Propecia Vs Generic Finasteride: A Difference
While results are important to hair loss sufferers, so is cost. Brand-name prescription drugs can be costly, and you could end up spending thousands per year.
Propecia is the brand name of the original finasteride. It was the only available brand until 2006. Since then, multiple generic brands came to market as the patent expired.
Both Propecia and generic brands include the active ingredient finasteride. It is the inactive ingredients, packaging, and branding that differ from brand to brand.
Overall, this should not cause any problems for patients. By definition, inactive ingredients are not biologically active. This suggests most users will get comparable results switching from Propecia to generic.
One thing to consider, however, is the quality of the manufacturing process. It is possible that generic finasteride will have lower-quality inactive ingredients.
If you are considering purchasing generic finasteride, discuss this with your doctor. You can also speak to your pharmacist and read online reviews of other users.
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Finasteride Oral Tablet And Alcohol
There arent known interactions between taking finasteride and consuming alcohol.
Keep in mind that drinking alcohol could increase your risk for side effects from finasteride, such as erectile dysfunction. Drinking alcohol may also make certain benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms worse, such as frequently needing to urinate.
Talk with your doctor about how much alcohol is safe for you to consume while youre taking finasteride.
Study: Finasteride 5 Mg/day Treatment Of Patterned Hair Loss In Normo
Finasteride is a drug thats available in various dosages. And while its important to use the lowest dose possible so as to reduce the risk of adverse effects, researchers have studied various dose strengths on women to determine true efficacy of the drug .
In one particular study, published in 2013, researchers wanted to see how effective a 5mg/day dose of finasteride would be on postmenopausal women with AGA.
A total of 40 women participated in this study, and all of them received a daily dose of 5mg finasteride for a 18 months.
The efficacy of the treatment was evaluated by patients satisfaction, as well as global photograph assessment by two independent dermatologists.
After 6 months, 22 patients referred significant improvement, 12 referred moderate improvement, and 6 referred no improvement. These were somewhat in line with the photograph assessments of which the dermatologists determined that 8 patients showed no improvement, 16 showed moderate improvement, and 16 showed significant improvements at the 6th month
A slight improvement was observed from the 6th month to 12 and 18 months.
While the results were not as objective as desired, they do strongly suggest that 5mg finasteride is effective and safe for the treatment of female AGA in postmenopausal women in the absence of clinical or laboratory signs of hyper-androgenism.
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Finasteride For Hair Loss: What Men Should Know
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Youve suspected it for some time, but now its undeniable — youre losing your hair. Whether it takes the form of a receding hairline, a bald spot around your crown or diffuse thinning on your entire scalp, hair loss is never a good thing.
As a man, your hair is an important part of your identity and your hairstyle is a testament to your personality. But losing your hair doesnt have to mean losing yourself.
The good news is that hair loss from male pattern baldness is almost always treatable. In fact, if you take action quickly, its often possible to prevent any further hair loss and even regrow some or all of the hair in areas of your scalp affected by hair loss.
One of the most effective hair loss treatments available is finasteride, a medication that reduces your bodys production of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.
Used correctly, finasteride can produce natural-looking results without the cost of inconvenience of options like surgery or a hairpiece.
Below, weve explained what finasteride is, as well as how it works to slow down, stop and even reverse the effects of male pattern baldness.
Weve also covered everything you need to know before using finasteride, from side effects and drug interactions to simple tips and techniques that you can use to get the best possible results.
Strut Finasteride And Minoxidil Mens Hair Loss Gel
Here at Strut, we saw the benefits of using both Finasteride and Minoxidil together in an easy once-daily gel, so our doctors and pharmacists developed our Menâs Topical Finasteride Hair Loss Gel.
This product contains prescription-only ingredients, so you will need to have a free online consultation with our doctors to make sure this formulation is a good choice for your hair goals.
If you are a good candidate for treatment, your prescription can be shipped discreetly to your front door with our free 2-day shipping.
