Clinical efficacy of oral administration of finasteride at a dose of 2.5 mg/day in women with female pattern hair loss

Dermatol Ther. 2018 Mar;31(2):e12588. doi: 10.1111/dth.12588. Epub 2018 Feb 20.


Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) presents with diffuse thinning over the mid-frontal scalp, for which various treatment modalities have been tried. Although currently, oral 5 α-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride are being used, their clinical efficacy remains controversial. We retrospectively investigated 544 premenopausal or postmenopausal patients with FPHL who were prescribed finasteride at a dose of 2.5 mg/day. Our study excluded patients with a follow-up period of < 3 months and patients who were prescribed other FPHL treatment modalities including topical minoxidil. Finally, 112 patients were evaluated based on their medical records and clinical photographs. Based on assessment using the Ludwig scale at the time of their initial visit, among 112 patients studied, 59 patients were classified as belonging to grade I, 47 were grade II, and 6 were grade III. Using global photographs, we found that 33 (29.5%) of the 112 patients studied showed slight improvement, 73 (65.2%) showed significant improvement, whereas no change was recorded in 6 (5.4%). We could demonstrate efficacy of administration of finasteride at a dose of 2.5 mg/day for patients with FPHL and also found that finasteride has a better effect on hair growth when patients had a lower Ludwig score and an older age at onset.

Keywords: androgenetic alopecia; female pattern hair loss; finasteride.

MeSH terms

  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alopecia / diagnosis
  • Alopecia / drug therapy*
  • Alopecia / physiopathology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Finasteride / administration & dosage*
  • Finasteride / adverse effects
  • Hair / drug effects*
  • Hair / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Photography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • 5-alpha Reductase Inhibitors
  • Finasteride