There are only 2 medications that are licensed for the treatment of androgenic alopecia
These are Finasteride & Minoxidil
Finasteride is one of the most popular and effective treatments for hair loss in men. According to clinical trials, oral finasteride can increase hair count by 9% to 10% after one year, and by 15% to 18% after two years of treatment. Topical finasteride can also lower the levels of DHT in the scalp, but not in the serum, which means it does not affect the hormonal balance in the body. Studies have shown that topical finasteride and minoxidil combination therapy can increase hair count, hair thickness, and hair growth more than either medication alone.
Finasteride is most effective in men with mild to moderate hair loss on the top of their head caused by AGA. There is little evidence that it is effective in reversing a receding hairline. Finasteride will not work faster or better if you take more than 1 tablet a day or apply more than the recommended amount of solution. Finasteride only stimulates hair growth on the head and will not cause hair to grow elsewhere on the body.
Finasteride does not work overnight. It takes time for your hair follicles to respond to the medication and produce new hairs. Generally, you will need to take finasteride daily for 3 to 6 months before you start to see any improvement in your hair loss. You should continue taking finasteride for at least a year to confirm whether it is effective for you. If you stop taking finasteride, your hair loss will resume within 6 to 12 months.
Finasteride is generally well-tolerated, with few and mild side effects. The most common side effects are related to sexual function, such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation disorders. These side effects are rare, affecting only 2% to 4% of men who take oral finasteride, and even less of men who use topical finasteride. Moreover, these side effects are usually reversible, meaning they disappear after stopping the medication or continuing the treatment.
Other possible side effects of finasteride include allergic reactions, breast tenderness or enlargement, depression, anxiety, mood changes, and testicular pain. These side effects are very rare and usually mild. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, you should stop taking finasteride and consult your doctor.
The recommended dose for treating hair-loss is 1mg per day.
A more cost-effective option for many men is to buy the 5mg tablets and split them in half.
Taking half a tablet 3 times a week.
The results will be the same whichever route you take.