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finasteride? concerned about the much touted side effects

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Hi Doctor,

I've suffered from Male pattern baldness for almost 10 years now. It's been a major psychological hit on my confidence and lifestyle. A failed transplant and some severe emotional personal experiences later my hair has now thinned considerably. I've researched on finasteride but am concerned about the much touted side effects. Would you recommend it to arrest and regrow my hair lost in the past 24 months?

Thank you.

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replied December 10th, 2012
Hair Loss, Hair Disorders Answer A40911

Welcome to ehealthforum and thanks for writing

Male pattern baldness is mainly genetic but sometimes hormonal imbalance like overproduction of dihydrotestosterone and thyroid hormones irregularities also play an important role.

There are many medications to improve hair loss like finasteride, dutasteride and topically applied minoxidil but these are available only under prescription and after ruling out the other causes of hair loss.
Regarding the investigations which can be done to confirm the cause of hair loss, some of the important ones to be done are:
1)Iron studies and thyroid function tests
2)Testosterone and dihydrotestosterone levels
3)Trichoscopy (in this hair and scalp structures may be visualized at many-fold magnification)
4)Scalp biopsy.

I suggest you to consult a trichologist and get these investigations done so that medications can be prescribed accordingly. Give your diet an overhaul if you're lacking vital nutrients for growth and switch to foods for healthy hair like food rich in protein, vitamins(mainly vit A and vit C) and other micronutrient like zinc, iron and copper.

Take care!

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