Can You Wean on to Finasteride by Taking Smaller Doses at First?'

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Name: Samuel

Question: I know you can wean yourself off finasteride if you stop taking it but can you wean yourself on to finasteride when you first start taking it by having smaller doses and building up to a full 1mg dose over the course of a few months? Can you do this? Does it help reduce the chance of side effects?

Answer: Hi, Samuel. Firstly, in order to start finasteride 1mg as a treatment for Male Pattern Hair Loss you must have a prescription from a medical professional so we're assuming you either have done this already, or plan on doing so.

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When you speak to your doctor or hair loss specialist about starting finasteride, they will first determine your suitability for this particular treatment, then - if you are found to be medically-suitable - they will advise you of the correct procedure for taking it and answer any queries you have pertaining to its usage.

Finasteride is one of only two MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved Male Pattern Hair Loss treatments and it only has these authorisations at a 1mg per day dose as this was found to be the optimal dose in clinical trials.

It is usually supplied as a 1mg film coated tablet and, in order to take a smaller dose than 1mg, you would need to cut the tablet. Finasteride 1mg tablets should not be cut into smaller doses as the coating helps the DHT-blocking medication to be absorbed gradually.

As with any medication, you should take it exactly as per the instructions provided on the accompanying patient information leaflet, or exactly as your doctor has told you to. In the case of finasteride 1mg, this should be one whole tablet per day.

With regards to whether weaning yourself on to finasteride 1mg can reduce the risk of side effects, this inadvisable action would not necessarily prevent adverse events as, for those who do develop them, they can come on at any time during treatment.

My advice is, if you are prescribed finasteride 1mg, take it at the full 1mg per day dose, as per the instructions, and if you experience any side effects, simply stop taking the medication - there is no need to wean yourself off finasteride unless your doctor specifically advises you to. You should report the problem to your doctor as soon as you can, and look into alternative treatment plans.

As you are not a Belgravia client, this is just general information. However, if you would like personalised advice for Male Pattern baldness hair loss solutions based on your specific level and pattern of shedding, plus your medical profile, please contact us to book a consultation at one of our City of London or Central London hair loss clinics. Alternatively, if you live outside London or abroad, our Online Consultation form, which allows you to upload photos, may be more convenient.

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