is the world's first proven hair loss treatment in a pill. Approved
for sale by the FDA in 1996, Propecia helps eliminate DHT, the
root cause of Androgenic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness.
DHT or Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone produced in the body
from Testosterone and has been shown to induce hair loss by
causing the hair follicle to miniaturize until it no longer
produces terminal hair.
Propecia is a tablet that
contains 1mg of Finasteride. It is taken once daily and causes
body to stop producing DHT. Originally developed as a treatment
for shrinking an enlarged prostate (BPH) under the name Proscar,
Finasteride's ability to regrow hair was noticed by doctors
and was developed as a treatment for Androgenic Alopecia.
Finasteride is a potent inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase, the
enzyme in many tissues that converts Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone
(DHT). The androgens Testosterone and DHT control the development
and function of the prostate gland and are believed to play
a role in causing Androgenic Alopecia, commonly referred to
as Male Pattern Baldness. Scientists have discovered
men and women who are genetically predisposed to Androgenic
Alopecia have a greater number of androgen receptor sites in
follicles taken from the balding areas of their scalp. The suggests
that the reason why the DHT affects these follicles is that
they allow a greater amount of DHT to bind to the cells of the
follicle. There is additional evidence to corroborate this and
research shows that men who suffer from Androgenic Alopecia
have higher levels of DHT in their scalp tissue.
other studies scientists have demonstrated the effects of DHT
on these follicles by taking follicles in a test tube and exposing
them to DHT. At certain levels it was shown that the follicles
growth was severely adversely affected by the DHT. It is believed
that the DHTs effects on the follicles over time causes them
to miniaturize and produce finer and shorter hair until they
stop producing hair altogether. So by preventing the DHT from
being created, it allows the follicles to grow unaffected by
In a two-year clinical study with 1,553 men ages 18-41,
83% of them were able to maintain their existing hair after
2 years, and 66% of them experienced regrowth. Since Propecia
doesn't directly stimulate hair growth by acting on the follicle,
it may be necessary to additionally use Rogaine if you have
more severe hair loss. In men who have just started to lose
hair or have recent hair loss, Propecia can have excellent results.
Propecia does have to be used everyday to maintain the results
and to prevent further hair loss.
Clinical Studies Results
Propecia and Rogaine
While Propecia may be sufficient for some men with mild
to moderate hair loss. Men who have severe hair loss will benefit
by using Rogaine in addition to Propecia. There is no medical
reason why you should not use these two drugs together, and
in some clinical studies the best results that have been obtained
have been with a combination of Propecia and Rogaine.
Propecia is not approved for use by women. The main reason
is that there is a risk of birth defects if a pregnant woman
uses Propecia. However in post menopausal women there appears
to be no risk using Propecia and some doctors will prescribe
it. Women should consult with their physician as there are other
Anti-Androgenic drugs like Spironolactone that can be safely
used by women.
At this time there are no generic equivalents available
in the USA. However some men buy Proscar, a 5mg version of the
same drug, and divide
it into quarters. This reduces the cost slightly but its recommenced
to discuss this with a physician since Proscar is intended to
treat the prostate and like Propecia requires a prescription.
However there are no known problems with this method if the
pieces are equal to the 1mg dose a person would be getting from
Propecia acts on the hormones, side effects can occur such as
a lowering of libido and decreased amounts of seminal fluid.
It is belied that about 3-5% of men will experience these side
effects. Some men also complain of a tenderness in the breast
tissue or testicular aches. If you are experiencing any of these
side effects you should see your physician. Generally speaking
side effects usually resolve themselves after a few weeks after
the body readjusts to the change in hormonal levels. Some men
experience positive side effects like an increase in strength
as a results of the slight increase in Testosterone.
is a still relatively unknown phenomena but a small percentage
of men seem to react negatively to the effects of the Propecia.
some men this can lead to an oily skin and an increase in hair
loss. This is not normal and if you have experienced these effects
from the beginning and they do not resolve themselves after
a few weeks you should see a physician. Some men play it safe
and start with a lower dosage like a half a tablet a day until
their body adjusts to the Propecia. This approach should be
discussed with the physician who prescribed the Propecia.
is a term given to an excessive amount of hair being lost at once.
While this is a very unpleasant experience, it is actually a very
good sign and indication that the Propecia is working. Shedding
occurs when many follicles are put back into the growth cycle
at the same time. When a hair enters the anagen or growth phase
the first thing that happens is the old
hair is pushed out by the new hair that is starting to grow. Shedding
usually occurs after
about 12 weeks of treatment and lasts for around 4-6 weeks.
this initial shedding phase has occurred most men experience fewer
and fewer of these and most often they go largely unnoticed. If
you are going though a shed phase do not panic as it will most
likely slow down and stop after a few weeks. If you experienced
an increased amount of hair loss almost immediately after taking
Propecia it is likely that you are experiencing a hypoandrogenic
effect and not a shed. If this is that case then you should see
a physician about possibly discontinuing the drug.