Finasteride: Helps Hair Loss And Prostate Cancer
For many people who are treating their hair loss, the 1 mg dose of finasteride, which goes by the brand name Propecia, plays a big part in slowing down their hair loss. There is also a 5 mg dose of finasteride that goes by the brand name Proscar that can be used by female patients with hair loss. Proscar can be cut into 4 sections (1.25 mg dosage) so that men can treat hair loss more affordably. But the 5 mg dosage of Proscar is also used to treat enlarged prostate in men.
Androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, in men is caused by an enzyme that converts testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone, better known as DHT. DHT is responsible for men losing the hair on the top of their scalp. It does not affect the hair follicles along the back and sides of the scalp. DHT is also responsible for men growing body hair as well as causing enlarged prostate in older men. Finasteride works to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
An enlarged prostate can have a few different effects on a man. The most common and relatively harmless effect is incontinence or loss of bladder control. The more serious and dangerous result is prostate cancer. In a study that was conducted on the effects of finasteride in treating enlarged prostate, it was found that there was a 25% reduction in potential prostate cancer risks in the men that were studied. The 5 mg dose of finasteride (Proscar) was the only dosage used for this study. The more frequently prescribed 1 mg dosage of Propecia has not been proven to be effective on treating enlarged prostate and possible prostate cancer.
Finasteride has, however, been approved by Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an effective and safe treatment of not only enlarged prostate, but also hair loss.
What About the Side Effects?
Almost every patient that we see at the Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic brings up the side effects of finasteride that they have heard about from a friend or read about on the Internet. The most-talked-about side effects are the ones related to sexual libido and erectile dysfunction. The truth is that only about 10% of men who use Propecia actually get these side effects. That means that 90% of these patients are able to effectively treat their hair loss without any issues.
The answer is simple. If you want to treat your hair loss effectively, seek the advice of a doctor and try finasteride for a month. If you feel any differently, simply stop using it.