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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999 Oct;41(4):555-63.

Clinical dose ranging studies with finasteride, a type 2 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, in men with male pattern hair loss.

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Northwest Cutaneous Research Specialists, Portland, Oregan, USA.



Androgenetic alopecia is a common condition of adult men. Finasteride, a type 2 5alpha-reductase inhibitor, decreases the formation of dihydrotestosterone from testosterone.


Two separate clinical studies were conducted to establish the optimal dose of finasteride in men with this condition.


Men from 18 to 36 years of age with moderate vertex male pattern hair loss received finasteride 5, 1, 0.2, or 0.01 mg/day or placebo based on random assignment. Efficacy was determined by scalp hair counts, patient self-assessment, investigator assessment, and assessment of clinical photographs. Safety was assessed by clinical and laboratory measurements and by analysis of adverse experiences.


Efficacy was demonstrated for all end points for finasteride at doses of 0.2 mg/day or higher, with 1 and 5 mg demonstrating similar efficacy that was superior to lower doses. Efficacy of the 0.01 mg dose was similar to placebo. No significant safety issues were identified in the trials.


Finasteride 1 mg/day is the optimal dose for the treatment of men with male pattern hair loss and was subsequently identified for further clinical development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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