Propecia - Hair Loss & Hair Transplant Surgery Guide

Propecia is a relatively new drug that has appeared over the last decade or so and is used to prevent hair loss. Its generic name is Finasteride and males who suffer from this condition are given a prescription, which they will have to consistently take to battle hair loss. It is mainly used to treat male pattern hair loss and it is not recommended for women and children. In fact, it can have quite detrimental effects if women or children consume it, especially if the woman is pregnant.

It is a very active drug that was first used to treat enlarged prostrates in men but it was found to have a significant effect on preventing hair loss. Doses are given in 1mg amounts and the drug is taken in the form of an oral tablet. This tablet is coated in a protective layer as the drug Finasteride can actually be absorbed relatively easily through the skin. It aims to inhibit certain pathways that convert testosterone into a form, which affects the follicles on your head and cause your hair growth cycle to change. It combats the gradual thinning of hair and prevents its loss. It has also been found that in some cases, it can promote regrowth.

Approximately it takes around three months before you start to see any effect and some men do not notice a difference until up to a year of taking the drug. Therefore it needs to be taken in the long term to ensure that there is some success. When Propecia works effectively, you will notice that you have stopped losing hair and that in some places, hair is regrowing. However, some men do not experience any change at all and if you have been using the drug for over a year in this case, you will probably not gain any improvement at all. It has been found that once you stop taking Propecia, then within twelve months your hair may start falling out again. This means that if you want to maintain hair regrowth then you may have to take Propecia for a long period of time.

As with all drugs, there can be side effects and although rare, Propecia's side effects can have a big impact, as they are usually sexual. Some men experience erectile dysfunction or a decreased sex drive when using Propecia. Although less than 1% of men taking Propecia will experience these kinds of side effects, it can be a major issue for some men as it can occur. Some people are also not eligible for the drug as it could aggravate certain health risks such as people suffering from liver problems.

Propecia needs to be prescribed by a doctor to specifically treat your hair loss. If you have been given a prescription then you will have to pay a price you're your treatment as Propecia is a drug that is not funded by the NHS. Therefore once prescribed, you will have to pay for your treatment at your local pharmacy.

Is Propecia a proven treatment?

Propecia is proven in clinical trials to be a safe and effective product for treating male-pattern baldness. Clinical trials saw 90% of participants experiencing visible improvement to their condition. Of those 90%, nearly half experienced regrowth or hair and over 40% experienced no additional hair loss.

A very small number of participants experienced some slight side effects, which included reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction and a reduction in semen production. These side effects disappeared once the participants stopped taking Propecia.

Tell me more about Finasteride

Finasteride is one of only two drugs that have gained FDA approval as treatments for male-pattern baldness. It is an anti-androgen which blocks 5-alpha reductase. This is the chemical in the body that facilitates the conversion of testosterone into DHT.

Originally, Finasteride was produced for use against prostate cancer and its power to combat male-pattern baldness was only noticed as a side-effect. It was approved as a hair loss treatment initially under the brand name Proscar and then later as Propecia. Propecia contains around 1mg of Finasteride and is produced by the drug company Merck & Co. You can read more about Finasteride elsewhere on this site.

Where can I get Propecia?

Propecia is only available via private prescription. It is not available via the NHS or over the counter. You can normally expect to pay between £50 and £75 for a monthly supply of Propecia.

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