Androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness or simply hair loss is a harmless condition that affects around two thirds of all men. Its characteristics include thinning and gradual loss of hair either at the front of the head, around the scalp area or both. The time when the first symptoms appear can vary significantly between different individuals. For some, hair loss is gradual, with this process spanning over the course of more than 15 years prior to entering so-called middle age. For others, alopecia can be a sudden and quick hair loss as early as in the twenties. Variations aside, with numerous possible causes of male pattern baldness, it is safe to say that by the time they reach 30, all men will experience alopecia to some extent.
What’s on this page?
Propecia is probably the best-known hair loss medicine. Widely used and surprisingly effective, this treatment produces positive and noticeable results in as much as 9 out of 10 men who have used it. It’s simple and easy to use, requiring you just to remember to take one tablet each day over the course of the 3 to 6 months long treatment.
What causes hair loss?
The root bio-chemical cause of hair loss in men is the conversion of male sex hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. The compound that becomes present in the body as a result of this transformation is known to contribute to the thinning of hair on the scalp and at the hairline. It does so by facilitating the closing up of the hair follicles on the head. In turn, this process will lead to decrease and eventual halt of production of new hairs. The conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone depends on a unique catalyst, an enzume called 5-alpha-reductase.
How does Propecia help with hair loss?
The active ingredient of Propecia, finasteride works by inhibiting the action of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, thus reducing the rate of conversion of testosterone. With less dihiydrotestosterone in the system, the process of losing hair will be significantly decelerated.
While male pattern baldness isn’t a dangerous condition, it is still very uncomfortable and it can have a profound impact on an individual’s life and the way he views himself. Losing hair is very stressful for many men as they might look at it as a sign of ageing or losing their good looks. While some men will try to prevent, reverse or hide this process, others might accept it as a normal part of growing old. In any case, this condition is very common; affecting as much as 50% of all men aged 40 or more. But, for some, the fact that alopecia is widespread is not good enough of a reason to accept it – this is where treatment comes in.
While Propecia and similar medicines certainly aren’t the only option available, they might very well be the most affordable and most practical ones. Cosmetic hair loss solutions such as hair transplants can be not just very expensive, but also difficult and time-consuming to maintain. Hair transplantation often includes numerous consultations and multiple trips to a surgeon.
As opposed to that, Propecia is popular, affordable, easy to use and highly successful choice for men who are trying to find a way to slow down their hair loss without making any profound changes or big expenses. With clinical trials confirming that Propecia is successful in 90% of its users, this medicine is undoubtedly the most effective prescription hair loss treatment available on the contemporary market.
Can I buy Propecia online?
Propecia is prescription-only medicine, so you will need to consult with a doctor in order to obtain a prescription prior to buying it at the pharmacy. However, if you’re not a big fan of waiting in line or talking about this somewhat private and uncomfortable matter face-to-face with someone, buying Propecia online is still an option!
You will need to find an online clinic of your choice and get your medicine there. The consultations with the doctor will be conducted through a specialized and customized questionnaire which covers pretty much everything that the doctor would ask you in person. Your answers will then be used to determine whether you are suitable for the treatment. If you get the green light from the doctor, the delivery service of an online clinic will bring your medicine right to your doorstep.
There are numerous different packages of Propecia. You can buy this medicine in 4-week, 8-week, 12-week or 24-week pack and the choice of any one of them will be made over the course of your consultations with a doctor. Those who use Propecia commonly notice the results within three to six months. However, once you stop taking the treatment, you will start losing hair again within nine to twelve months.
What is the active ingredient of Propecia?
The active ingredient of Propecia is called finasteride. It is officially classified as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor meaning it reduces and partially inhibits the activity of 5-A-R enzyme. This compound is crucial for the transformation of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (or DHT for short) which in turns facilitates hair loss. This conversion is completely natural and unavoidable as it will eventually occur in almost all men. Finasteride will slow down this process by lowering the levels of DHT, thus reducing the thinning and shedding of hair.
How to use Propecia?
As with all medicines, it is of uttermost importance that you follow the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist precisely – and if you need any additional information, you will probably find all the answers in the official patient information leaflet provided within every pack of Propecia. Some of the most general guidelines include:
- It is not necessary to take the tablet with food
- Do not exceed the prescribed dose (usually one tablet per day)
- If you take more of the medicine than recommended, seek immediate medical advice
- If you miss a dose, never double up the next one to compensate – just skip the missed dose and continue with the treatment as prescribed
- For any additional info that might not be in the leaflet, consult your doctor
Are there any Propecia side effects?
As with all medications, it is also important to get familiar with the side effects so you can notice them early on if they do manifest. You should contact your doctor immediately if:
- Any of the side effects become serious or more pronounced
- You become depressed or have suicidal thoughts
- You notice changes in breast tissue (lumps, pain or nipple discharge)
- You notice the usual symptoms of an allergic reaction
Other possible side effects include:
- Allergic reaction
- Breast swelling
- Testicular pain
- Increased heartbeat
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Problems with ejaculation
- Elevated liver enzymes
There are several different scenarios when the doctor can opt against prescribing you this medicine. It can happen if there is a risk of interaction with other treatments you might be taking at the same time. Likewise, some other health conditions can be considered to be contraindications.
It is very important to note that this medicine should never be used by women. This is especially important for pregnant women – they should avoid any contact with Propecia as it can harm the development of their baby. As this medicine can also pass into semen of male users, it is important to always use a condom so that your partner doesn’t come into contact with the medicine.
Finally, as this medicine contains lactose, it shouldn’t be used by anyone who is lactose-intolerant.