Propecia is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Although it is not a cure for hair loss, the medicine can help temporarily stop hair loss and regrow hair. Propecia comes in a tablet form and is available in a 1 mg strength. Potential side effects may include decreased libido, impotence, or decreased ejaculate amount.
What Is Propecia?
Propecia® (finasteride) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed for the treatment of male pattern baldness (known medically as androgenetic alopecia).
Propecia works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which decreases the amount of DHT in the body. Since DHT is important for male pattern baldness, using Propecia to decrease DHT levels can help to stop hair loss and regrow hair.
The medicine works for male pattern baldness with hair loss on the top and front of the head. It has not been shown to be effective for a receding hairline near the temples. It is also not licensed to treat hair loss in women or children.
It is not a hair loss cure. Hair loss typically returns within a year of stopping the medication.
There have been several studies looking at how well Propecia treats male pattern baldness.
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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