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Finasteride Trial Results

BACKGROUND: Androgenetic alopecia is generated by androgen-dependent miniaturization of scalp hair follicles, with scalp dihydrotestosterone (DHT) implicated as a contributory cause. Finasteride is a type II inhibitor 5alpha-reductase and can decrease serum and scalp DHT by inhibiting transformation of testosterone to DHT.

GOAL: The main goal in this test was to determine if finasteride really produced a clear improvement in men with Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern hair loss). METHODS: In a two 1-year trials, 1553 men (age from 18 - 41) with Androgenetic alopecia took oral finasteride 1 mg/d or placebo, and 1215 men continued in blinded extension studies for a second year. Efficacy was evaluated in terms of scalp hair counts, investigator/patient assessments and review of photographs by experts.

RESULTS: It was concluded that Finasteride can improve scalp hair at 1 and 2 years (P < .001 vs placebo, all comparisons). It can also increase hair count (baseline = 876 hairs), measured in a 1-inch diameter circular area (5.1 cm2) of balding vertex scalp, were observed with finasteride treatment (107 and 138 hairs vs placebo at 1 and 2 years; P < .001). As one should expect, treatment with placebo resulted in ongoing hair loss. Patients also noticed that finasteride treatment slowed hair loss, and increased hair growth, improving the general hair appearance. Such improvements were also reported by several investigators. Some side effects were reported but overall minimal. CONCLUSION: Finasteride 1 mg/d demonstrated considerable hair growth in clinical tests over 2 years in patients with male pattern hair loss.

Supplied by: Department of Clinical Research