Propecia, also known as finasteride, is a commonly used oral medication for the treatment of androgenic or male patterned hair loss. Androgenic hair loss is characterized by a loss of hair at the frontal hairline and vertex of the male scalp. This hair loss will be progressive over time and may result in a loss or thinning of hair.
Androgenic alopecia is secondary to the hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is created by the body and can cause thick hairs on the scalp to slowly shrink and eventually disappear.
How Propecia Helps Prevent Androgenic Hair Loss
Androgenic hair loss is secondary to the hormone dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is created from testosterone by the enzyme 5 alpha reductase. Propecia prevents 5 alpha-reductase from working; therefore preventing the production of dihydrotestosterone.
When to Expect Improvement with Propecia
Patients will typically see an improvement in the thickness and density of their hair after taking Propecia for 3 months. This improvement will continue for up to a year. Patients will experience the improved thickness and density of hair while they continue taking Propecia. If the patient decides to stop taking Propecia, the results will slowly be lost over a 6- to 12-month timeframe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why should I get my finasteride from Carolina Facial Plastics?
A: While generic finasteride is good, we believe the finasteride we prescribe yields better results for hair growth. We prescribe a custom-made tablet that combines 1.25mg of finasteride with other hair-stimulating factors that include:
- Saw Palmetto
- Horsetail Extract
- Nettle Leaf
- Poria Cocos
This combination not only reduces dihydrotestosterone, it also improves circulation, reduces inflammation, and is more cost-effective than plain finasteride.
Q. Who is not a good candidate for Propecia?
A: Propecia should not be taken by females. Males who live with females of childbearing age or females considering getting pregnant should not take Propecia as it may cause a birth defect. Propecia will lower laboratory tests called the PSA test, which is a test used to detect prostate cancer. Men over 49 should get a PSA test before starting Propecia. If you are not a candidate for Propecia, we recommend looking into Neograft as an alternative hair restoration option.
Q. Are There Side Effects?
All medications have potential side effects. The side effects of Propecia are unlikely, but they may occur. Side effects of Propecia may include:
- Loss of libido
- Difficulty ejaculating
- Runny nose
These side effects are less likely to occur in smaller doses. At Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, we recommend that patients take no more than 1.25 mg of Propecia a day. The rate of any of these side effects is around 2%. fda.gov provides more information about potential side effects. If a patient experienced a side effect, they would stop the medication, and the side effect would likely resolve.
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Propecia for Hair Loss
At Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, we are dedicated solely to the treatment of the face and hair. During a consultation, you will have a full examination of your hair and get a full medical history to see if you’re a good candidate to start finasteride/Propecia to maintain the hair. To schedule a consultation, please contact us.