Are you seeing the first signs of losing your hair? Taking steps now may be important to stopping hair loss. The earlier you visit us at the Center for Hair Restoration in Pittsburgh, the more options are open to you, including some of the best Propecia Pittsburgh has available. Propecia is FDA-approved to treat male pattern baldness – but is taking this medication right for you?
At the Center for Hair Restoration in Pittsburgh, we have assembled an array of hair restoration treatments to help men who are unwilling for the “inevitable” hair loss to occur. Propecia is an effective medication for many men in the early stages of hair loss.
Dr. Heil can advise you if a Propecia prescription may be a viable treatment for your individual case of hair loss. While this medication is proven effective, just like any other medication, it isn’t right for every man. Propecia is not a topical treatment that you apply to balding or thinning areas, but an FDA-approved medication you take as a pill that wards off the advancement of male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia).
Propecia is a very effective treatment for many men who are genetically-programmed for baldness. The main ingredient is finasteride, a drug first FDA-approved as a treatment for an enlarged prostate, and later to treat male pattern baldness.
The benefits of this prescription drug can include:
Male pattern baldness has a standard pattern, beginning above both temples with the hairline slowly receding to the typical “M” shape. The crown then thins and eventually goes bald until the front, top, and crown no longer produce any hair.
This hair loss progression comes about due to a male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that impacts genetically-susceptible hair follicles men have on the front, top, and crown of the head. The follicles on the back of the head are not programmed to be affected by DHT – which is why this area is the donor site for harvesting hair follicles for transplantation.
DHT is the culprit in male pattern baldness, as it triggers the susceptible hair follicles to shrink, after which they are only capable of producing very thin, fine hair, called “vellus hair.” The DHT also impacts the normal growth cycle by shortening thee growth phase (anagen). As the DHT goes to work, affecting your hair follicles, your hair becomes shorter and finer, after which the follicle no longer can produce any hair at all.
The medication works by blocking the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. While it takes time for Propecia to work, many men have found taking the medication is an excellent way to trick nature and keep a thick, healthy head of hair. It works best on those in the early stages of balding when the vellus hairs are appearing, looking thin, weak, fine, and short. It may require a year or longer on the drug for the hair growth to change. To maintain results, you must continue to take the drug, as if you stop, the areas where hair regrowth occurred will eventually shed.
Finasteride (Propecia®) is an FDA approved medication used to treat hair loss. This medication may prevent further hair loss, but can only partially reverse balding. Finasteride is a potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Finasteride is available in a 1 mg prescription tablet. Adverse side effects including sexual dysfunction (decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction) are uncommon and most often resolve without discontinuing treatment. Side effects occur in less than 1% of men taking the medication. Finasteride lowers DHT levels in the scalp and serum and promotes the conversion of hair follicles to the anagen (active growth) phase. This medication is effective in preventing further hair loss and increasing hair counts. In studies, hair loss on the temples is not improved, although the crown and frontal hair counts are increased. Finasteride must be used indefinitely to maintain a response.
DHT, or dihydrotestosterone is hormone derived from the testosterone in the body. It is one of the main factors promoting hair loss in men. DHT affects hair follicles located on the front, top and the crown of the head. DHT does not seem to affect follicles on the back of the head, which makes harvesting from this area a good option when considering transplantation.
As with all drugs, there can be side effects and they can differ greatly depending on the patient. Although rare, men who take Propecia may experience a side effect of sexual dysfunction.
Propecia may cause minor side effects such as headaches, dizziness or a general feeling of weakness, but it has been safely used by thousands of men with pattern baldness since 1998. It is important to talk with your doctor about your general health as Propecia could interact with other drugs.
For the majority of patients, sexual side effects are reversed when the patient discontinues daily use of Finasteride.
Propecia needs to be taken daily to be effective. Therefore, when you stop taking your dose, the medication that’s still active in your body with decrease. It usually takes three to five days for it to be completely eliminated from your system.
Finasteride has not been known to hinder or stop muscle growth.