STARTING FINASTERIDE BEFORE HAIR LOSS SETS IN- GOOD THING OR BAD?
60% men develop male pattern baldness by the time they are 50 years of age.
So it is not good news that in a Class of 50, 30 teenagers who presently have a full head of hair will succumb to baldness, baldness setting in as they grow in age.
So does this make a strong case for Finasteride?
Should young teenagers or young adults prevent the development of baldness by starting
Finasteride today is the only absolute long term solution for fighting hair loss in men.
Since it leaves enough DHT for miscellaneous physiological functions of the body in the growing age, it has without reservations been and continues to be prescribed to millions of hair loss sufferers the world over without adverse effects. Over 30 years of use is enough to statistically prove that it works and works without much side effects in the very vast majority.
Though there are detractors and they vociferously voice their opinion about Finasteride, the decibels that are out of proportion to their perplexity with Finasteride makes them sound suspicious and ridiculous. Well, every drug has side effects. Show me one single drug in allopathy that does not. But when the risk is lesser than the risk of a fatality happening when crowing a road, this hullabulloo is misplaced, inappropriate and wreaks of commercial one
There is no strong evidence to support persistent side effects with Finasteride.
Most people who develop side effects develop the Nocebo effect. That is if you think side effects will happen, they very often will since the brain is much too powerful and works through suggestive feedback.
People recruited for many studies to support PFS Syndrome are those who have side effects and volunteer for the study and hence a selection bias exists.
I am not saying that the drug be prescribed injudiciously. I have narrated in many videos who should and who should not be prescribed this drug. After all It is not an Over the Counter Medication.
Blood tests done before taking Finasteride will not only establish a baseline but will also help in identifying those with low total testosterone levels, people who may have underlying hypogonadism and those with elevated estradiol levels may be sensitive to aromatisation of excess levels of testosterone to estradiol after initiating Finasteride.
So coming to the question: Should you start taking Finasteride before baldness sets in?
My considered opinion is NO!
And I have 5 reasons to support why I believe it should not be used in proactive manner as prevention of hair loss in even those with a family history of baldness:
1. Genetic inheritance of baldness does not hit everyone. WE commonly see siblings who are bald since they have strong inheritance of the gene, but then one of the siblings continues to have a head full of hair for life.
2. Finasteride has important physiological functions in development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics. And since these develop around 18 years and often uptil the age of 21, it is not a good idea to start Finasteride when there is no evidence of baldness. Even otherwise this age group should be spared from
Finasteride even though the drug label says the medication Finasteride can be taken above 18 years of age.
3. It has been estimated that at 1 year post starting Finasteride, some 89% men will benefit through stabilization of their hair loss and this decreases to 82% at 2 years and 64% at the 5 year mark. So if Finasteride is started before hair loss actually develops, when it does, the chances that you will stabilize it are statistically
4. Finasteride has side effects and if they do develop at this age when sexual health should be in its prime, the hair loss sufferer will never be motivated later to initiate Finasteride.
5. Besides the genetics of hair loss in those with the baldness gene, it is the epigenetic factors that should be reined in that cause early development of baldness even when you have the gene for male pattern baldness. I have covered this topic in an earlier video.