Five-year efficacy of finasteride in 801 Japanese men with androgenetic alopecia

J Dermatol. 2015 Jul;42(7):735-8. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.12890. Epub 2015 Apr 22.


Finasteride is standard medical treatment for androgenetic alopecia; however, no large studies with 5 years or more of follow up have been performed in Japan. The authors followed Japanese men with androgenetic alopecia treated with finasteride for 5 years to evaluate long-term treatment efficacy. Of 903 men treated with finasteride (1 mg/day), 801 patients were evaluated over 5 years by modified global photographic assessment. Although the proportion of improvement was high (99.4%), modified global photographic assessment scores after 5 years of treatment were lower in patients with more advanced disease as measured by the modified Norwood-Hamilton scale. After separating patients into "sufficient" and "insufficient" efficacy groups according to the modified global photographic assessment score after 5 years (scores ≥6 and <6, respectively), multivariate analysis showed that independent risk factors of insufficient efficacy were age at start of treatment of 40 years or more (P = 0.021) and classification on the modified Norwood-Hamilton scale (P < 0.001), whereas presence of stress at start of treatment was a negative predictor (P = 0.025). In conclusion, continuous finasteride treatment for 5 years improved androgenetic alopecia with sustained effect among Japanese. Younger age and less advanced disease at start of treatment were the key predictors of higher finasteride efficacy.

Keywords: Japanese; androgenetic alopecia; finasteride; modified Norwood-Hamilton scale; modified global photographic assessment.

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Finasteride / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • ROC Curve
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Time Factors


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Finasteride