A Prescription Treatment to Male-Pattern Baldness
Despite how many “solutions” are marketed to treat hair loss in men, only two drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. One of these drugs is Propecia, or its generic name Finasteride. Although the pill works, there are some drawbacks and side effects to using it to treat hair loss.
What Is Propecia?
Originally, it’s active ingredient Finasteride was developed to treat enlarged prostates or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) under a product called Proscar. Once it gained FDA approval in 1997, Finasteride began to be used to treat hair loss in men under the name Propecia. This drug falls under the class of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5-ARI). It is the only drug in the 5-ARI category that is approved to treat male-pattern hair loss.
How It Works:
Baldness can be caused by a variety of factors, from stress to genetics. When an enzyme called 5-a-reductase (5-a-R) changes testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the newly formed DHT will bind to follicles sensitive to the enzyme. This binding then results in the follicles producing thinner and shorter hairs until the follicles completely stop making hair.
Propecia helps to stop the change of testosterone into DHT, which then slows the loss of hair. To see results, it will take three or more months of consistently taking the pill.
Just like most medications, there are reported side effects of using Propecia. The most common side effects that have been reported include a decreased sex drive, trouble getting or maintaining an erection, and a decrease in the amount of semen produced. Other side effects reported from taking Propecia include:
- Breast tenderness and enlargement
- Allergic reactions (Rashes, itching, hives, or swollen lips, tongue, throat, and face)
- Pain in testicles
- Prostate Cancer
- Male Breast Cancer (In rare cases)
- Decrease in sex drive and problems with ejaculation that continued after stopping Propecia
Any results attained from taking the medication are not permanent. If a patient stops taking the drug, hair loss will begin once again within 12 months.
Although Propecia is effective, it is not a permanent solution to male hair loss. In addition to several side effects, the results will only last for as long as a patient is taking the medication. When looking for more permanent solutions, patients should consider hair restoration surgery instead. At Robotic Hair Rx, we offer the most advanced methods that deliver results that will last. In addition, thanks to our ARTAS iX robot, there are minimal side effects and minimal recovery time. Contact us today to find out how you can begin your hair journey!