Propecia (Finasteride)

Propecia (medical name finasteride) is a medicine that people use to treat the loss of hair that happens to men on the top and front areas of scalp. This condition is very common to men when their scalp hair is becoming thinner. As a result, the top of the head becomes bold and the front hairline sparse. This medicine is forbidden for children and women to use. Propecia averts the process of transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone in the human organism.

Women and children should not take Propecia. They also should not take pills of Prospecia in their hands, because the skin can absorb finasteride from the medicine.

Even though women can not use Propecia, a pregnant woman should not be exposed to it, because it may bring birth defects. A woman who is going to be pregnant or who is expecting a baby should not touch this medicine. The pills are coated to guard a person from touching an active ingredient when they are just holding it in their hands. It is only safe when the pill is not crashed or broken. When a woman has unintentionally taken with her hands a crushed or a broken pill, she should immediately wash her hands with water and soap.

If you are allergic to finasteride or other similar drug like dutasteride Avodart, you need to talk to your doctor if you can use Propecia before you take it.

Prostate cancer will have more opportunities for development if you begin taking Propecia. Your doctor will need to make sure if you have any conditions that do not allow taking Propecia. He will ask you to undergo some medical tests.

If you noticed some changes with your breasts, lumps pain or discharge from your nipples, contact immediately with your doctor, because these can signify that you have a male breast cancer.



Treatment of male pattern baldness

Finasteride is a medicine that has a license to cure several kinds of baldness that men have. Such as loss of vertex hair and hair that is in center and above forehead. This medicine will not help if you are starting to loose hair on your temples. Finasteride haven't been identified to help women with hair loss. This type of baldness is named female pattern baldness.

Treatment of enlarged prostate

A widely-spread disease between men in older age is enlarged prostate. Health workers call it BPH, benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Prostate gland is starting to increase in size at the beginning of adolescence and remains growing during this period. Only when a man is becoming his middle age, he begins to feel the symptoms of this disease. When the gland is getting big sizes, it starts to push urethra and it becomes hard to urinate. Such symptoms like difficulties in urination, frequent wish to micturate especially during night are very specific and usual for benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Finasteride is a medication for treating BPH. If the symptoms don't bother a patient the best treatment is just an observing waiting. In case it gets worse, a surgery and medication should be applied.


Propecia 1 mg
Propecia 1 mg
Propecia comes in tablet form 1 mg and 5 mg. It should be taken one time a day orally by a pill of one mg. You can take this medicine during food intake or after it. If you want to see the results of treatment, you should take the medicine during the period of three months once a day. It is recommended to use the medicine continuously to support and improve the result. Stopping the treatment will lead to the cancellation of effect within a year.

Patients that are using Propecia should consider the following rules:
  • You need to fix an exact time when you will take the medicine and try to take it every day.
  • If you forgot to take a medicine at exact time, you should take it once you remembered about it. If the time is that you need to take another dose, you can miss the dose you forgot and go on taking the medication as it is scheduled. Avoid taking two doses at one time.
  • Propecia pills can be taken without food. Later you can adjust using the medicine when taking your food, if it hearts your stomach.
  • You will see the benefits of using the medicine after three months of treatment.
  • The results will fade away after 12 months if you interrupt your treatment.
  • Pregnant women are not advised to hold smashed or broken pill of Propecia.
  • Try to follow the prescription if you want to achieve the results, because the medicine will not affect you if you try to take it the other way your medical consultant told you.
  • Your pharmacists, doctor or a nurse can advise you on the dose of Propecia if you are not sure what is appropriate for you. Only your healthcare provider can tell you when it is necessary for you to stop the treatment.

Warnings and Precautions

Pregnant women
Pregnant women
You need to know about the following warnings and precautions of taking Propecia:
  • Propecia belongs to the medication of Category X for pregnancy. The drugs of this category can bring danger to pregnant women. Women who are expecting a baby should stay away from smashed or broken pills of this medicine.
  • There is a prostate-specific antigen test which is an ordinary blood test, for checking if a person has prostate cancer. The levels of PSA in your blood can be decreased after using Propecia. Your doctor can help you to adjust the dosage of Propecia in order to improve your results of PSA test. He can also apply another test, that has a name percent-free PSA. You need to evaluate more the results of tests, if they showed an increase in PSA. These can be the first signs that a person who is taking Propecia has prostate cancer.
  • According to the studies, an active Propecia ingredient, finasteride can make the risk of having prostate cancer more possible. Your medical advisor can explain you more about the risks you could have. This disease is more possible if someone from your family was sick with prostate cancer. It is interesting to know that Propecia's main ingredient is able to low down the possibility of obtaining prostate cancer.
  • They still didn't find out if Propecia can go into breast milk. So you are feeding your child with breast or you are planning this action, your medical consultant can advise you more on this.
  • People who have liver failure or any other problem with liver have to talk to their doctor before using this medicine. Propecia is cleaned from the organism by liver. So it can store in liver at patients with liver diseases.
  • If you noticed any changes with your breast, you need to report to your healthcare provider at once. There were some cases when Propecia makes changes in breasts. For example, breasts can come bigger, become more tender or tumors may appear.

