Propecia (finasteride) is a 5a-reductase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in men only. Propecia is available in generic form.
Finasteride 1mg (widely branded as Propecia) is the only FDA-approved oral treatment for hair loss. It’s taken once per day and clinical trials have shown it promotes hair growth in about 66% of individuals after two years of treatment.
Approximately 83% of individuals on the treatment maintain their existing hair after two years as well.
It is indeed a blessing to most men because of its positive performance.
Avoid self medication. Make sure you consult a physician before following any of these information. This is not a medical advice and Lyonsmens won’t be held responsible for any misuse of any information within.
HOW IT WORKS
Finasteride works by blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone to DHT, therefore causing a significant drop in both scalp and blood levels of DHT. Finasteride (1mg/day) is proven to decrease serum DHT levels by almost 70%.
Most individuals experience increased shedding of hair during the first 6 months of treatment. This is an obvious indication that the medication is working. Therefore, it is advisable not stop taking the medication if your hair starts falling off during use.
Typically, changes/effects start taking place after a year of loyal intake of the drug.
HOW TO TAKE FINASTERIDE AND DOSAGE
Generally, the known starting dose of Finasteride for the treatment of hair loss is 1mg per day, which is usually taken orally. It can be taken any time of the day, with or without food.
It is advisable to take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not attempt to overdose or extend the period of use.
Ensure you read the drug’s patient information leaflet to understand the basics such as its contents, established side effects, overdose repercussions and other important information.
Be aware that it may take at least 3 months to see an effect. The medicine will not cure hair loss, but it will cause scalp hair to grow. The hair growth will only last as long as the medicine is used. The new hair will be lost within 1 year after the medicine is stopped.
Side effects from Finasteride at the 1mg dose are uncommon, but they can still occur if the patient is susceptible. Here are side effects that may come up during the use of Finasteride:
- Gynecomastia (male breast tissue growth)
- Cases of sexual dysfunction (these cases were reversed by individuals that discontinued therapy).
- loss of interest in sex
- trouble having an orgasm
- abnormal ejaculation
- swelling in your hands or feet
- runny nose, or
- skin rash.
It should be noted that the sexual side effects of Propecia may persist even after stoping therapy.
I JUST DISCONTINUED THERAPY, WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
When Finasteride is discontinued, only the hair that had been gained or preserved by the medication is lost. In fact, the individual returns to the level of balding where he would have been had he never used the drug in the first place. It is that simple.
The following precautions should be taken before and during finasteride therapy:
- It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it.
- Ensure you carryout blood tests in order to check for unwanted effects.
- This medicine is not to be administered to women and children.
- Finasteride can be absorbed through the skin and cause birth defects in male babies. Thus, If a woman does come in contact with this medicine, the affected area should be washed right away with soap and water.
- This medicine will not prevent prostate cancer but may increase your risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. Tell your doctor if you have concerns about this risk.
- Also, this medicine may affect the results of the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, which may be used to detect prostate cancer. Make sure you tell all of your doctors that you are using this medicine.
- Finasteride may cause a decrease in the amount of semen you ejaculate during sex. (Note that this will not affect your sperm count or your ability to have children in the future.)
Q: What is male pattern baldness?
A: Pattern baldness is a common condition that can cause men to experience loss of hair. It usually starts with a receding hairline or balding around the crown of the head. The condition can start around the age of 21 and is believed to be related to the excess of male hormones produced by the body.
Q: Do I have to use it continuously?
A: The drug only works when it is taken without breaks. If the drug is stopped being taken by the individual, the effects received whilst taking the drug will be lost within 6-9 months. This means the hair will return to the same density it was before taking the drug.
Q: How long do I take the drug before it takes effect?
A: Typically, results shows between 3-9 months after first ingesting the drug. Ultimate results occur around the one year mark.
Q: When do I have to start taking the drug?
A: With Propecia, the earlier you start taking it the better. When the balding of hair begins to show, start taking the drug immediately, if prescribed to you by your certified physician. It is not good to self medicate.