Yes. Finasteride, or generic Propecia, is available for the treatment of male pattern hair loss.
A generic version of the drug called Aindeem, manufactured by Actavis, is also available.
In addition to male pattern baldness, the drug finasteride treats benign prostatic hyperplasia (known also as BPH or enlarged prostate). There are two different doses of finasteride, depending on what it is being used to treat:
- 1mg is used in hair loss;
- whereas 5mg is used in BPH.
If you are buying medication online, it is therefore very important to make sure the dose you are using is the right one, and that you use a service where your case is checked by a doctor.
What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is the name of the active ingredient in Propecia, and in the generic treatments Finasteride and Aindeem. It comes under the category of medicines known as type II 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.
The enzyme 5-A-R is involved in the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Raised levels of DHT can lead to hair loss. Finasteride works by preventing this conversion from taking place, thus reducing the amount of DHT in the body. This then helps to slow the rate of hair loss down.
What is the difference between Propecia and Finasteride?
Propecia is the branded name for finasteride 1mg. It was developed for hair loss by Merck Sharp & Dohme (also known as MSD), and was granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1997.
(Proscar, the branded version of finasteride 5mg used in BPH, was also developed by MSD, and released prior to this.)
Generic finasteride 1mg tablets contain the same active ingredient as Propecia, in the same amounts. They are prescribed for the same purpose.
The non-active (or excipient) ingredients of a generic drug, such as the coating, may sometimes be different to the branded version. This may in some cases slightly alter the way the drug is taken up in the body. However, generics in the vast majority of cases will have the same clinical properties as their branded counterparts.
The only notable differences between branded and generics are most often the name and cost (branded medicines are invariably more expensive than generic medicines).
Can Finasteride cure my hair loss?
Finasteride is a treatment for hair loss; not a cure.
It will work to reduce the levels of DHT while it is being taken. In doing this, finasteride can help to slow down the rate of hair loss; and while it wouldn’t be entirely clinically accurate to refer to finasteride or Propecia as a ‘hair growth tablet’, some patients have reported hair regrowth when using the medicine.
However, when someone stops using finasteride, their DHT levels are likely to eventually return to normal. Consequently, their normal rate of hair loss will recommence, usually within 6-12 months.
Can I buy Finasteride tablets online?
Yes. Generic finasteride tablets for hair loss are available to buy from online pharmacies.
It remains important to consult with your own doctor before using hair loss treatment such as finasteride or Propecia for the first time. They will be able to assess your case and give you advice on which is the most suitable, taking into account your medical history.
Men already taking Propecia can renew their prescription using our secure service. Read our hair loss information pages to find out more.