Drug Treatment for Androgenetic Alopecia: First Italian Questionnaire Survey on What Dermatologists Think about Finasteride

Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2018 Jun;8(2):259-267. doi: 10.1007/s13555-018-0233-6. Epub 2018 Mar 24.


Introduction: Treatment with finasteride 1 mg/day represents the therapy of choice for androgenetic alopecia (AGA). We investigated how Italian dermatologists approach use of finasteride for treatment of AGA and common side effects reported by patients.

Methods: A tablet-based survey was conducted from February 2017 to January 2018 in Italy to investigating use of 1 mg/day finasteride in the treatment of AGA. Approximately 1153 Italian dermatologists were surveyed about prescription frequency, therapy duration, treatment practices, and side effects eventually reported.

Results: Dermatologists considered treatment with 1 mg/day finasteride to be the most efficacious treatment for AGA, as reflecting by its long-term (5 years) prescription. Data on sexual side effects from our survey are in line with previous scientific evidence, especially regarding loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, and problems with ejaculation, but also in the psychological sphere and regarding physical impairments such as myalgia and loss of muscle tone.

Conclusions: This is the first preliminary observational study on how Italian dermatologists approach use of finasteride to treat AGA. Although side effects have been reported, especially in the sexual sphere, lack of alternative treatments with the same efficacy leads dermatologists to prescribe 1 mg/day finasteride with a tendency to prolong therapy in the long term.

Funding: Giuliani S.p.A.

Keywords: Androgenetic alopecia; Finasteride; Male pattern baldness; Physical impairment; Psychological-sphere side effects; Sexual side effects.