Question – Does Propecia Work?

by:

UK

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) gave its answer to the question “Does Propecia Work? when it gave approval to Merck & Co. to market this drug back in 1998.

For any drug to receive FDA approval, years of tests are involved and a huge investment of time and resources on the part of the pharmaceutical companies involved.

In the case of Propecia pills, over 1,500 men were involved in a two-year study. The results showed that over 80% noticed an improvement in their hair growth and density. So the answer to the question “Does Propecia work?” is: Yes, in the majority of cases.

Obviously, results differ on an individual basis and some men will experience better results than others. The drug needs to be taken daily for at least 2-3 months before making a final decision as to whether it is worth continuing.

Bear in mind that once you start taking Propecia you have committed yourself to a lifelong course of medication. Stop taking Propecia after hair has started to increase and you risk losing what you gained.

Just how does Propecia work?

The male hormone testosterone is involved. It is a contributing factor in the production of DHT, (Dihydrotestosterone) which can cause hair follicles to malfunction and shut down. Propecia blocks the process in which DHT is formed.

Each Propecia tablet contains 1mg of Finasteride, a drug originally used to combat prostate cancer in men over 50. It was prescribed in 5mg doses. It was noted that those who used this drug often experienced increased hair growth. Propecia is just the brand name of a different version of Finasteride specifically prescribed to combat male hair loss on the crown of the head or the mid-scalp area.

Does Propecia work for women too?

No. Precautions issued with the drug stress that this medication is for men only.

Additionally, although each tablet is coated pregnant women or women who think they might be pregnant are advised not to handle this medication. Contact with crushed or broken Propecia tablets can lead to deformities in the sex organs of male children.

Does Propecia work for all kinds of hair loss?

No. The drug is effective for hair loss on the crown of the head and mid-scalp. There is insufficient evidence to suggest it can help a receding hairline or loss of hair on the sides of the head.

From comments on user forums to do with hair loss, it is evident that Propecia does work for many men. However, there are serious precautionary factors to consider:

  1. This is a lifelong commitment which can be quite costly. Additionally, the long-term effects over decades of use are at this point impossible to predict.
  2. A small percentage of men (around 3%) experienced various forms of sexual dysfunction including impotence, once they started taking Propecia. These effects quickly disappeared once the medication was stopped. In the clinical trials, it is true that around 2% of the men using the placebo, a sugar tablet, also experienced forms of sexual dysfunction. So the number of men actually affected is quite small. However, it is important to be aware of these side effects.

Regretfully there is no ideal solution for hair loss at this time. However, there are a variety of choices available in combating hair loss. Prescription drugs such as Propecia are one option. Natural herbal remedies without side effects are another. See the resource box.

In conclusion: Does Propecia work? Yes, in the majority of cases from all the clinical evidence and user feedback available. Are you prepared for the possible implications of long-term use? That is something you have to seriously consider.

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