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Serious Side Effects Of Finasteride
Common finasteride side effects are enough to be an inconvenience, but theyre nothing out of the ordinary for prescription medications. In rare cases, however, more severe side effects can occur that require medical attention. These include:
Vision problems arent a typical finasteride side effect, although one study found a correlation. However, it was a fairly small sample size, so further testing might be necessary for confirmation. But this doesnt mean its completely harmless to your vision. According to Dr. Yuna Rapaport, MD, MPH, the director of Manhattan Eye, finasteride itself can cause subclinical damage to the retina and optic nerve, which may not affect your actual vision, but could be discovered on a special image. Additionally, comparable prostate medications like Flomax can affect the way the iris constricts and makes certain surgeries, particularly cataract surgery, more challenging.
Dementia may be a concern, mainly because dihydrotestosterone affects cognitive function. The Journal of Neurological Sciences found higher risks of dementia during the first two years of 5-alpha reductase inhibitor therapy, but no increased risk after that.
After experiencing some of these side effects, some men will want to cut off their finasteride treatment. There arent any severe consequences or withdrawals after quitting finasteride cold turkey, but hair loss and prostate growth will likely resume unless another treatment takes its place.
What Are The Side Effects
Side effects from Finasteride at the 1mg dose are uncommon, but they can still occur if the patient is susceptible. In the studies above, one-year drug-related side effects were 1.5% greater than in the control group. The data showed that 3.8% of men taking Finasteride 1mg experienced some form of sexual dysfunction verses 2.1% in men treated with a placebo. The five-year side effects profile included decreased libido , erectile dysfunction , and decreased volume of ejaculate . There has also been reports of gynecomastia male breast tissue growth.
Most reported cases of sexual dysfunction occurred soon after starting the medication, as the body is getting used to the new drug. However, there have been reports of sexual dysfunction that have occurred at later points in time. The sexual side effects were reversed in those who discontinued therapy, and in 58% of those who continued treatment. After the medication was stopped, side effects generally disappeared within a few weeks. There have been anecdotal reports where side effects have persisted after discontinuation of therapy.
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Other Treatments For Hair Loss In Men
For most men, finasteride is an effective option for treating and preventing hair loss from male pattern baldness.
However, its not the only hair loss treatment thats available. Other affordable and effective hair loss treatment options include:
Minoxidil. A topical medication, minoxidil helps to improve blood flow to the scalp and stimulate hair growth. Research shows that minoxidil is particularly effective when its used at the same time as finasteride. We offer minoxidil solution and minoxidil foam online. You can also purchase finasteride and minoxidil together in our Hair Power Pack.
Hair loss prevention shampoo. Many shampoos, including those that contain active ingredients such as saw palmetto and ketoconazole, are formulated to prevent excess hair shedding and promote optimal hair growth. Our Hair Thickening Shampoo uses saw palmetto to target DHT at the scalp level and promote volume and moisture.
Important Safety Information For Finasteride
Finasteride is for use by MEN ONLY and should NOT be used by women or children.
Read this Patient Information before you start taking finasteride and each time you get a refill. There may be new information. This information does not take the place of talking with your healthcare provider about your medical condition or treatment.
What is finasteride? Finasteride is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss . It is not known if finasteride works for a receding hairline on either side of and above your forehead . Finasteride is not for use by women and children.
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The Dht Blocking Should Start Happening With Your First Dose
âLuckily, the Finasteride should start laying the groundwork for better hair with the very first dose.
After taking your first Finasteride tablet, it will go to work that day helping to block the enzyme which transforms some of the testosterone in your body into dihydrotestosterone . And, since DHT is a big culprit in follicle damage and hair loss in male pattern baldness, this is a big step.
Taking Finasteride daily can help reduce your serum DHT levels by about 70%, meaning that there is much less DHT around to damage your hair follicles. Over time, this is thought to help retain hairs that would have been lost to DHT, and may give some areas a fighting chance for regrowth.
