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Patient Information Leaflet: Finasteride as an Antiandrogen

What is Finasteride?
Finasteride is a medication primarily used to treat conditions related to an enlarged prostate or male pattern hair loss. However, it is also prescribed for other purposes, including as an antiandrogen for individuals undergoing hormone therapy as part of gender-affirming care.

How Does Finasteride Work?
Finasteride works by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent form of the hormone. By reducing DHT levels in the body, it can help mitigate the effects of androgens.

Using Finasteride for Gender-Affirming Care:
Finasteride is also prescribed as part of feminising hormone therapy. It can help reduce body hair growth and slow down male-pattern baldness. However, it is important to note that although Finasteride is easy and requires very little monitoring, alone it may not provide the complete antiandrogenic effects needed for gender-affirming care. It can also be used in combination with other medications like spironolactone or GnRH agonists for more comprehensive hormone suppression.

Dosage and Administration:
The recommended dosage of Finasteride for antiandrogenic effects is typically 5 milligrams (mg) per day. It is usually taken orally as a tablet and can be consumed with or without food. Follow the prescribing instructions regarding dosage and administration.

Other Effects:
Finasteride is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience other effects, which can may be wanted or unwanted including:

  • Reduced libido or sexual interest
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement (rare)
  • Changes in mood or mood swings (rare)

Important Considerations:

  • Finasteride should not be used during pregnancy, as it may cause harm to a developing foetus.
  • If you experience any severe side effects, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, or others symptoms of allergy, seek immediate medical attention.

Monitoring and Follow-Up:
Regular monitoring of hormone levels and overall health is crucial when using Finasteride for gender-affirming care. Track your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Finasteride can be a valuable component of gender-affirming care for feminising therapy when used in combination with other medications. It helps reduce the impact of androgens on the body, contributing to a more authentic and comfortable gender expression.

Remember to communicate openly about your goals, concerns, and any wanted or unwanted effects you may experience during your hormone therapy journey.

For any questions or concerns about Finasteride or your gender-affirming care, consult us for personalised guidance and support.

Further reading:


Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Please consult a healthcare provider for personalised recommendations and treatment plans.

Updated on January 23, 2024

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