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What is Propecia (finasteride)?

Propecia is the brand name of prescription medication, finasteride, designed to treat men’s hair loss. It is FDA-approved for use in men only and is intended for those suffering from male pattern hair loss. This article will cover the facets of finasteride, from its different forms to its strengths and side effects.

Propecia is an androgen hormone inhibitor treatment, and available by prescription only. Androgens are the most common form of balding is known as male pattern hair loss, representing close to 95% of all hair loss cases. Mild to moderate male pattern hair loss affects about half of men by the time they reach age 50. This type of hair loss is characterized by a receding hairline and/or balding at the crown. Male pattern hair loss tends to be heredity, from either the mother or father’s side of the family, and is also attributed to certain hormonal characteristics.

Doctors commonly believe that excess DHT is one apparent cause of hair loss. Human hair normally follows a cycle of growth, falling out, and then new growth. However, increased levels of DHT are believed to contribute to the shortening of the growth phase and a reduction in the time it takes for the hair to fall out. This results in the thinning of the hair on the scalp.

Side Effects

Like all prescription products, Propecia may cause side effects. In clinical studies, side effects from PROPECIA were uncommon and did not affect most men. However, a small number of men experienced certain sexual side effects. These men reported one or more of the following: less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, and 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. They also disappeared, in time, in most men who continued taking Propecia.

With general use, the following side effects have been reported: allergic reactions, including rash, itching, hives and swelling of the lips and face; problems with ejaculation; breast tenderness and enlargement; and testicular pain.

Propecia Dosages

Finasteride is available in the following dosages:

Propecia – 1 mg tablets
Proscar – 5 mg tablets

Propecia Directions

If you miss a dose of Propecia, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. You should then skip the missed dose and resume your regular schedule. Do not take double doses of this medication.

Propecia tablets may be crushed for easier swallowing. Women of childbearing age, or women who are pregnant, should not handle crushed tablets.

Store Propecia away from direct light and heat. Store in a dry location; avoid storing it in the bathroom, near sinks, or other areas where it may become damp. Do not use Propecia after the expiration date.

Keep Propecia away from children; both when storing it, and when discarding any unused medication.

You can only purchase Propecia with a doctor’s prescription.


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