Propecia is a prescription drug used for the treatment of male-pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). It is the only oral prescription medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for this purpose.
Although baldness affects the majority of older men in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved just two drug treatments, Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil). Propecia and its generic versions are the only oral prescription drugs approved for the treatment of male-pattern baldness. Rogaine is a topically applied, over-the-counter treatment. You can also buy Propecia online with cash on delivery.
Coincidentally, both treatments for hair loss were originally developed for other conditions. The active ingredient in Rogaine was initially developed to treat high blood pressure, while the active ingredient in Propecia was first used to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a product marketed as Proscar.
What Is Propecia?
Propecia (finasteride) is part of a class of drugs known as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs). It is approved only for use in men because it can cause ambiguous genitalia in developing male fetuses.
Drugs in the 5-ARI class include finasteride, marketed under the brand names Proscar (5 mg) and Propecia (1 mg); and dutasteride, marketed as Avodart and Jalyn (in combination with tamsulosin).
Proscar, Avodart, and Jalyn are approved to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Proscar and Avodart are also approved to reduce the risk of urinary retention or the need for BPH-related surgery.
Propecia is the only 5-ARI approved to treat male-pattern hair loss. Dutasteride is not formally approved for treating hair loss, but it may be used off-label for this purpose. If you find any difficulty in getting Propecia, you can purchase Propecia online.
How does it work?
Baldness is caused when an enzyme changes testosterone into something called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The enzyme that transforms testosterone into DHT is known as 5-α-reductase (5-α-R). DHT, in turn, affects some hair follicles that are sensitive to the enzyme, binding to the follicles and causing them to shrink and produce thinner shorter hairs. Eventually, the follicles will stop hair production entirely.
Propecia (finasteride) stops the production of DHT in the body and helps slow hair loss in about 88 percent of men who take the drug, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
The drug’s label instructs users to take one 1 milligram tablet once daily, with or without meals.
Within 24 hours of taking a dose of Propecia, the concentration of DHT drops by 65 percent. The full effects of daily Propecia use can take three months or more to appear. Stopping treatment leads to reversal of effect within 12 months, according to the label.
How Long Does it Take for Finasteride to Work?
Finasteride starts to work on the scalp straight away, but it takes at least 3 months before you will see any noticeable effects. Initially, some men will find that their hair is falling out at a faster rate. This is a positive sign that finasteride is working, as the older hairs are making way for newer and stronger strands of hair. After 6 months, most men will find that their hair is growing back thicker and stronger, and less hair is falling out.
It is important to take finasteride continuously, as breaks in your treatment can have a negative impact on the effectiveness of the drug. You should measure the response of finasteride after one year of consistent use. Most men will find that finasteride has helped in growing new hair, or been successful in preventing further hair loss. If you have not seen any benefits after 12 months of using finasteride, you should discontinue treatment.
What Happens If I Stop Taking Finasteride?
If you stop taking finasteride, the natural balding process will resume. This means that you will lose any hair that has been regrown as a result of finasteride. The half-life of finasteride is 4-7 hours, which means that the dose drops by 50% within this time frame after you have taken it. Because it is eliminated from the body at a rapid rate, it is important to continue to take finasteride. A continuous dosing regimen allows a sufficient amount of finasteride to be sustained in your body in order for it to work. Once you stop taking it, testosterone will convert to DHT, which will begin to shrink the hair follicles again.
What Does the Science Say?
A clinical trial carried out over a five-year period on over 1800 men, has proven that taking finasteride 1mg once a day, slowed and reversed balding in more than 90% of men.
A separate scientific study conducted over two years on 1,500 men, demonstrated that 83% of men taking finasteride for two years, experienced an increase in hair growth, a complete halt to hair loss, or both.
Research has also proven finasteride to be more effective than Regaine (minoxidil 5%), in treating male pattern baldness.
So, Does Finasteride Actually Work?
Finasteride does work if you take it continuously. Scientific research and evidence point to finasteride as the most effective treatment for hair loss in males. However, whilst finasteride works for most men, it may not necessarily work for everyone. It is unlikely to work in those that are completely bald or have very little hair left, or those suffering from hair loss that is not attributed to male pattern baldness (such as alopecia).