This question, from a member of our Hair Loss Social Community and Discussion Forums, was answered by Dr. Jerry Cooley of Charlotte, NC who is a member of the Coalition of Independent Hair Restoration Physicians.
What is your opinion about the efficacy of taking Propecia (finasteride) twice weekly? For example,.5 mg twice weekly? In other words, does the efficacy of Propecia decrease significantly when the dose is lowered?
Good question. Dosing studies show that 0.5mg finasteride is almost but not quite as good as 1mg in suppressing DHT. I think everyone is different so some people will do well at this low dose.
They haven’t done large studies on hair loss with different dosages/dosing intervals so we have to base our opinions on how the drug is metabolized. We know that a single dose of finasteride reaches peak DHT lowering after 3 days and the DHT doesn’t come back to normal till after 7 days. So twice weekly dosing of 0.5mg will keep DHT suppressed significantly and inhibit hair loss for most people.
How does it compare to 1mg every day? No one knows but it might be 70% as good, just a guess, and a whole lot better than doing nothing. Over the years, I have had patients who have had side effects at 1mg daily who did not have side effects with lower/intermittent dosing and still seemed to benefit in terms of their hair.
Dr. Jerry Cooley
Editorial Assistant and Forum propecia reduce dosage Co-Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q & A Blog.
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