Propecia has previously been shown to be ineffective for hairloss in women. This new study indicates that women may require a higher dose (2.5mg or greater) in order to achieve beneficial results.
BACKGROUND: Finasteride, an inhibitor of type 2 5alpha-reductase, inhibits conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, resulting in a decrease in serum and scalp dihydrotestosterone levels believed to be pathogenic in androgenetic alopecia. Oral finasteride has been shown to be effective in the treatment of hairloss in men, while its efficacy in women has remained controversial.
METHODS: 5 postmenopausal women without clinical or laboratory signs of hyperandrogenism were given 2.5 or 5 mg/day oral finasteride for the treatment of pattern hairloss. Efficacy was evaluated by patient and investigator assessments, and review of photographs taken at baseline and at months 6, 12 and 18 by an expert panel.
RESULTS: Finasteride treatment improved scalp hair by all evaluation techniques. The patients’ self-assessment demonstrated that finasteride treatment decreased hairloss, increased hair growth and improved appearance of hair. These improvements were confirmed by investigator assessment and assessments of photographs. No adverse effects were noted.
CONCLUSIONS: Oral finasteride in a dosage of 2.5 mg/day or more may be effective for the treatment of pattern hairloss in postmenopausal women in the absence of clinical or laboratory signs of hyperandrogenism.
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.