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What is Propecia?
Propecia (finasteride) is a drug for the treatment of male-type baldness. It suppresses the over-production of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, which under normal conditions gradually accumulates in hair bulbs. As a result, hair follicles are subjected to serious pressure, which is why they are damaged and die. The tablets helps in 95% of cases of male pattern baldness. The medication is used to treat alopecia androgenic type exclusively in men. According to studies, hair loss is reduced by 30% after six months of taking the pills. The therapeutic effect is maintained only with continuous intake of this medicine.
How does it work?
Propecia belongs to a class of drugs called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which are used to treat diseases caused by increased production of dihydrotestosterone, a biologically active form of testosterone. The active substance of the drug – finasteride – causes a rapid decrease in the concentration of dihydrotestosterone in the blood of a man, which reduces the progression of alopecia and promotes the growth of new hair. During the day after taking a pill, dihydrotestosterone levels fall by 65%. The maximum effect occurs three months after the start of regular administration of the drug.
How to use Propecia?
The recommended dosage of Propecia is 1 mg (1 tablet per day). Before you start taking the drug, you must carefully study the instructions for use. If you have any questions, you should consult your doctor.
Tablets should be taken with a glass of water before or after meals. Even if you notice improvement, you should continue to take the pills. The therapeutic effect is maintained only with systematic use. If you missed a dose for any reason, do not take the missed pills but return to the daily drug treatment schedule. Do not take more than 1 mg per day.
The pills can cause the following side effects:
- erectile dysfunction, decreased libido (these adverse reactions usually disappear after drug withdrawal);
- allergic reactions – rash, itching, urticaria, angioedema;
- depression, heart palpitations;
- increased levels of liver enzymes;
- impotence, ejaculation disorder, tenderness and enlargement of the mammary glands, breast cancer, pain in the testicles, impaired sperm quality;
- reduction of ejaculate.
No drug interactions of clinical importance have been identified.
Do not use this medication if you are pregnant or about to become pregnant, or have allergic reactions to finasteride.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This drug is not used in the treatment of pregnant women. If it is necessary to take the pills during breastfeeding, lactation should be stopped for the duration of treatment.
The drug can cause a decrease in libido, contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction or reduce reproductive ability in men.
Men taking Propecia cannot be donors. Blood can be donated at least one month after drug withdrawal.
When taking high doses of finasteride, the risk of developing certain types of prostate cancer increases.
In rare cases, men taking these pills have been diagnosed with breast cancer. If you notice any changes, such as the appearance of a lump in the chest or discharge from the nipple, you must consult your doctor.
If a man taking Propecia has sex with a pregnant woman, he needs to use barrier methods of contraception.
The medication may affect the results of some medical tests, including PSA (prostate-specific antigen), which is used for screening prostate cancer, so you need to inform your doctor about taking the pills before conducting any studies.