hi im a 25 yr old male and have been using a generic version of propecia as i have a family history of baldness. i started using this when i was 19. i still have my hair. i would like to know. is there any way of knowing if its working or not? or should i be just greatful i still have hair. also. how long can i go without taking my daily dose without affecting my treatment as sometimes i do have to wait for a new script. thanks
Is Propecia a Good Solution for Hair Loss?
Doctor Answers (6)
Is Propecia a good solution for Hair Loss
In our practice, the only reason I ever recommend Propecia is to stabilize, not re- grow.
It's in your best interest to make sure there is not a delay in refilling your prescription.
So to answer your question, be happy you have hair and make sure you do everything you can to maintain.
Propecia is Effective for Men With Alopecia
Propecia is Effective for Slowing and Possibly Stopping Hair Loss Due to Male Pattern Baldness (Alopecia)
But it cannot replace lost hair follicles, and there is yet no known cure for permanent hair loss other than surgical hair restoration.
Given that you started using Propecia at 19 and that your hair loss has slowed if not stopped, it sounds like Propecia has been a highly effective option for you.
This isn’t surprising as an early National Institute of Health study on the effectiveness of Propecia found that the sooner you start using it after the first visible signs of hair loss, the more effective it is, and usually those visible signs start early, when you’re young. You’re asking now “is it working?” I can tell you again that it probably has been quiet effective in arresting your hair loss. You should definitely be grateful that you started early and that it has worked this well for you.
Propecia's Effectiveness Might Be Increased by Combining It with Minoxidil
You may be able increase the effectiveness of Propecia by combining it with minoxidil or using a combination of Retin-A and minoxidil. However, you should never combine these drugs unless under the close supervision of your doctor. You should also be aware of the potential sexual side effects of Propecia and discuss the risks with your doctor.
You asked “how long can I go without taking my daily dose without affecting my treatment as sometimes I do have to wait for a new script.” Generally, you should be fine waiting for a few days or even a week or two, but I wouldn’t stop using it for longer than that.
The use of Propecia for hair growth
Propecia has been a popular drug to keep hair growth moving forward provided it is used daily. It's effect is to reduce the concentration of 5-HT ( Hydrotestosterone) which is known to be detrimental to the continued vitality of hair follicles and the contained hair shaft. Stopping the use of Propecia will cause the probable loss of the hairs. This is effective for men, certainly not for women. The limited side effect for a man may be a limited case of erectile loss, but this only affects approximately 3 to 4% of users, and is quickly reversed by stopping the medicine
The use of the medicine should be considered indefinitely.
Frank Rieger M.D. Tampa Plastic Surgeon
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Propecia for Temporary, Non-Surgical Hair Restoration
Propecia is as good as its results, which vary from person to person. SInce finasteride is targeted toward crown hair loss and does not affect the hairline, someone with a receding hairline would not say that Propecia is a good hair restoration solution. However, someone who needs to prevent crown loss would probably say it's great. Additionally, Propecia is most effective when use begins at the early onset of thinning, rather than when male pattern baldness has progressed to extreme hair loss.
The best way for you to determine if this medication is working for you would be to discontinue use. And there is no real reason for doing this, unless you're experiencing unfavorable side effects from the medication. Also, try not to go too long between prescriptions, as Propecia must be used continually to be most effective.
Propecia - Is It Working?
As you have been on propecia already for 6 years, it is more difficult now to assess how much benefit you have actually gained thus far in taking it. There are several devices and techniques that a well-trained hair loss expert can utilize to measure hairs on different parts (control area on the back of the scalp and affected area in traditionally on the crown or frontal scalp) of the scalp at different time points to see whether your hair count in the so called "affected areas" is being maintained or improved. Ideally it would have been best to do this when you started the propecia, but it can still be started now and give you a sense of how you are doing moving forward. I recommend you consult with a board-certified dermatologist who is an expert in hair loss for evaluation. I do not recommend that you stop the propecia as you risk losing what you have gained. Good luck!
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.