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Used to help treat thinning hair & male pattern baldness, learn more about finasteride & Propecia 


Finasteride is used to help treat male pattern baldness in men aged 18 and over. This kind of baldness can be triggered by a mixture of genetic and hormonal factors. The change in appearance can be upsetting, especially for younger men, which is why they may choose to use treatments such as finasteride. 


You can access both generic finasteride and the branded version Propecia through the Boots Hair Loss Online Doctor. You won’t need to see a GP, simply fill in a short questionnaire and our clinicians can assess whether the treatment is suitable for you. If it is, you’ll be able to pick up your tablets from your chosen Boots pharmacy, or get them delivered to your home free of charge. You can also get your tablets delivered to your home free of charge.*


You can also access finasteride or Propecia by booking an appointment in selected Boots stores for a consultation with one of our specially trained pharmacists.** Alternatively, you can get a private prescription from your GP.


What is male pattern baldness?


Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss experienced by men. Roughly 50 percent of men experience some level of hair loss by the time they reach the age of 50.


Hair loss often begins in the late 20s or early 30s. We call it 'pattern baldness' because it usually follows a distinctive pattern. It starts with a receding hairline, and is followed by thinning of the hair that grows around the temples or crown of the head.


Male pattern baldness is hereditary. This means you can inherit it from either or both parents. It's also normal, and natural. For many men, beginning to lose their hair can be a scary and uncertain time, and it’s okay if you’re feeling low or overwhelmed. If you feel you’re struggling with this transition, reach out to your GP to discuss how you are feeling.


Many men who experience hair loss accept it as a fact of life and choose not to try to treat it. However, some men try different treatments to attempt to reverse it. There are several over‐the‐counter hair loss treatments available and your pharmacist can speak to you about the different options. Finasteride and Propecia are the only hair loss prescription treatments for male pattern baldness.


How does finasteride work?


A man experiencing male pattern baldness will have smaller hair follicles. This is caused by the conversion of testosterone (the main male hormone) to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Hair follicles become sensitive to dihydrotestosterone, which causes them to shrink. Finasteride works to stop the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone and prevent further hair loss.


Who should not take finasteride?


You should not take finasteride if:


• You’re a child or adolescent

• You’re female
• You’re allergic to finasteride or any of its ingredients (check the patient information leaflet for a full list of ingredients)
• You’re already taking a 5α-reductase inhibitor for prostate problems or another condition
• You’re a man with a partner who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant
• You’re a man losing hair as a result of another cause, such as the side effect of medication


If you have an operation or medical treatment, let the person who is treating you know that you’re taking finasteride. Finasteride can interfere with a blood test to identify prostate cancer, so if you’re taking this test you must let your GP know you’re taking the medicine. They can also advise you on whether finasteride is the best option for you.


It’s important to let your GP, pharmacist or online clinician know whether you’ve had any allergic reactions to medicines in the past and if you’re taking any other medicines, including complementary therapies.


When should finasteride take effect?


You may notice an improvement in hair growth within the first few months, but don't be discouraged if not, as it can take three to six months to see any improvements. In order to maintain the effect of finasteride, you’ll have to continue taking it regularly, as the balding process is likely to return after six to 12 months if you stop taking the medicine. If you are still experiencing hair loss after 12 months of treatment, further courses are unlikely to work.

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*Subject to availability and clinician approval. Charges apply.

**Subject to pharmacist availability and approval. Charges and eligibility criteria apply.