Of course, in order to keep these DHT levels low, you need to take your scheduled doses just as recommended. Finasteride has a relatively short half-life . So, if you miss too many doses, your body wonât have Finasteride around to block DHT and your DHT production will ramp up again.
How Should I Take Propecia
Take Propecia exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
Propecia can be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.
It is important to use Propecia regularly to get the most benefit. You may need to take Propecia daily for three months or more before you see a benefit. Propecia can only work over the long term if you continue taking it. If the drug has not worked for you in twelve months, further treatment is unlikely to be of benefit. If you stop taking Propecia, you will likely lose the hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment. You should discuss this with your doctor.
To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your doctor will also test your prostate specific antigen to check for prostate cancer. Visit your doctor regularly.
Store Propecia at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
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How Male Pattern Balding Works
Balding in men can occur at any point throughout their lives with up to 60% experiencing hair loss by the age of 50.
Known as androgenic alopecia, male pattern hair loss is normally a condition that is hereditary and linked to both genetics and hormones.
Hair grows from follicles. But, as balding and hair loss occurs, those follicles get smaller until little or less hair than previous grows from that spot. As the follicles shrink, hair gets thinner and shorter. This is known as miniaturization of hair follicles. Hair also falls out a lot faster compared to normal non-balding hair.
The science behind this stems from testosterone, which is then converted into another hormone known as Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This hormone is the one that shrinks follicles and means the scalp generates less hair.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Finasteride
Before taking finasteride, tell your healthcare provider if you:
- have any other medical conditions, including problems with your prostate or liver
- Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your healthcare provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
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Theres New Hope For Treating Hair Loss For Women Too
Propecia was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997. Its Madison Avenue-invented name rhymes with felicia, similar to the word for happy in Spanish.
A product label available online details how the drug works: It blocks the bodys ability to turn testosterone into dihydrotestosterone or DHT, a hormonal change that somehow keeps hair from falling out of prematurely balding male scalps .
The literature reports a 48-week study of more than 200 men with androgenetic alopecia. Some participants were given placebos, but the ones taking Propecia showed increase from baseline in total and anagen hair counts of 7 hairs and 18 hairs, respectively. The men on placebos lost hair throughout the study.
Rival drug Rogaine, by Johnson & Johnson Consumer, also has been the subject of lawsuits, but most of those involve various allergic reactions to the minoxidil in Rogaine, not allegations of sexual dysfunction.
Many of the Propecia lawsuits allege that victims experienced sexual side effects after they stopped taking Propecia and/or Proscar which, at 5 mg of finasteride, is five times the strength of Propecia and is specifically intended for men with enlarged prostates. About 50 lawsuits allege that Propecia caused or can cause prostate cancer, testicular cancer, or male breast cancer, according to a financial statement from Merck. Others have sued Merck for memory loss or a combination of sexual side effects and memory loss.
About The Risks And Sexual Side Effects Of Finasteride
There are several studies and surveys that Propecia skeptics claim call into question the drugs safety profile. None of these studies were nearly as large or exhaustive as the initial, FDA studies. But theyre worth looking at, nevertheless.
This study was essentially a review of 34 finasteride trials. It concluded that not one of those 34 published finasteride trials provided adequate information about the severity, frequency or reversibility of sexually adverse effects. Researchers found that adverse effects were not sufficiently graded in terms of their toxicity. According to the studys lead author Dr. Steven Belknap, people who take or prescribe the drug assume its safe, but there is insufficient information to make that judgment.
Potential Problem with this Study The lead researchers received direct funding from the Post-Finasteride Syndrome Association.
This study essentially went viral in 2011 and really put Propecias safety profile into question.
Its very controversial, primarily because the studys lead researcher, Dr. Michael Irwig of George Washington University, recruited his subjects from an online Propecia support group.
In other words, the overwhelming majority of men involved in his survey were already having serious issues with the drug . So while the statistics are somewhat shocking at face value, theyre really not all that surprising. Irwig found that:
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