Propecia (Finasteride) is a hair loss treatment. Sometimes finasteride allows you to grow new terminal hair, but this rarely happens. The main task is to stop further baldness. This medication is taken orally every day. The drug is approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a government agency subordinate to the US Department of Health. It is one of only two drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss.
Indications for use
Propecia is used only as directed by a doctor for the following problems:
- To fix a violation of the urine outflow;
- To shrink the prostate gland in benign hyperplasia;
- To reduce the risk of acute urinary retention, which may require surgery;
- To reduce symptoms of hyperplasia.
How does it work?
Once in the bloodstream, finasteride binds to type 2 5-alpha reductase instead of testosterone, thus preventing testosterone from being converted to digital testosterone.
What is type 2 5-alpha reductase?
5-alpha reductase is a human enzyme that converts the male sex hormone testosterone into the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone and is also involved in the formation of the neurosteroids allopregnanolone and THDOC. Thus, by reducing the amount of 5-alpha reductase (through its binding to finasteride), the total amount of dihydrotestosterone decreases. Finasteride is used for this – to reduce the concentration of dihydrotestosterone in the body.
What is dihydrotestosterone?
Dihydrotestosterone is a biologically active form of testosterone, which is formed from it in the cells of target organs under the influence of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Dihydrotestosterone binds much more strongly to tissue androgen receptors than the parent compound (testosterone). Increased formation of dihydrotestosterone in hair follicles is associated with excessive body hair growth and / or “male” type of hair loss on the head in both sexes. Dihydrotestosterone performs the following functions:
- stimulates sebum secretion of the skin sebaceous glands;
- stimulates proliferation (division) of prostate cells;
- stimulates or inhibits hair on certain parts of the body;
- stimulates the growth of the genitals in men during puberty;
- has an effect on erectile function in men;
- presumably affects recovery from heavy physical exertion.
How long should I use Propecia?
As long as you are taking finasteride, it works. If you stop taking it, then the effect stops. The drug should be taken while you want to improve your hair, that is, all your life (or until a new, more effective remedy is invented).
When will I see the first results?
The first results can be revived after 6-12 months. In rare cases, the first results may appear after 3 months.
How to take it correctly?
The tablets are taken at a dosage of 1 mg per day. Some people reduce the dosage (up to 0.2-0.5 mg) to reduce the likelihood of side effects while achieving similar efficacy.
Propecia is contraindicated to women, especially during pregnancy and lactation. Pregnant women are advised to avoid contact with this medication, even if it is coated. The agent can cause abnormalities in the development of the male fetus.
There is no information about whether the active substance enters the milk. It is not recommended to use pills for men who have prostate diseases, against a background of urinary tract infections, with impaired renal function, endocrine disease and liver failure.
The drug is contraindicated for use in children under 12 years, young men under 18 years, the elderly, men with individual intolerance to the active substance.
Side effects after taking Propecia may include decreased libido, difficulty in ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, pain in the testicles, however, they rarely occur – in less than 2% of patients.
If you have any side effects, you should discontinue taking the drug and consult a doctor. In general, finasteride is a safe drug, which is officially approved for the treatment of baldness and is used by millions of men around the world.
What happens when I stop taking Propecia?
As soon as you stop taking the drug, the hair condition returns to its original appearance. Anti-androgenic alopecia drugs work only during administration; after cancellation, hair loss is restored.
Finasteride is an androgenic drug that was originally developed as an anticancer agent for the prostate gland. After numerous clinical studies, the effectiveness of the drug in the fight against hair loss in men was found. The drug prevents testosterone from being converted into a hormone that is harmful to the bulbs, which helps the growth of follicles. As a result, hair loss in men is significantly reduced.
Interaction with alcohol and foods
Alcohol consumption is the main cause of hair loss. Alcohol is not excreted from the body for a long period of time, which means it contributes to the blockage of blood vessels. Consequently, the patient’s blood flow to the head deteriorates.
For the treatment of baldness to be successful and effective, it is recommended to completely abandon the use of alcoholic beverages. When treating alopecia, it is advisable to adhere to proper nutrition. The diet should include more foods rich in calcium, iron, vitamins and minerals. The menu should include green vegetables, fruits, seaweed, dairy and legumes, foods containing gelatin, sea fish, poultry and nuts. Refrain from eating fatty, salty, fried or spicy foods. Avoid sweet pastries. Remember: if you don’t take care of your health, no one will.
Why doesn’t the drug always stop further baldness?
Finasteride inhibits type 2 5-alpha reductase, which makes up approximately 70% of the total amount of 5-alpha reductase in the body. But there is also type 1 5-alpha reductase, on which finasteride has no effect. Therefore, this enzyme continues to exist in the hair follicles. In addition, if the follicles are hypersensitive to DHT, then even a small amount will be enough to continue hair loss. It is also possible that type 1 5-alpha reductase is much more active than type 2 5-alpha reductase in a particular individual.
How effective is Propecia?
The drug has proven to be effective. This is confirmed by patient reviews and research results. The drug stops the progression of pathology, restores vegetation, increases the volume of hair, and improves it.
The remedy is effective, but you need to take pills constantly. This is the only way to save the result and prevent further progression of androgenic and other forms of alopecia.
Propecia is not intended for use in women. Pregnant women should be especially careful with finasteride and avoid contact with it due to the likelihood of birth defects in the fetus.