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Treating Hair Loss with Prescription Propecia
Propecia is a prescription medication for men that is used for treating hair loss related to male pattern baldness. It is meant to treat mild to moderate hair loss. Propecia is only intended to treat hair loss on the top of the head and hair loss on the mid-scalp area of the head. Propecia is made by the drug company Merck.
How Propecia Works
Propecia works to treat hair loss in men by preventing testosterone from converting into the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. The hormone DHT works naturally to reduce hair growth and shrink hair follicles, leading to baldness and hair loss in men.
When propecia prevents DHT from being produced in the body, the hair can stop thinning, and normal hair growth can resume.
How You Use It
Propecia comes in pill form that is prescribed by a doctor. There are different dosage requirements for different people. You should follow the directions of your doctor and take the proper dosage that is on the prescription label. The average dosage for Propecia to treat hair loss is 1 mg a day.
You are only required to take the pill once a day, at the same time each day. It can be taken with or without food, but should be taken with an entire glass of water. If you ever miss a dose you should always skip it and start taking it again the next day. You should never double up on a dose because you missed one.
Propecia has to be taken long-term to get the desired effects. If you stop taking Propecia, you will lose the hair you gained in up to 12 months.
Who Is Propecia For
Propecia is only for men. This medicine is absolutely not for use in women or children. Women who take Propecia could have serious health complications. Women who are pregnant should not even handle the medicine. If they have to come into contact with Propecia, they should wear gloves when handling.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of Propecia ultimately lies with the pharmacy or organization where the prescription is filled. Propecia can cost anywhere from $90-$300 on average for a one month supply.
If you have health or prescription insurance, you should check to see if your plan will completely or partially pay for the prescription. Often insurance plans will not help with hair loss prescriptions since not having hair is considered a cosmetic problem, and not a health problem. You may have to fully fund it out of pocket.
There is some good news, though. If you have taken Propecia for an entire year and have taken a full 360 pills during the year, you can get a full refund from the drug company Merck if Propecia does not work for you. You would have to fill out an enrollment form at the beginning of your course. If after taking the medication for a year, it didn’t work, you would only need a statement from your physician that you took the full course and it did not help.
Clinical Trial Results
There have been various clinical trials on Propecia. One 5-year trial gave the medication to a group of men that were suffering from mild to moderate male pattern baldness. Two-thirds of those men had new hair growth, with forty-two percent of the men experiencing significant and visible new hair growth.
Propecia is known to be most effective for new growth in the crown area of the head. It was also found that propecia only works for as long as it is taken. If you stop taking it, your baldness will return within 6 to 12 months.
Possible Side Effects
There have been a number of adverse side effects reported by people that have used Propecia.
Some possible side effects are:
- erectile dysfunction
- diminished sex drive
- testicular pain
- swelling in feet or hands
- breast tenderness
- runny nose
- dizziness or weakness
If you are thinking about taking Propecia, you should speak with your doctor. Sometimes you will have to undergo a few tests to be sure you are in a good state of health to take it, since it can cause serious complications if there is an already existent health issue. Propecia also can react negatively with other medications, so you should be sure to tell your doctor of all meds you are on, as well as the dosage of each.