Finasteride, also known as Propecia or Proscar, is a medication commonly used for treating male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate. However, many people wonder how long it takes for finasteride to start working and when they can expect to see results. In this article, we will explore the effectiveness of finasteride and discuss how long it takes to work.

How Long Does Finasteride Take to Work? Exploring the Effectiveness of Finasteride

How Does Finasteride Work?

Before discussing the effectiveness of finasteride, it's important to understand how it works. Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that blocks the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone responsible for hair loss and prostate growth. By reducing DHT levels in the body, finasteride can help prevent hair loss and shrink the prostate.

How Effective is Finasteride?

Finasteride has been shown to be highly effective for treating male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate. In clinical studies, finasteride was found to increase hair growth and prevent further hair loss in up to 90% of men. Additionally, finasteride was found to improve symptoms of enlarged prostate and reduce the risk of urinary retention and prostate surgery.

How Long Does Finasteride Take to Work?

The effectiveness of finasteride depends on the individual and the condition being treated. For hair loss, it typically takes a few months to begin seeing results. In clinical studies, hair growth was first noticed at 3-6 months, and maximum hair growth was observed at 2 years. However, some men may see results sooner or later than this.

For enlarged prostate, finasteride can take several weeks to several months to start working. Improvement in symptoms was seen after 6 months of treatment and continued for at least 4 years.

It's important to note that finasteride must be taken continuously to maintain its benefits. Discontinuing the medication can result in reversal of its effects, and hair loss or prostate enlargement may resume.


Q: Are there any side effects of finasteride?

A: Yes, finasteride can cause side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and breast tenderness. However, these side effects are rare and usually resolve after discontinuing the medication.

Q: Can women use finasteride?

A: No, finasteride is not recommended for women, especially those who are pregnant or trying to conceive. Finasteride can cause fetal abnormalities and should not be handled by pregnant women.

Q: Can finasteride regrow hair that has already been lost?

A: Finasteride can help prevent further hair loss and promote hair growth, but it may not regrow hair that has already been lost. However, it may improve the thickness and quality of existing hair.

In conclusion, finasteride is a highly effective medication for treating male pattern baldness and enlarged prostate. While the length of time it takes to work may vary, most people will see results within a few months of starting treatment. If you are experiencing hair loss or prostate enlargement, talk to your healthcare provider about whether finasteride may be right for you.