Propecia (Finasteride) Treatments

male hair loss

What Is Propecia?

Over 20 years ago a drug by the name of Proscar was approved for prevention of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH). Its active ingredient was 5mg of Finasteride, and it was taken once daily by men over 60. Finasteride was shown to inhibit the formation of the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is known to help in the formation of Prostate Cancer. Dihydrotestosterone is also known to be the cause of male hair loss.

Merck Pharmaceuticals sought to find the smallest effective quantity of finasteride and test its long-term effects on 1,553 men between ages 18 and 41 with mild to moderate thinning hair. Based on their research, 1mg daily was selected, and after 2 years of daily treatment, over 83% of the 1,553 men experiencing male hair loss had actually maintained or increased their hair count from baseline. Visual assessments concluded that over 80% had improved appearances.

Finasteride (Proscar) 5mg was split into fifths and packaged as a 1mg daily treatment for hair loss. It was named ‘Propecia’. Propecia is the newest clinically proven prescription treatment on the market for men experiencing hair loss. Propecia also has the longest, most successful run of any hair loss treatment to have undergone FDA trials.

Diagram showing response to Propecia as compared to placeboWho is Propecia Suitable For?

Propecia is only approved for use in Men over the age of 18.

What is Propecia Used For?

Propecia’s main purpose is to stop hair loss from progressing, and to maintain what hair one has left, whilst also increasing ones hair count. In clinical trials, Propecia alone increased hair count in over 60% of men, 42% of whom had noticeable improvement. We have found that these results are significantly improved with the combination of Propecia and Minoxidil . Propecia is generally used by younger men to halt the progression of hair loss and is phenomenally good at accomplishing this goal.

Propecia’s Method of Action

When taken, Propecia works to inhibit the formation of DHT within the system. Within a few months of using Propecia the overall DHT levels will have remained low enough on a constant basis that the adverse effects DHT is having on the follicles will probably stop, resulting in a cessation of hair loss.*

What is in Propecia?

Propecia contains 1mg of Finasteride, a systemic DHT inhibitor which has been used for over 20 years at five times the dosage (in the form of Proscar) to help treat men with Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH).

What are the Possible Side Effects of Propecia?

Like all prescription products, Propecia may cause side effects. In clinical studies, side effects from Propecia were uncommon and did not affect most men. A small number of men using Propecia experienced certain minor sexual side effects. These men reported one or more of the following whilst taking Propecia: less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection and a decrease in the amount of semen. Each of these side effects occurred in less than 2% of men taking Propecia. The side effects went away in men who stopped taking Propecia. They also disappeared in most men who continued taking Propecia.

The following have been reported from general use of Propecia: allergic reactions including rash, itching, hives and swelling of the lips and face; problems with ejaculation, breast tenderness and enlargement and testicular pain.

If any of these side effects occur, Stop taking Propecia and inform the General Practitioner who prescribed it to you.

It is important that those with liver function problems consult a physician prior to taking Propecia, as it is extensively metabolised in the liver.

Propecia can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done, you should tell your doctor that you are taking Propecia.

If you are looking to start a family, cease usage of Propecia one week before conception, this will assure that all traces of Propecia are out of your system. Studies in America have found that the daily intake of Propecia will not affect foetal production adversely but we always advise a 1 week gap for safety.

How to Use Propecia

Propecia should be administered at 1mg daily in pill form, with no exceptions. Many people talk about custom dosing, skipping days, doubling up, etc. Taking Propecia in this way will not only do nothing to help your hair loss, but will also do your system more harm than good. Hormones are very delicate and operate in conjunction with each other. Therefore a constant daily dose of Propecia will ensure a stable hormonal environment and keep your biology in harmony.

As the increased sebum production, inflammation, and irritation caused by the balding process can limit the effectiveness of any treatment, we recommend patients use Universal Clinic’s specially formulated shampoos in conjunction with Propecia.