Propecia is used to treat male pattern hair loss on the top of head and the middle front area of the head. Some hair regrowth occurs in about 2 in 3 men who take a Propecia tablet each day. In about 1 in 3 men there is no hair regrowth, but most do not have any further hair loss whilst taking Propecia. It has no effect in about 1 in 100 men. So, if you take Propecia, you have a good chance that hair will regrow, or at least stop any further hair loss.
Points to remember if you take Propecia:
- It takes about four months for any effect to be noticed, and up to 1-2 years for full hair growth.
- The balding process returns if treatment is stopped. So you need to carry on treatment to maintain the effect.
- Side-effects are uncommon. The most common is that about 2 in 100 treated men report loss of sex drive (libido).
- It does not work in women with male pattern baldness.
Important Risk Information About Propecia
Propecia was launched in the UK in 2002, although it has been available in the USA since 1997. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The hair follicles are then not affected by this hormone, and can enlarge back to normal.
Propecia is for the treatment of male pattern hair loss in MEN ONLY and should NOT be used by women or children.
You should not use Propecia if you are allergic to finasteride or any of the ingredients of Propecia.
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.
In general use, the following have been reported: breast tenderness and enlargement; depression; allergic reactions including rash, itching, hives, and swelling of the lips and face; problems with ejaculation; testicular pain; difficulty in achieving an erection that continued after stopping the medication; and, in rare cases, male breast cancer.
Propecia can affect a blood test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done, tell your doctor that you are taking Propecia because Propecia decreases PSA levels; also tell your doctor if you have not been taking Propecia as prescribed because this may affect PSA test results. Any changes in PSA test results while taking Propecia will need to be carefully evaluated by your doctor.