Propecia is the popular branded hairloss treatment and contains Finasteride.finasteride belongs to a group of medicines called Type II ‘5-alpha reductase inhibitors’. It is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia). Finasteride increases hair growth on the scalp and prevents further hair loss in men. Men with mild to moderate, but not complete hair loss, can benefit from using finasteride. Finasteride lowers the levels of DHT in the scalp. This helps to reverse the balding process, leading to an increased hair growth and prevention of further hair loss.
Propecia is not currently available on the NHS when used for treating male pattern baldness. The NHS considers this as a cosmetic treatment and consequently will not cover use for this purpose.
Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern hair loss is a common condition in which men experience thinning of the hair on the scalp, often resulting in a receding hairline and/or balding on the top of the head. This condition is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic factors and a particular hormone, DHT (dihydrotestosterone).
DHT causes a decrease in the growth phase and thinning of the hair (see picture). This leads to male pattern hair loss. These changes can start to occur in some men in their 20s and become more common with age. Once hair loss has occurred over a long period of time, the hair may be permanently lost. Finasteride lowers the levels of DHT in the scalp. This helps to reverse the balding process, leading to an increased hair growth and prevention of further hair loss.
The recommended dose is one tablet each day. The tablet can be taken with or without food. It may take 3 to 6 months for the full effect to develop. It is important to keep taking finasteride for as long as your doctor tells you. If you stop taking finasteride, you are likely to lose the hair you have gained within 9 to 12 months.
Do not take finasteride if: – you are a woman (because this medicine is for men). It has been shown in clinical trials that Propecia does not work in women with hair loss.
Propecia should not be used in children. There are no data demonstrating efficacy or safety of finasteride in children under the age of 18.