Male pattern hair loss has been a chief concern for many years. In order to counter this problem successfully, Merck & Co. developed Propecia; it has been approved for consumption by the FDA to work as an effective defense against male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia), increase hair re-growth as well as prevent further hair loss. This drug has not been approved for use in women.
Propeciais available as a 1mg finasteride pill and it is the only prescription pill that treats male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). Finasteride, the active ingredient in this drug, acts on the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This medication helps prevent further hair loss, increases hair growth, as well as blocks the formation of DHT (the male hormone responsible for hair loss); this gives the hair follicles a chance to recover and re-grow.
It has been shown in clinical studies to grow hair in roughly 50% of the men after one year and in 66% of the men after two years as well as prevent further hair loss in about 86% of the men.
Working of Propecia
Propecia finasteride belongs to a group of medicines called 5 alpha reductase inhibitors. It works by blocking the enzyme, Type II 5 alpha-reductase; in doing so it reduces the level of the hormone in the scalp which reduces the hair growth cycle and allows hairs to revert to their normal growth cycle. As a result, it effectively stops further hair loss and increases new hair growth in men suffering from male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). You can see results with this drug, if it is used for 3-6 months continuously; sometimes it may even take longer. Also you must remember that the positive effects of finasteride are reversed within 6-12 months of discontinuing the treatment; so continuous use is recommended to sustain the benefits.
Who should not take Propecia?
Propecia finasteride should not be taken by:
- People who have not been prescribed this medication by their doctors
- Pregnant women should refrain from using this medication as finasteride can cause abnormalities in the male foetus; women who are or may be pregnant should not touch broken or crushed finasteride tablets
- Breast feeding women should not use this drug as it is not known whether finasteride passes into breast milk
- Children and adolescents; it is not recommended for use in this age group
- People who are allergic to the ingredients in Propecia
- Men who are already taking ‘Proscar’ (finasteride 5mg) or any other 5a-reductase inhibitor drug
What are the dosages of Propecia?
Propecia 1mg is a tan octagonal tablet that is indicated for use in men only. Finasteride is available in a pill form and must be ingested orally. Propecia dosage is usually taken once a day with or without food. You must take your Propecia dosage around the same time each day exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of your Propecia dosage or take it more often than prescribed. Continue to take it even if you feel well. Do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor. Increasing your Propecia dosage could cause side effects and lowering dose would make the medication less effective.