher finasteride doses. Men usually take a 1mg dose to achieve hair growth. Women may need a higher dose of finasteride to see similar benefits.
- Finasteride for younger women results in more side effects. At very high doses, premenopausal women suffer from various unwanted symptoms. In a different but very similar study, their older peers did not.
- There is potential for combination use. Two hair loss treatments may be better than one! If neither finasteride nor Rogaine works, combining their powers just might.
- Finasteride is not for pregnancy. While more studies are needed to determine specific dosage and administration strategies, everyone is clear on one point: If there is any chance a woman can conceive, finasteride is not advised.
Finasteride Side Effects for Women
While finasteride for women shows promise, the drug may lead to concerning side effects.
The most concerning effect is its potential to cause congenital disabilities. (This is why the women in the above studies were postmenopausal or taking contraceptives.)
Finasteride’s fetal harm-causing potential, or its status as a teratogen, is why the regulators have not approved the drug for women. It’s also why your doctor may caution you against the off-label use of finasteride if you are pregnant or could get pregnant in the future.
This isn’t the only side effect of finasteride, though it is the most serious.
Other finasteride side effects for women include:
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Breast tenderness
- Increased body hair growth
In some cases, patients don’t experience increased hair growth on finasteride. Instead, their hair loss gets worse.
Many researchers believe most patients have an ideal window to start taking finasteride. It’s more effective the earlier you start taking it.
If patients wait too long to start, or if a testosterone-dependent mechanism doesn’t cause their hair loss, finasteride may not be a good choice. In that case, fortunately, women do have other options.
Finasteride for Women Alternatives
If finasteride doesn’t work for you, or if you’re interested in exploring your other options while more research is needed to confirm finasteride’s efficacy and safety, here are some alternatives to consider:
- Minoxidil. Minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine for Women, helps follicles get to and stay in the hair growth phase of their life cycles. This promotes healthy, consistent hair growth for women. Minoxidil comes in two forms, a topical liquid and topical foam. Both are approved by regulators. Through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a one-month supply of Rogaine Solution for Women for about $40.00.
- Hair growth supplements. Maintaining a balanced diet can help promote hair growth, so taking vitamins to correct any nutritional deficiencies in your diet can be an excellent place to start. If you’d like to take it a step further, consider taking a B vitamin, a vitamin D supplement, or a supplement containing biotin, zinc, or iron. Just make sure you’re getting those vitamins from a reputable source!
- Hair loss shampoo. Some types of shampoos are specifically formulated to strengthen hair and reduce shedding. Do your research and buy a high-quality product with stellar customer reviews.
- Spironolactone. Spironolactone is often prescribed for women with PCOS who see unwanted hair growth (e.g., on their face or chest). It works by balancing out male sex hormone levels – such as testosterone. Since a converted form of testosterone often causes hair loss, working towards a more balanced hormonal profile with spironolactone can help encourage healthy hair growth where you do want it, too.
Using Finasteride for Women’s Hair Loss (Things to Remember)
Can women take finasteride? Yes, but if you’ve determined finasteride is for you, you do need to keep a few considerations in mind.
- Because finasteride for women is off-label, your doctor may recommend pursuing other treatments (such as oral spironolactone or topical minoxidil) first.
- Before taking finasteride long-term, you may need to have a contraceptive plan in place. As you take finasteride, if your plans change, it would be a good idea to speak with your doctor to see whether a new hair growth medication would be safer.
- Finasteride interacts with a long list of supplements and medications, including aspirin, Tylenol, fish oil, statin medications, several heart medications, Synthroid, and vitamins B12, C, and D3.
- You will need to take finasteride for a long time – four to six months – before expecting results. If finasteride does work for you, it’ll be a chronic med. You’ll need to take it every day indefinitely to maintain improved hair growth. If you stop, your hair growth will slow down or stop.
Finasteride Cost Comparison
In addition to its possible safety risks for pregnant women, finasteride has another downside: Its cost.
How Much Does Propecia Cost?
In the United States, patients pay around $135.00 for a 30-tablet supply of 1mg brand-name Propecia, or $4.50 per pill.
If 1mg daily is enough for you to see results, great. That’s over $1,600.00 per year (per year, as long as you need to take Propecia) for healthy hair.
1mg of Propecia, for women, will usually not be enough.
In the studies we reviewed above, women usually needed a much higher dose of 2.5mg - 5mg daily to achieve hair regrowth benefits.
That means you’ll pay between approximately $340.00 and $675.00 per month (and thousands of dollars per year!) for the amount of brand-name Propecia you’ll need.
Fortunately, buying prescription hair loss medications through an international and online Canadian pharmacy can help you save significantly.
Here, through NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a four-week supply of 1mg Propecia for around $70.00, or $2.50 per pill (up to 44% savings).
How Much Does Generic Finasteride Cost?
Generic medications are usually more affordable than their brand counterparts.
If you’re looking for additional ways to save, you can also buy generic finasteride through NorthWestPharmacy.com. Here, we sell a one-month supply of 1mg finasteride for approximately $40.00.
Interested in Trying Finasteride for Women?
Getting started with finasteride for women can be complicated.
It’s still being studied, and the regulators havn’t approved the medication for women’s use. That can make finding the practical information you need difficult. If your doctor has recommended that you use finasteride, we believe you should know exactly what you’re getting into.
We also believe you should be able to afford the hair growth treatments you need to see the results you want!
That’s why, at NorthWestPharmacy.com, we prioritize accurate information and low prices.
You’ll always find reliable medication guides, safe products, and private ordering and payment processes on our site.
If you’re ready to try finasteride for women, your prescription to our Canadian drugstore and international online pharmacy after you log in, find the medication you need, and order it online (or with a quick phone call) within minutes.
We’ll double-check your prescription for safety and ship your finasteride directly to your front door. No need to pick up your prescription in person, or ever pay more than you need to for finasteride.
Want to learn more about what we can offer you? Check out our online pharmacy customer reviews, or give our friendly team of customer service representatives and on-staff pharmacists a call at 1-866-539-5330. Alternatively, contact us online. We’re here to help you as you pursue your ideal healthcare journey.