Finasteride was developed for men who had swollen prostate glands. Researches noticed that one of the side effects was an increase in hair growth. They developed a lower dose version and named it Propecia. Propecia is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. Male pattern hair loss is a condition in which men experience thinning of the hair. It is a very common condition. This usually results in a receding hairline or balding on the top of the head. Propecia is made to be used by men only. It should not be used by women or children. Finasteride affects development during puberty and can cause birth defects in pregnant women. Propecia can be absorbed through that skin, therefore Propecia tablets should not even be touched by women who may become pregnant or by children.
What research shows
Studies have shown that Propecia, when properly taken, without breaks, works in about 90 percent of men. While it is not made for women, women who do not intend to become pregnant may take Propecia and studies have shown improvement in many cases. They should never do it without consulting a doctor first.
How Propecia works
Propecia works by preventing testosterone from being changed to dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone that helps men develop the characteristics that make them appear male. However, if you are prone to hair loss, dihydrotestosterone can attach to receptors in your hair follicles and make them weak and disappear. Reduction of dihydrotestosterone, or preventing testosterone from being changed to dihydrotestosterone is one way to reduce the severity of hair loss. Propecia works through the second method, preventing testosterone from becoming dihydrotestosterone. It does this by blocking the enzyme 5α-Reductase. This allows hair to regrow from the follicles previously impacted by dihydrotestosterone. It reduces the amount of dihydrotestosterone in the body and therefore does not just work on one area of the scalp but on the entire head.
Must be taken regularly
Once you begin to take Propecia, you should continue to take it without stopping. If you stop, the amount of Propecia in your body drops rapidly and normal hair loss can begin again. This will include the loss of any new hair that began to grow while taking Propecia. You must allow the amount of Propecia in your body to be at a high level by continuing to take it. You should plan on taking Propecia indefinitely, or at least until you no longer care about the amount of hair you have. It is a life long commitment.
How long does it take to work
It does take some time for Propecia to work, as hair growth does not happen quickly, and therefore it can take months before any difference is noticed. In fact, some men notice an increase in hair fallout when first taking Propecia. Some panic at that moment, but it is really a good thing, as it is just the old hair making room for the new hair growth. Most will notice that after 6 months or so, new hair growth has begun and the hair appears fuller and healthier. As stated earlier, you should wait, sometimes up to a year, in order to make a determination on whether Propecia works for you. If you find no change in your hair after one year, check with your doctor, but you may just be one of the men that Propecia does not help. If you are bald but not through the process of male pattern baldness, Propecia may not be for you.
Propecia does have some potential side effects and those should be considered carefully. There have been reports of lower sex drive. This could be a problem if the reason you want to keep your hair is to be more attractive to the opposite sex. Other sexual related problems such as problems with ejaculation. It may also increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. It may cause depression, anxiety and in some cases breast tissue enlargement. You should certainly discuss your medical history with your doctor if you are considering starting Propecia, and he will ask you some medical history questions to see if you are a good candidate for this product.
There is one other thing to note. Check with your insurance company as some insurance policies may not cover the lower dose of Finasteride that is in Propecia, while they may cover the higher dose of Finasteride that is prescribed for reduction of the prostate gland. Check to make sure they will make the same lifetime commitment to the product that you will have to make.
General Practitioner. I worked in hospitals in Melbourne and Sydney.