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Finasteride (Propecia®)

Propecia® (finasteride) is an oral medication used for the treatment of male hair loss. It is available by prescription only.

Propecia® may halt or reduce hair loss on the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area (middle front of the head).

What are the clinical uses of Propecia®?

Propecia® is often prescribed to men who are beginning to experience male pattern hair loss. Clinical studies of men who took Propecia® regularly for two years found that more than 95% had visible results of either new hair growth or no additional hair loss.

How does Propecia® work?

Male pattern hair loss is associated with the production of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp. DHT shrinks hair follicles until there are fewer visible hairs left on the scalp. Propecia® works by inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase enzyme that helps make DHT, which reduces the levels of DHT in the scalp.

How is Propecia® taken?

Propecia® is an oral medication to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day.

Propecia® is for the treatment of male pattern hair loss in men only and should not be used by women or children.

You may need to take Propecia® daily for 3 months or more before you see a any benefit. If Propecia® has not worked for you within 12 months, further treatment is unlikely to be helpful.

Propecia® can only work over the long term if you continue taking it. If you stop taking Propecia®, you will likely lose any hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment.

Take Propecia® exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

What are the possible side effects from Propecia®?

Read the medication guide that you receive with the medication for a complete list of possible side effects.

Speak with your doctor if you are concerned about possible side effects that you may be experiencing.


Reference: National Library of Medicine