The exact time it will take for Propecia to produce desired and visible results will vary depending on your individual response to the drug. Propecia is designed to be taken continuously for period of three to six months before the full effects of the medicine become noticeable.
What’s on this page?
Here, we will discuss the efficacy rates of Propecia at different moments over the course of the whole treatment and beyond, ending with a couple of notes regarding what can you expect once you start taking Propecia.
First three months of Propecia treatment
As mentioned, Propecia needs time to truly start to work. Thus it is not likely that any significant changes can be noticeable within the first couple of weeks. Despite this, it is important to continue taking the medicine as prescribed and according to the instructions provided in the official patient information leaflet. If you are susceptible to any of the side effects of the medicine, it’s likely that you will experience them during the first three months of the treatment. If this does occur, then you should consult with your doctor regarding the following course of action.
Between third and sixth month
For many patients, noticeable improvements can become apparent as early as 3 months into the treatment. In fact, one study conducted by All India Institute of Medical Sciences aimed to test these claims by relying on double blind experiment. While in the first two months there were no significant differences between patients issued Propecia and those that were taking a placebo pill, after third months, the efficiency of finasteride became apparent.1
However, the studies conducted by the original manufacturer of Propecia, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) claim that for a majority of patients it will take full six months before the full effects of Propecia develop. This does not mean that this will be true for everybody – a noticeable percentage of patients can notice improvement in hair count at the third month of the treatment. Again, the exact moment when improvements become visible will depend on your individual response to the medicine.
Two years into the treatment
Detailed clinical studies conducted in long term use of Propecia recorded an amazing improvement of 16% after the period of two years.2 On average, there is an increase of 88 hairs compared to the baseline, in the 5.1cm2 area.
5 years of treatment
Judging by the standardised photographic assessment, it seems that around 48% of patients that were using Propecia for period of five years experience hair regrowth. In addition to this, another 42% of patients reported a halt in hair loss, but without regrowth. This means that in total 90% of test cases noted either no further hair loss or regrowth after 5 years of Propecia use.
After this period, average increase in hair count rose to 38 hairs per 5.1cm2 area, leading the scientists to conclude that despite the peak increase being visible around second year of the treatment, prolonged use of Propecia still produces significant improvements – even three years after the peak of its effects.
Beyond 5 years mark
Any statements regarding the changing efficiency of Propecia after 5 years mark are up for debate. These are mostly personal or anonymous accounts that have not been verified by independent scientific study. The reason for this is that Propecia is a relatively new medicine, becoming available in the early 2000s, so studies in the very long-term effects of the medicine are still lacking.
Some men claim that after the 5 year mark, Propecia becomes less effective, leading to the stopping of the treatment. As opposed to this, other men firmly support the claim that this medicine continues to be beneficial much longer than 5 years. However, until further studies are undertaken, there is no final answer to this.
What will happen after I stop taking Propecia?
As of now, modern medicine still can’t provide us with what we could consider to be a cure for hair loss. In line with that, Propecia can only be considered to be a treatment. As such, it is effective only as long as it is taken. In fact, studies conducted by MSD confirmed that all the hair that might regrow over the course of the treatment will likely be lost within 9 months to a year after the patient cease to use the medicine.