Propecia Finasteride (Merck Branded)
Propecia was developed as a hair loss product to treat mild to moderate male pattern hair loss in MEN ONLY.
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In the first year of the study, 86% (584 of 679) of the men on Propecia, the hair loss product, maintained hair or increased the number of visible hairs vs 42% (282 of 672) of the men on placebo.
Simply put, all men who took the placebo (sugar pill) lost hair by the end of the 5-year study.
On the other hand, most men (2 of 3) on Propecia gained hair at the end of the 5-year study.
9 of 10 patients who took Propecia finasteride had visible results (maintenance or improvement) according to photographic assessments by an independent panel of dermatologists.
An expert panel of dermatologists determined that 90% (251 of 279) of men who took Propecia at 5 years had improvement or no visible hair loss v's 25% (4 out of 16) who took placebo (sugar pill).
If you have male pattern hair loss, the sooner you get started on Propecia, the more hair you may have later. In fact, the hair loss product, in the longest reported controlled study of male pattern hair loss ever conducted, men who were treated with a placebo (sugar pill) and then switched to Propecia 1 year later never caught up to the men who took Propecia for the full 5 years.
Take Propecia daily and you could see results in as little as 3 months. If you stop taking Propecia, however, your results will gradually go away over 12 months. And if it hasn’t worked in 12 months, further treatment is unlikely to be of benefit.
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Listed below are common questions and answers designed to provide first time guidance regarding the hair loss drug.
- What is it?
- How does it work?
- How long will I have to take it for?
- When should I start taking it?
- What are the side effects?
- Can I get it on the NHS?
Propecia (finasteride) is for use by men only, to treat male pattern hair loss by increasing hair growth on the scalp and preventing further hair loss.
Propecia works in the scalp affecting the conversion of testosterone to DHT, a chemical naturally occurring in the male scalp. When the level of DHT goes above a certain level some of the hair follicles in the scalp will hibernate and the hair will fall out.
Propecia v inhibits the production of DHT which in most men will bring the level below the hair growth threshold. As long as the patient is taking the Propecia pill, the level will remain reduced and the hair loss will be reduced or stopped. In some cases some of the hairs will even grow back out.
Male pattern hair loss is a condition that develops over a long period of time. Because it takes time for new hair to grow, you will not see immediate results. In general, daily use for 3 months or more may be necessary before you notice increased hair growth or prevention of further loss. Continue taking the Propecia pill for as long as your doctor prescribes.
The sooner you start taking Propecia the better it will help prevent any further hair loss. The treatment with the Propecia pill must be continuous meaning that when you stop taking Propecia you will lose the hairs that Propecia helped you keep.
All medicines can have side effects. Propecia helps most men with male pattern hair loss, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few men. Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following.
- difficulty in achieving an erection
- less desire for sex
- decreased amount of semen released during sex (this decrease does not appear to interfere with normal sexual function)
- breast swelling and/or tenderness
- skin rash, itchiness, hives or nettle rash (pinkish, itchy swellings on the skin)
- testicle pain
- swelling of the lips or face
No. The cost of this drug is more than the NHS can reasonably be expected to fund. As hair loss is not life threatening and the treatment of male pattern baldness considered to be cosmetic NHS doctor's will not prescribe Propecia on the National Health Service budget.