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A Guide to Propecia, the prescription hair loss drug for male pattern baldness.

A Guide to Propecia

What is Propecia used for?

Propecia (finasteride) is a drug that is prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of male pattern hair loss in men, such as hair loss on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area. Propecia is for use by men only and should not be used by women or children.

Does Propecia work?

Yes - in clinical trials, 90% of men either improved or retained their existing amount of hair. Visit the Propecia web site for more details.

How does it work?

It is thought by scientists that male pattern baldness is related to the action of a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), as men with male pattern baldness have increased levels of DHT in their scalp. DHT is thought to cause the hair follicles to shrink. Propecia is a DHT inhibitor, so it stops the shrinking of additional hair follicles, or prevents further shrinking in the hair follicles that have already been affected.

How long will it take to see the results of taking Propecia?

  • Day 1: It starts working to lower levels of Di HydroTestosterone.

  • At 3 Months: Slowing of hair loss may start to become apparent.

  • At 6 Months: At this stage you may start to see some regrowth in your hair and notice a general thickening of it.

  • At 24 Months: In clinical trials in men aged 18 to 41 with mild to moderate hair loss, over 8 out of 10 of the men in the trial maintained their current amount of hair, compared to only one in four taking the placebo. Furthermore, a panel of independent experts rated two thirds of the men as showing actual hair regrowth compared with one in four taking a placebo.

Are there any side effects?

Yes, there are side effects, but they are rare and do not affect the majority of men. Accepted side effects include:

  • Decreased sexual desire and erection difficulties. These problems affect less than 2% of men and disappear if you stop taking the drug. If you persevere with the drug, these side effects will most likely disappear eventually anyway.
  • Other side effects have been reported and include: allergic reactions, male breast tenderness, pain in your testicles and problems ejaculating. If you suffer from these or any other side effects, you should report them to your doctor and act upon his advice.