Antiandrogen therapy in hidradenitis suppurativa: finasteride for females

K. M. Babbush, T. M. Andriano, S. R. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Given its widely accepted efficacy, androgen blockade therapy for hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) has become a standard of care. Although much less frequently used than spironolactone, a small number of HS studies have reported finasteride as an alternative treatment for women. In this study, we describe the response to and perception of finasteride therapy in a diverse cohort of women with HS. Aim: To describe finasteride therapy in a diverse cohort of female patients with HS. Methods: We conducted an institutional review board-approved retrospective chart review and telephone survey of 20 female patients aged ≥ 18 years with a diagnosis of HS. Finasteride was prescribed by a single provider at a specialized HS centre. Results: The mean age of the patients was 34.3 ± 13.5 years. Finasteride was initiated predominantly because of one or more contraindications or poor responsiveness to spironolactone. Most patients interviewed (90%; n = 18) were willing to take finasteride again or continue with therapy if indicated. Of the 20 patients, 10 (50%) reported overall satisfaction with finasteride, while 7 (35%) were neutral and 3 (15%) were dissatisfied. No patient reported worsening disease activity while on finasteride and only one (5%) reported decreased quality of life. When asked about adverse effects of finasteride, 80% (n = 16) reported none, while 20% (n = 4) experienced ≥ 1 of the following: headache, nausea, menstrual irregularities, breast tenderness or reduced libido/sexual function. Conclusions: Our study suggests that androgen blockade therapy with finasteride is a safe and effective alternative for female patients with HS who have contraindication(s) or intolerance to spironolactone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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