Propecia and Hair LossPropecia is a relatively new drug that has been developed for the treatment of Male Pattern Baldness (Propecia is not intended for women, and will not assist the arrest of female hair loss). The company that manufactures Propecia, Merck, suggests that it targets hair loss primarily on the top of the head (the middle front, and the top of the head). There are no claims that Propecia can assist in preventing hair loss from the temples which is where many males first notice signs of hair loss so if you are considering this product, be aware of the specific areas that Propecia targets (there is no evidence to suggest that Propecia encourages hair growth in any other areas on the body either).
The active ingredient in Propecia is Finasteride, which effectively blocks the formation of DHT thus reducing hair loss as a result of DHT. You should expect to take a course of Propecia for anything up to one year to know for sure if the product is working for you. Although Propecia claims to work from ‘Day 1’ in lowering DHT levels in your system, it will nevertheless take something from 9 months to one year to adequately judge if you are benefiting from Propecia. If there are no noticeable improvements within that time, continued use of Propecia is considered futile. If you stop taking Propecia, you will gradually lose any hair that you have gained within 12 months of stopping the Propecia program – in addition to normal hair loss resuming.
There have been numerous medical trials with Propecia to determine it’s effect on baldness, and generally it is accepted that Propecia has a positive effect on arresting hair loss in a majority of men. Obviously Propecia is not suitable for everybody, and results will vary depending on the degree of hair loss and the individual concerned. Propecia, irrespective of claims, will not grow all your hair back, and you should not have any higher expectations of the product other than to possibly arrest the hair loss that you have at the moment. In some cases it has been reported that hair growth in bald areas has resulted, but this is not the case with all users of Propecia. Bear in mind, should you undertake a course of Propecia, that it will take some time to see results therefore you need to be prepared to take one Propecia tablet every day for up to a year and beyond. On a side note, taking more tablets than the daily dose does absolutely nothing to speed the process up.
On the down side, like with all medication, there is the possibility that a course of Propecia may induce side effects. While the percentage of Propecia patients that suffer side effects has been reported at less than 2%, as seems to be the way with men, these side effects target the sex drive (creating a lack of), causing erection problems, and reducing the amount of semen produced. Again, this is in a small minority of men, but it’s always safer to consult your medical professional before undertaking any kind of medication. Propecia has also been known to affect the prostate cancer blood test, PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen). If you are taking Propecia and intend to have one of these tests, or have had one while using Propecia, then you should consult your doctor.