Both male and female’s body image are greatly affected whenever there is an alteration in the normal growth, morphology and even the loss of hair. Presence or absence of hair really spells a great difference in the physical appearance. No matter how meticulous hair is taken care of, a lot of people suffer still from hair loss which eventually leads to baldness. Although baldness is more common among the males, significant number of females also suffers from the same condition. There are a lot of factors which leads to the development of baldness.
Because of the effect of baldness to the body image and to the overall quality of life, a lot of efforts have been made in order to remedy this condition. Aside from hair implant, one of the best therapeutic options for male baldness in the use of drugs particularly the medication with a brand name Propecia.
Propecia is a drug classified as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor. Its generic name is Finastride. Finastride particularly the brand Proscar is used to treat a condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy, a condition among males where the prostage enlarges as a result of many factors including the influence of androgens or male hormones. Propecia prevents the occurrence of receding hairline, but evidence shows that it doesn’t stop thinning of the hair at the temples area. The effectiveness of the drug is limited only to males, as the drug does not work for female as well as for children’s baldness. How does Propecia work in order to prevent the occurrence of baldness? The drug is classified as an inhibitor, it particularly blocks the enzyme 5-alpha reductase so that the testosterone, a male hormone may not be converted into dihydrotestosterone or DHT, an active form of the hormone in the body. High DHT is associated with the occurrence of male pattern baldness, especially those that are inherited. Propecia acts by suppressing DHT production and stimulating new hair growth. New hair growth determined by hair counts is found to be greater among those who are suffering from mild to moderate baldness. Aside from promoting new hair growth, it also thwarts further hair loss. Most of the time, the medication will exert its effect three months after its continued use. The results will be visible at this period of time
Propecia should be taken orally, usually once daily with or without meals. It must be taken regularly to ensure its effectiveness and as much as possible, the drug must be taken around same time each day. The recommendations for dosage may vary depending on the prescribing physician; however, the approved therapeutic dose is up to 5mg per day. It is important to remember that prescription and the doctor’s advice about the drug use must be followed cautiously. The medication must not be discontinued without consulting the doctor especially during the first 12 months since the condition may reoccur in about 6-8 months after ceasing the therapy. Propecia comes in comes in a film – coated convex, tan-coloured tablet.
Propecia has a high success rate in the treatment of androgenic alopecia. This was evidenced by a recent study conducted among 118 males. Their treatment was closely followed for ten years and study revealed that among the subjects, 86% showed marked improvement in hair growth while only 14% showed further hair loss.
As with other medications, taking Propecia also produces side effects. Side effects are expected reaction of the body to the drug. Most of the side effects are just mild; however some reactions are adverse and severe that needs prompt attention of the doctor. Common side effects of Propecia are related to sexual functions. Some drug reactions include reduction in libido or sexual appetite, impotence, ejaculation disorders and other types of sexual dysfunction. Testicular pain and gynecomastia or abnormal enlargement of the breast among males is also reported. The negative effects to sexual functions are however reversible, as they are also resolved once the drug is stopped to use. Allergic reaction to the drug might also occur, as manifested by the appearance of rashes and hives, itchiness, swelling particularly in the lips and face, dysphagia or difficulty swallowing and difficulty of breathing. Depression and anxiety are also associated with drug use. Any unusual problems that may occur while taking this medication must be immediately reported to the doctor.
There have been disputes regarding the occurrence of high grade prostate cancer among those who take Propecia, which is why the FDA issued a warning regarding the occurrence of this condition. Results of the study showed that the drug temporarily suppresses the growth of benign tumors in the prostate; therefore it prevents early detection and diagnosis of cancer which in turn leads to the delay in treatment. However, there are also studies which negate these claims, as study conducted in 2008 concluded that the Propecia does not increase the incidence of high grade cancer of the prostate.
The price of Propecia may vary for each pharmacy, but the price of each pill may range from $2-$3. The 30-day supply of Propecia costs around $64.