The following people are forbidden to take Propecia:
  • People with allergies to finasteride or any other Propecia component. A list of these ingredients can be at your pharmacist's or healthcare provider disposal.
  • Pregnant women or who are intended to be pregnant.

Side Effects

Propecia side effects
An immediate medical help is needed if any of these conditions of allergy have occurred: swollen face, tongue, throat or lips; hard breath or urticaria. Contact your medical care if you saw any changes in your breast, like lumps, experienced pain or if something discharging from your nipple. It should be taken very seriously, because this could be the symptoms of men breast cancer.

Not dangerous side effects from taking Propecia are:
  • swollen feet and hands;
  • sensitiveness or swelling in breasts;
  • loss of sex desire, erectile dysfunction, troubles with achieving orgasm;
  • not normal discharge of semen;
  • sniffle nose;
  • the condition of being weak, and dizzy;
  • exanthema;
  • headache;
  • faintness.

Unfortunately we listed not all side effects that can occur to you. Still, if you experienced one of the above, you should contact your doctor.

Mechanism of action

Finasteride formula
Finasteride formula
5α-dihydrotestosterone is a potent androgen which influences on increasing and development of prostate. Testosterone is metabolized from 5α-reductase of second type to DHT in skin, liver and prostate. Dihydrotestosterone impels androgenic effects. It happens when androgen receptors in nucleus of cell of these organs are bound to DHT.

Constant enzyme complex is formed very slowly by 5-alpha reductase of second type and finasteride which is its specific inhibitor and a direct competitor. This complex turns over too slowly, approximately 30 days. The process was shown in laboratory and in vivo. Androgen receptor had never aroused affinity in finasteride. When finasteride in administrated, it metabolizes in urine and blood steroids of 5α-reduced.


Julianne Imperato-McGinley
Julianne Imperato-McGinley
In 1974 there was a conference in New York about birth defects that was attended by Julianne Imperato-McGinley. She made a report about the existing circle of androgynous kids that live in Caribbean. These children were brought up like girls but later they started to have masculine characteristics of their pubescence. During the studies of this group of children, they found out that they participated in genetic mutation which caused an absence of male hormone DHT and 5-α reductase. These enzymes are a reason of anomalies in sexual development in men. Also this group of kids was remarked having undersized and smaller prostate glands during puberty and they had less incidents of baldness.

Basic-research chief of Merck, P. Roy Vagelos had seen the copies of Julianne's presentation in 1975. The fact that a decreased DHT can slow down the development of prostate had fascinated him. So, P. Roy decided to make a medicine that can imitate the conditions in which were these hermaphroditic kids. He thought the medicine could treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia that was found in older man.

American FDA had approved finasteride in 5mg for curing BPH in 1992. Merck company had issued it under a name Proscar.

In 1997, Merck had received an approval from FDA to use finasteride as a medicine for male pattern baldness. This medicine was launched by Merck as Propecia.

Generic Propecia

Generic Propecia
Generic Propecia
Propecia is a medication that has a patent for curing baldness in men and can be sold in pharmacies only by prescription. It decreases the level of DHT in the organism by preventing the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. So, DHT is very essential for hair loss. Propecia prevents male baldness and helps to renew the growth of hair.

Initially, Merck&Co Inc. had created Propecia. Now, you can see a generic version of the drug, because they had already passed their patent. You can not buy it in pharmacies yet, but it is already licensed to be sold.

Available dosage

A generic version of Propecia will soon be sold in drug stores. It will have 1mg pills of finasteride and will have this name.

You can see 5mg pills of finasteride on the market, which is a Generic Proscar. This drug is used to cure enlarged prostate or BPH. The dose of 5mg of finasteride is not appropriate for treatment of alopecia.

Who makes generic Propecia?

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc. are producing generic Propecia currently.
Hair Loss drugs

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User discussion about Propecia

30 July 2012
At the age of 25, I realized that my hairs were becoming more and thinner. I did not want to look like my brother or father, so I decided to act. My doctor prescribed me Propecia. Really, if I forget to use it, I'll find my hair everywhere (into keyboard, book etc.). True, the drug is not cheap (I would say expensive) and my insurance cannot cover it at all (it is interesting that they cover for example Viagra, however). The side effect, which I have: the drug decreases my sex life – but maybe it is good. It will protect me from troubles.
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23 August 2012
In my 22 I had hair loss. The medicine helped me in one week (after I started to use it). No more hair loss. Even if I deliberately start to pull hair out! So I can only add that the medicine works but little by little! I needed for it four months, so be patient!
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24 October 2012
After one month of usage of this medicine, I felt a reduction in the loss of hair especially after a shower. Now I don’t want to stop to use it because my hairs are thicker and also they grow faster!
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