What is Propecia (Finasteride), and how can it help with hair loss?

By LuisWert

Finasteride was initially developed to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition that causes an increase in the prostate gland. In the early 1990s, the drug was tested for these purposes with a 5mg dose. Unexpected benefits were discovered for hair retention and stimulation. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approved the 5 mg dose for prostate treatment. It was marketed by Merck, a pharmaceutical giant. A 1 mg dosage for hair loss was developed and launched on the market under the name Propecia. On 22 December 1997, Finasteride was officially approved by the FDA. This is the first clinically proven systemic treatment to treat male pattern baldness. The FDA approved Finasteride as a pharmaceutical treatment that could be used to stop, reverse or slow down the progression of male pattern baldness.

Finasteride is only available with a doctor’s recommendation. It prevents hair loss by chemically inhibiting the metabolism of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Finasteride targets and inhibits type II 5-alpha reductase, which is one of the enzymes that can facilitate this conversion. Finasteride reduces DHT levels in the scalp, and other tissues in the body by interfering with the process. DHT can be either avoided or delayed because of its detrimental effects on hair and follicle health.

Clinical studies show that between 2/3 and 80% of men who are given Finasteride 1 mg daily report some improvement. The results can range from reducing the rate of balding to stopping hair loss or stimulating new growth around crown and top of head. However, there has not been much success around the temples. Stopping the treatment will cause hair loss to slowly resume and within 12 months all benefits of Buy Finasteride in Canada will be lost. Advanced cases of hair loss are unlikely to receive any benefits. This treatment is most beneficial for younger men with hair that they want to keep and who are willing to commit to a long-term commitment.

A small number of Finasteride-treated men experienced side effects during their trials. These included: abdominal pain, back pain and decreased libido, dizziness, impotence and rash. These side effects disappeared after discontinuing treatment. Side effects were reduced or eliminated for many of the men who continued to take Finasteride. Finasteride should be avoided by women who are pregnant or might become pregnant. There is a chance that Finasteride may cause birth defects in a male foetus. Finasteride can interfere with prostate cancer results and should be discussed by men who are using it. Because Finasteride can be found in blood, it is prohibited in many sports.

Finasteride is approved by the FDA and has enjoyed a lot of popularity due to its ease-of-use approach to hair loss. Consumers will be happy to know that generic Finasteride alternatives have begun to drop in price after Merck’s patents on Proscar (and Propecia) expired in June 2006. A 90-day supply of 5 mg tablets can be divided into quarters using a pill cutter. The cost of a daily dose of the drug is now $116 (generic) and $409 (branded). If consumers are willing to shop around, the price of a daily dose will drop to one dollar per day.