What Is Propecia, And What Are Its Side Effects?


Side Effects

The drug Propecia is commonly used to treat hair loss. However, it does have a number of side effects that might be worrisome, including permanent sexual dysfunction. Among the most common side effects for Propecia are decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation disorder, all affecting men’s sexual health in very negative ways. Otherwise healthy men are experiencing these issues, with these problems persisting for an average of 40 months after treatment has ceased, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Propecia is based on a synthetic compound known as finasteride. Finasteride was developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. in the early 1990s. Alhough finasteride was originally used to treat enlarged prostate glands, doctors found that one of the side effects of its use was hair growth. Though it entered the marketplace to much acclaim with more than 400,000 Americans taking it in its first year, clinical trials revealed a list of sexual side effects that the company long tried to hide. Perhaps the most startling find in these clinical trials related to the sexual side effects of Propecia was that even after a user stopped taking the drug, the side effects remained. In some cases, sexual function never returned to normal.


Side Effects

Allergic Reactions

Other side effects that have been associated with Propecia use include but are not limited to allergic reactions such as rashes, itching, hives, and swelling; breast enlargement and tenderness; depression; testicular pain; male infertility or poor quality of semen; and male breast cancer.

Despite studies not being able to identify a clear causal link between Propecia use and the sexual side effects outlined, a connection is highly plausible considering the clinical data that has already been accumulated. The active ingredient in Propecia – finasteride – suppresses the body’s level of an androgen hormone named DHT, which plays a major role in sexuality and sexual development.

In June 2011, it was found that Propecia might increase a user’s risk for high-grade prostate cancer, the most deadly form of prostate cancer. Oftentimes it can spread to the lymph nodes and bones, being highly aggressive and growing rapidly in the body. Though the cancer risk appears to be low for users of Propecia, the announcement was made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a precaution to inform doctors and patients of safety revisions that are needed in the classification of this drug. The pharmaceutical corporation Merck & Co. originally began to market this drug stating that the side effects would stop once treatment ends. However, the exact opposite has been found to happen in the studies conducted prior to and since Propecia’s release.

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It is advisable to consider the sexual side effects and the cancer risks associated with Propecia before using it. The Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic can provide a safe way to return hair to your head without the risks associated with any sort of pharmaceutical drug. A method such as FUE (follicular unit extraction), the removal of healthy hair follicles from donor sites on the sides and back of the head to transplant them in balding areas of the head, is a far more effective, kind way to treat pattern baldness.

The causes of hair loss can vary from simple to the more complex. If you are interested in finding out more about hair transplants in Toronto, please contact us. We would be happy to review your unique hair growth pattern to determine the best hair restoration process for you.

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