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What are the pros and cons of taking Propecia (Finasteride) drugs orally for stopping hair loss?

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Since early on my teenage life, I have been losing hair due to hereditary hair loss pattern. My great grandfather was bald, my grandfather was bald, my father isn't bald but he has thin hair and balding. But me I am going bald quickly. I have tried a lot of stuff and products to curb and stop my hair loss, I have been able to stop hair loss to a certain degree but am unable to regrow new strong hair.

I use chlorine filter on my bathroom shower head to clear up the chlorine in the water. I use sebamed hair loss shampoo to clean my hair. I cut down on my sugar intake in my food because I am aware of how much damage sugar can do to a person's hair health. I prevent using hair oil or hair gel on my scalp as these things can cause blockage of my hair follicles pores. I use comb that has big gap teeth to avoid pulling out my precious hair, since every strand of hair means a lot to people with hair loss problem.

Someone suggested me to try out Propecia or Finasteride tablet and they said that it helps in regrowing lost hair. I am willing to try out new products but am skeptical of the side effects it could cause for me. The price of using Propecia is quite expensive too as I can't afford to buy expensive tablets for prolonged uses. My budget are limited and I need to know that the Propecia tablets work if I were to continue taking them for a long period of time. Does anyone have any actual experience in using Propecia (Finasteride) for regrowing lost hair or stopping hair loss?
asked in Summerside by Ralph MIller (130 points)

1 Answer

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Finasteride was originally developed to treat enlarged prostate in Men but it was found that Men who took Finasteride also began to grew back hair on places where it was bald before. This led to the development of Finasteride tablet for growing hair back. It was never really intended to use Finasteride for treating male pattern hair loss, it just so turned out to be beneficial for treating hair loss. Be advised though that this tablet does not work for all people. Some people have had good success in regrow their lost hair but for others, it made it more worse.

How Finasteride works is that it inhibits the production of enzymes responsible for regulating the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone which is the main culprit for hair loss in Men. It was discovered that Men with higher level of dihydrotestosterone had greater degree of hair loss than Men without it in their blood. Finasteride in some cases reduces the level of testosterone in a person's body so much that hair loss was able to be stopped completely and even hair growth was seen. 

Pros:

1. Finasteride actually encourages hair growth in a person and prevents further hair loss.

2. This tablet does not interfere with other medication that you could be taking.

3. It is quite safe to use for long term without any adverse or severe problems through continued use.

4. Finasteride is usually tolerable by most Men due to its non-severe side effects.

Cons:

1. Once you stop using Finasteride, the hair that you have grown could be lost again. Only continuation of using Finasteride will maintain the hair regrowth.

2. The new hair growth is quite thin and not as thick as your original hair.

3. Pregnant Women should completely stay away from using Finasteride as it was shown to cause birth defect for the baby in the womb. Even just handling and touching the tablet could cause some problem for pregnant women.

4. There have been reported side affects such as lack of libido or erection problem for men after prolonged use of Finasteride. There is no more sexual drive or sexual urge for intercourse in the case of Men taking Finasteride. If ejaculation does occur, the amount of sperm count decreases after using Finasteride.

5. Some Men were known to have developed breast enlargement problem due to use of Finasteride

6. Finasteride is more costly to take orally when compared to applying Minoxidil topical solution on the hair scalp.

answered by Matthew Griffin (149 points)

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