Today I will discuss Propecia otherwise known as Finasteride and it’s role in preventing hair loss. Propecia works by inhibiting type 2 5- alpha reductase which converts testosterone to DHT. DHT is what binds to the receptors in susceptible hair follicles and causes them to fall out. By inhibiting the formation of DHT we are decreasing the amount of hair loss. Propecia works especially well in the crown and mid scalp and not as well in the hairline.
Unfortunately many people have reported sexual side effects from the use of propecia. Numerous blind studies seem to show not much difference between the sexual side effects caused by placebo versus the actual medication but despite this the complaints persist.
In my practice I give all my patients a detailed information packet that describes all the benefits of Propecia and the possible disadvantages of using it. I recommend it to my patients but ask them to clear it with their personal physician prior to starting.
I also tell my patients that propecia will not affect the transplanted hair, as this hair is immune to genetic hair loss, but it will allow you to keep the native hair longer, and in some cases bring miniaturized hair that is on its way out, back to life. This will extend the time between procedures and make the overall hair appear denser for a longer period of time.
If you decide to stop propecia after taking it, you will lose any benefit that the medication afforded to you.
All the best,
Marc Dauer, MD