What is Propecia?
Propecia is the brand name of Finasteride medication belonging to the 5- alpha reductase inhibitors class of drugs. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are a class of medications with antiandrogenic effects used in the treatment of scalp hair loss. Propecia was patented in 1984 and approved for medical use in 1992. It is available as oral medication in both brand and generic versions.
What is Propecia used for?
Propecia is primarily used to treat androgenetic alopecia in men. Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness is a baldness occurring in a specific pattern. In this condition hair is lost in a well-defined pattern beginning above temples and gradually progressing to the crown. Propecia can be used alone or in combination with other medications for best results. Apart from this, Propecia is used off-label for the treatment of benign hyperplasia in men.
How does Propecia work on the human body?
The mechanism of action of Propecia is based on the preferential inhibition of type II isozyme. Type II enzyme or type II Alpha reductase is an intracellular enzyme found in different parts of the body including hair follicles. It is known for converting testosterone into DHT (5-alpha dihydrotestosterone) , the increased production of which is a major cause of hair loss in males. Through inhibition of DHT, Propecia inhibits the balding factor that in turn facilitates new hair growth.
What is the strength and dose of Propecia?
It comes in strengths of 1mg and 5mg. The 1mg strength of the medication is more readily available. For treatment of androgenic alopecia, it needs to be used once daily at the same time intervals. The response of the hairline to the medication needs to be assessed every 6 monthly or yearly. The dose of Propecia for other systemic conditions is decided as per the treatment plan of the health practitioner.
How long does Propecia take to start working?
It works rapidly but in a stable manner. It takes 3 months of regular use of the medication for the effects to start being evident. Depending on the severity of hair loss and amount of DTH hormone, in some cases, it may take as long as 12 months for visible results. It is advised to switch to an alternative treatment of the hair growth that is not evident even after 12 months of use.
Will Propecia regrow hair?
It does work on reducing hair fall by reducing the hormones responsible for hair damage. But it depends on the extent of damage and how soon you started using the medication. Using Propecia as soon as you start noticing thinning can help in re-growing hair to some extent. But using it after a prolonged period of hair loss when the follicles have been completely damaged will not produce satisfactory results.
How to use Propecia for best results?
You need to use Propecia regularly at fixed time intervals for best results. You can use it after food or on an empty stomach. But consistent use is important for satisfactory results as well as maintaining them. You can use them with additional supplements like Minoxidil as well but this has to be done as per the advice of the physician. Additionally do not chew or break it but swallow it whole during consumption.
How to buy Propecia in Australia?
Being a prescription medication, it is not readily available over the counters. You will need a physician's prescription to procure Propecia from a registered pharmacy or from a dermatologist’s office. Having a prescription will enable you to obtain subsequent refills of the tablet. Generic Propecia that works in the same way as Propecia. You can easily order generic Propecia online in Australia.
What are the things to remember while buying Propecia online?
Generic Propecia can be ordered online in a quick, efficient and cost effective manner. It may be available under different names and sometimes in additional 5mg strengths along with the usual 1mg strength. Because of this it is important to verify the strength and authenticity of the medication before the purchase. Additionally after delivery of the package, check the condition of tablets inside. Discard them if they look yellowish or abnormal in appearance or texture.
What are the side effects of Propecia?
The common side effects- chills, cold sweats, confusion, dizziness, faintness or lightheadedness
Less common side effects- rapid weight gain, bloating of face, arms, hands, lower legs, feet
Rare side-effects- redness or swelling of breast, inverted nipple, lump in the breast or under the arm, sore on skin of breast with poor healing, clear or bloody discharge of nipple.
It is important to stop using the medication on the incidence of the side effects and get medical help urgently.
Does Propecia really work?
Studies have shown that Finasteride, the active ingredient of Propecia, is highly effective in reducing the hormones responsible for baldness and hair thinning. When used on a regular basis, It can actually result in 70% reduction of DHT levels in the body. In a study conducted on 530 subjects using it for a prolonged period, 99.1% experienced prevention in male pattern baldness progression. Their hair loss stopped when they started using the medication with no progression as well during that time period.
What are the precautions to be taken before and after using Propecia?
Sometimes blood and urine tests are required before using the drug. Especially in people with renal insufficiency, this is important to ensure the safety of the patient. After using it, secure the lid of the bottle tightly and store it in a cool and dry place. It should not be kept in direct sunlight. Additionally it should be kept above the reach of children and pets.
Are there any Propecia drug interactions?
Some of the potential drug interactions:
Used concomitantly, Itraconazole can increase the blood levels of Propecia in blood leading to overdosing effects.
Combined use of the two may lead to reduced effects of either medication and lead to unsatisfactory treatment response to the patient.
The combination can lead to additive effects on the blood sugar of the patient and should be avoided as such.
What are the contraindications of Propecia?
It should not be used on male patients with active breast cancer or a history of breast cancer as it can lead to further complications. It is contraindicated in patients with high grade prostate cancer as well. Additionally, allergy to its ingredients can lead to serious side effects like breathing difficulties and swelling of tongue and should be avoided always.