Propecia® (Finasteride)is the first oral prescription medication to stimulate hair growth on the top and crown area of the head. Originally marketed at a higher dosage to treat enlarged prostates; it has been available for the treatment of hair loss since 1998.The drug is an androgen hormone inhibitor, which lowers the production of dihdrotestosterone, also referred to as DHT. Researchers have found that DHT hormone levels play a key role in the development of male pattern baldness.
Propecia® is the only once-a-day pill developed to treat mild to moderate male pattern hair loss on the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area (middle front of head) in MEN ONLY. There is not sufficient evidence that Propecia® works for receding hairlines at the temples.
Propecia® significantly reduces DHT, a key cause of hair loss, by inhibiting the formation of DHT in your scalp. Lowering DHT appears to inhibit the further shrinking of affected hair follicles. DHT is a substance in the body that can shrink the hair follicle until it no longer produces visible hair. Scientists believe DHT and family history are key factors in hair loss. Learn more about the causes of male pattern hair loss.
Propecia® was developed to treat mild to moderate male pattern hair loss on the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area (middle front of head) in MEN ONLY. There is not sufficient evidence that Propecia® works for receding hairlines at the temples.
Women who are or may potentially be pregnant must not use Propecia® and should not handle crushed or broken Propecia® tablets because the active ingredient may cause abnormalities of a male baby’s sex organs. If a woman who is pregnant comes into contact with the active ingredient in Propecia®, a doctor should be consulted. Propecia® tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets are not broken or crushed.
In clinical studies for Propecia®, a small number of men experienced certain sexual side effects, such as less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen. Each of these side effects occurred in less than 2% of men and went away in men who stopped taking Propecia® because of them.
You may need to take Propecia® daily for 3 months or more before you see a benefit from taking Propecia®. If Propecia® has not worked for you within 12 months, further treatment is unlikely to be of benefit.
Propecia® can only work over the long term if you continue taking it. If you stop taking Propecia®, you will likely lose any hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment.
Although results will vary, generally you will not be able to grow back all the hair you have lost.
Know the facts. Propecia® is available by prescription only, so the best thing to do is talk with your doctor.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Although some men notice a difference in as little as 3 months of starting treatment with Propecia®, most men have to use Propecia® for at least 6 months before seeing visible results.
Propecia® can work over the long term only if you continue taking it. If you stop taking Propecia®, you will likely lose any hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment.