Finasteride (abstract review of 33 articles)

Topical finasteride for the treatment of male androgenetic alopecia and female pattern hair loss: a review of the current literature

Received 07 May 2020, Accepted 30 May 2020, Accepted author version posted online: 13 Jun 2020, Published online: 26 Jun 2020

Background: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a frequently encountered dermatological concern that impacts a patient’s self-esteem and quality of life. Finasteride is a selective 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that has been approved for the treatment of male AGA and the off-label use in female pattern hair loss (FPHL); however, its adverse effects may limit its use. Topical finasteride is a new formulation that aims to decrease complications caused by oral administration.

Objective: This review assesses the pharmacology, current therapeutic use, and safety of topical finasteride for the treatment of AGA and FPHL.

Methods: A PubMed search was conducted to include all English language articles on topical finasteride from January 1992 to January 2020.

Results: A total of 33 articles including 28 topical finasteride related articles and five AGA related articles were included in this review. Multiple studies on topical finasteride as the treatment for male AGA and FPHL showed positive results with a favorable safety profile.

Conclusions: Topical finasteride is a promising therapeutic option. We emphasize the importance of continued research for the establishment of a novel therapeutic agent.

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