What is Propecia?
Propecia is a 1 mg dose of Finasteride taken orally every day. This prescription drug is available only to men and should not be handled by women. The primary goal of Propecia is to stop or slow hair loss but some men may experience regrowth of hairs in certain areas. Hair follicles that are in a telogen phase, falling out as a result of stress, may regenerate their life cycle. Once a hair follicle dies, there are no medical or laser treatments that can restore hair. Only hair transplantation will regrow hair in that area of baldness.
Propecia has a long track record of success and this medicine received it’s FDA approval in 1997 for treatment of androgenic alopecia in men. Propecia is much more effective than Rogaine for treatment of male pattern baldness. For many men, the primary concerns of Propecia are related to the cost of the medicine and the potential for systemic side effects. Propecia can have many systemic side effects and you need to keep taking the medicine to suppress hair loss.
How Does Finasteride Work?
Finasteride is a medicine that works by preventing the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Finasteride’s biochemical classification is a Type II 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor (5-ARI). Dihydrotestosterone is potent androgen and is more associated with male pattern baldness than testosterone. When used appropriately Propecia can effectively lower DHT levels by as much as 60%. DHT is the hormone that causes susceptible hair follicles to shed their hafts, regress and die.
The greater the number of follicles possessing a DHT receptor the greater the pattern of baldness in androgenic alopecia. In clinical trials, Propecia was shown to stop the progression of hair loss in 86% of men, specifically more in the crown and vertex than in the temples.