Finasteride, the name under which generic Propecia is sold, is now licensed for sale in pharmacies. This drug is available in one strength: 1 mg. It is important to keep in mind that although finasteride 5 mg tablets are currently available, this dosage is actually the generic version of a different medication that does not treat hair loss.
Generic Propecia: An Overview
Propecia® (finasteride) is a prescription medication that has been licensed to treat male pattern baldness. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), thereby decreasing the amount of DHT in the body. Since DHT is important for male pattern baldness, using Propecia to decrease levels can help to stop hair loss and regrow hair.
Propecia was originally developed by Merck & Co., Inc. It has since come off-patent, and a generic version is now available in pharmacies.
Generic Propecia is sold under the name finasteride and is available in one strength -- finasteride 1 mg tablets. Finasteride 5 mg tablets are also available, but this strength is the generic version of Proscar®, a medication used for treating an enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH for short). The 5-mg strength is not the correct dose for hair loss treatment.
Who Makes Generic Propecia?
The first generic version of Propecia was made by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc., a manufacturer that was given a 180-day exclusivity period (starting in January 2013) during which it was the only manufacturer allowed to sell a generic version of Propecia. After that six-month exclusivity period, other generic manufacturers have been allowed to enter the market.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed January 16, 2013.
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