Propecia is a prescription drug used to treat BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). The Food and Drug Administration in the USA approved Propecia for the use of MPB (male pattern baldness) in 1997. The main ingredient is finasteride which is also distributed under other brand names.
Finasteride is an artificial hormone that inhibits production of the enzyme that changes testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). In so doing, it is able to slow down, and even prevent, male hair loss.
A five-year study was conducted on men suffering with mild to moderate balding. Results showed that two of every three men taking 1 mg of Propecia every day grew new hair. The same study established that men who did not take Propecia continued to lose hair. The results were studied by a panel of leading dermatologists who concluded that 48 percent of the men who took Propecia showed visible hair re-growth. Of these, 42 percent experienced no further loss.
When used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, also commonly called ‘enlarged prostate’, beneficial effects may only be experienced after taking 5 mg of Propecia per day for six months. If dosage is ceased, any benefits may be reversed. Propecia can alleviate the symptoms of BHP, e.g. difficulty in urination, decreased flow of urine, difficulty in starting to urinate, and disturbed sleep because of the continual desire to urinate.
Doctors usually recommend that 1 mg be taken by mouth once a day. Propecia can be administered with or without food. For male baldness, it may take as long as three months before any benefits are noticed. To sustain these benefits, continual treatment is needed. A doctor should review each patient on a regular basis. When treatment is discontinued, all benefits will be reversed within a year.
Most side effects are related to sexual dysfunction. These include impotence, decreased semen, abnormal ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, unusual sexual function, gynecomastia, ejaculation disorder, and testicular pain. If these side effects are severe, they tend to disappear when treatment is discontinued. If the side effects are mild, they usually disappear shortly and the patient may continue treatment.
Propecia is not recommended for use by women. The drug is classed in the category X by the FDA which means it can cause birth defects in an unborn infant. Women who are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, should not handle a Propecia tablet because finasteride can be absorbed by the skin. If this occurs accidently, contact a doctor immediately. Propecia is more likely to harm an unborn male baby and cause deformities of the sexual organs.
Any man who is a regular blood donor should not donate blood while using this drug. When treatment stops, do not resume giving blood for at least one month.
Before commencing treatment, patients are advised to make themselves familiar with all the warnings and precautions detailed in the package insert. For example, the patient should inform his doctor if he has liver failure, liver disease, or an allergy to any ingredient in Propecia. The doctor should also be informed of any other medications used by the patient, as well as herbal supplements and vitamin supplements.
Propecia as a drug has not done badly in the control and treatment of hair loss in men. In fact, since its introduction into the market in 1997 by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. it has been on the constant route of increase in both popularity and effectiveness. One can conclude from the statistics present that the drug has truly lived up to its initial hype by the manufacturers. The above information notwithstanding, many are yet to know and also yet to come to the use and appreciate the effect of Propecia, so it means that both the producers and marketers of the drug should in no way relent in their efforts in terms of constantly providing comprehensive information about it. The aim of this article, therefore, is to enlighten some present users and prospective users of the drug the basics knowledge of the drug, its function and how to use for maximum results.
One of the essential information customers need to know before using any product is an understanding of such product. The same goes for Propecia. It will be wise to understand this drug and how it works before usage. For basic knowledge, Propecia is a member of a class of drugs known and addressed as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. They are frequently used to control and treat health conditions caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT) - a hormone got from testosterone in the body. Some of the health conditions caused by DHT are pattern baldness in men, which is medically called androgenic alopecia, enlarged prostate; also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Propecia performs its function in the body by simply preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) because, with a decreased DHT conversion level, the hair loss and other conditions can be controlled and subsequently stopped.
It's been noted that it takes approximately 24 hours for Propecia to actually reduce the concentration of DHT in the body by 65%. But then, it may take close to 3 months in order to experience the full effects of Propecia. Because of how long it takes for the drug to fully control the DHT, it is hence very important to regularly and constantly use the drug in order to experience its full benefit. However, it is also important to mention that you are not expected to stop using the drug after the said three months, a continuous usage as recommended by your doctor is necessary because you are likely going to be losing the hairs you have gained over time in about 12 months if you ever stop using Propecia. Hopefully, your doctor will do a better job in enlightening you on this. Another reason why you need to constantly pay a visit to your doctor about Propecia is that as you take this medication, you need to often undergo some blood tests in order to ascertain if the drug has so far been helping improve your condition, and also test on your prostate specific antigen (PSA) will also be carried out to check for prostate cancer. For proper preservation, please store the drug at room temperature and keep the container airtight.