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What Happens When You Stop Taking Finasteride

what happens when you stop taking finasteride

what happens when you stop taking finasteride

 One of the most common questions many men have about finasteride is what will happen if they stop taking the drug. Are the hair loss prevention effects permanent, or will their hair start to thin and fall out again

Because finasteride works by blocking the specific enzyme responsible for DHT, it only prevents hair loss while the drug is active in your body. Once you stop taking finasteride, your body starts to convert testosterone to DHT again and your hair follicles start to react as they normally would.

In this guide, we’ll cover what you can expect to happen if you stop taking finasteride, as well as the long-term effects that stopping finasteride can have on your hairline, thickness and all-round hair health.

Finasteride is Only Effective While You Take It

Finasteride has a half-life of around five to six hours, meaning it needs to be taken daily in order to be effective. Once you stop taking finasteride, the dose of the medication that’s active in your body will slowly decline until it’s completely excreted over the course of several days.

When there’s no longer any finasteride in your body, the 5α-Reductase enzyme will no longer be blocked, meaning your body will once again start to convert a small percentage of testosterone into DHT.

If you’re genetically prone to male pattern baldness, this can mean that the DHT will once again start to affect your hair follicles, resulting in thinning of the hair on your scalp, hairline recession and other male pattern baldness effects.

Is Finasteride Safe to Use Long Term?

Since finasteride only prevents hair loss while it’s active in your body, you’ll need to use it over the long term if your goal is to stop baldness and keep as much of your hair as possible.

Do Finasteride Side Effects Stop With Usage?

Of these side effects, sexual dysfunction is the most common, with finasteride use increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction and hypoactive sexual desire (reduced sex drive) for some men.

However, a small number of men that use finasteride report long-term side effects that continue after they stop taking the medication.

So, What Happens if You Stop Taking Finasteride?

In short, once you stop taking finasteride, you can expect that the hair you’ve preserved will start to fall out, just like it did before you took the medication. Finasteride only works while the drug is active in your body, meaning you’ll go back to a normal rate of hair loss once it’s excreted.

If you’ve experienced side effects from finasteride, they should stop once you stop taking it. This is documented in most studies of finasteride’s side effect profile.

Finasteride is a prescription tablet that is used to treat hereditary hair loss. Taking finasteride as prescribed can stop hair loss and help regrow some hair, but what happens if you stop taking it every day?

First, a quick recap on how finasteride helps stop hair loss.

How does finasteride work?

Because MPB is genetic, the most effective way to stop and prevent further hair loss is to block DHT production, which is exactly what finasteride does. Finasteride blocks the action of the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT, called 5α-reductase, and prevents your body from producing DHT all together. Hence, finasteride not only protects and strengthens your hair, but also effectively minimizes hair loss.

According to clinical trials, a daily dose of 1mg of finasteride halted hair loss in 86% of men, while 65% of those men experienced a significant increase in hair growth. With consistent daily use over 3-4 months, these results should be visible.

What happens if I quit using finasteride after a few months?

Finasteride has a relatively short half-life. So, once you stop taking the tablet, its effects should be out of your system within seven days and you can expect to see your usual rate of hair loss (what you experienced prior to taking the medication) return.

Why? Without finasteride, your body will not be able to block 5α-reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT. For as long as you want to prevent hair loss, keep what you have, and even regrow more hair, finasteride is your best friend.

But is it safe to use finasteride for long periods of time?

Yes, finasteride is safe! A seven year-long study tested the effects of long-term consumption of finasteride and observed no serious long-term consequences.

However, there are potential short-term side effects of taking finasteride. Though rare, in clinical trials, 3.8% of male patients taking finasteride noticed some form of sexual side effects, including less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex. (2.1% of patients taking placebo reported similar side effects).

These side effects may continue after stopping the treatment, so contact your doctor if you have any additional questions. You may also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

It's also important to determine the amount of urine you have left in your bladder after "emptying" your bladder. It's a simple test — called the post void residual — done with an ultrasound machine in the doctor's office. This result, along with the results of your questionnaire, would be important factors in deciding if and when to stop taking one or both medications.

Finasteride is a prescription medication used primarily for the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). Finasteride is also administered under the brand name Propecia, for the treatment of male pattern baldness and hair loss. It is typically taken as a once a day tablet, with or without a meal. While Finasteride does help shrink prostate enlargement (BPH) among most men who take it, the process is slow and the drug relieves symptoms for only about one third of men who take it.

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