Is Propecia a lifetime drug for hair loss?

i am 19, suffering from male pattern baldness....i wanna know that if i start using propecia and rogaine, will i have to continue using these drugs for my whole life?

Doctor Answers 6

Hair loss drugs are a lifelong commitment if they work for you, but there is a one-time alternative, non-surgical treatment

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Thank you for your question. I understand you're 19-years-old and experiencing male pattern baldness. You'd like to know that if you start finasteride (Propecia) or minoxidil (Rogaine), whether you will need to continue taking these drugs to maintain your hair for the rest of your life.
To first give you a little about my background — I am a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and a Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, practicing in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. I am a hair specialist and have been performing hair transplants for that same amount of time. I'm also the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers, which provide an alternative non-surgical treatment for hair loss, using a combination of platelet-rich plasma and Acellular matrix. The treatment of hair loss is a cornerstone of my practice.
You certainly have the benefit of a long history of experience with minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil was first used by prescription in 1988, and finasteride has been around since 1997. The drugs, however, do have certain limitations, and when we meet patients who have been on these drugs for a lengthy period of time, a majority of them are still losing hair.
For the purpose of clarity, let us define these two drugs. Finasteride is a pill that you take daily in order to inhibit the enzyme called 5–alpha reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). About 60% of men respond well to finasteride, which means that 60% of men may have DHT–sensitive hair loss. Therefore, the drug operates on the premise that if you reduce the DHT, you will allow continuous hair growth.
Minoxidil, on the other hand, is a topical drug that appears to stimulate short-term hair growth and prolong the growth cycles of thinning hair. The exact mechanism of how it does this is not clearly defined. In a pharmacological sense, if you are responsive to these drugs, then you need to take them as indicated — one pill every day for finasteride, and regular topical application for minoxidil.
In my experience, I learned a long time ago that taking a drug regularly eventually becomes a challenge for people. With finasteride, many people become concerned about the long-term sexual side effects that it causes the longer they take the drug; and the sometimes the tiresome and continuous application of minoxidil has people questioning whether it may not have the consistency they want to see the benefit.
With all these concerns, there was an opportunity to develop a treatment that would go beyond the limitations of hair loss drugs. The Hair Regeneration system, as mentioned before, is an alternative non-surgical hair loss treatment that addresses male and female pattern hair loss. It combines platelet-rich plasma and Acellular matrix in a single injection and is able to stop the progression of hair loss, initiate regrowth of hairs that are not actively growing, and cause thinning hairs to become thicker.
It is a remarkable treatment that is different from the pharmacologic approach to hair loss. We have a high rate of success among men and women who come to us for this treatment, and people even come to us from all corners of the globe just to receive this treatment. With more than five years’ worth of clinical data collected, we’ve observed that hairs do continue to grow after receiving Hair Regeneration. We sometimes also customize the treatment for certain individuals with more advanced hair loss where we do a second injection somewhere between 15 to 18 months, and we are constantly evolving the procedure to make it better and better.
Interestingly, our rate of response for male pattern hair loss exceeds the response of finasteride and does not even compare to minoxidil. In fact, we have been able to establish success with Hair Regeneration as a standalone treatment that does not require the support or supplementation of hair loss drugs. Technically, our patients could choose to be on those drugs, however we don't require it of them since the treatment already works well without it.
To answer your question, following the pharmaceutical model, if you are a responder to a hair loss drug, then you will most likely need to use the drug for the rest of your life. Compliance has always been a challenge for hair loss medication, and this is often what leads people to become interested in our treatment. With Hair Regeneration, it is important to catch people early, while their hair loss progression is not yet too advanced. The earlier we catch a patient, the earlier we can strengthen their hair, give them better coverage, and avoid surgery for as long as possible. I suggest you meet with a hair specialist and consider other treatments like Hair Regeneration.
I hope that was helpful and I wish you the best of luck!

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Using propecia for #hairloss

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There are two FDA approved hair care products for hair loss. One is propecia. Once you start using it? You need to continue lifelong, if you stop the hair will shed quickly. 

Michael Meshkin, MD
Newport Beach Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

The answer is simple

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Hello friend,
To answer your question I will extend it to all non-surgical procedures. Anything that is non surgical will have to be taken for life to stop or reduce hair loss. 
There are different treatments that you can try and even combine to improve effectiveness.
Laser, PRP, medications. I will recommend you to get a consultation with a hair expert in order to get the best possible treatment to help your case.
Best of lucks and please do not hesitate on asking more questions.


William Yates, MD
Chicago Hair Restoration Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Finasteride (Propecia)

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Genetic balding is a lifetime problem for men as it is progressive by its very nature. The drug finasteride is the only effective drug for genetic hair loss so it probably is a life time committment. 

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Propecia and Rogaine, lifetime therapy? ENGLEWOOD Cliffs NJ

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In my opinion, the treatment of hair loss in a young person is aimed at preventing the follicles from becoming lost. At some time in your life, a new treatment will become available that will be able to stimulate most of the dormant follicles. You will then transition from the Propecia and Rogaine to the new treatment. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Jeffrey Rapaport, MD
Englewood Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Propecia and Rogaine must be continued to have lasting effect

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Both Propecia and Rogaine must be continued throughout the time in which you are susceptible to hair loss to be effective.  Generally speaking, you are susceptible to age 65. 

If tolerated, these treatments are helpful and effective however.  

Cellular therapies such as PRP have the benefit of having lasting effect and although they may be repeated in the future, they tend to last 18 months or longer with a single therapy in the right clinic.  The benefit is a one time treatment versus a daily application or pill.  However, there is also great benefit in combining cellular therapy with Propecia and Rogaine.  

We used to treat blood pressure years ago with one medication and slowly increase it to max before starting another.  Today we treat blood pressure with low doses of several medications all at once- hitting in different ways from different directions.  The same can be said of hair loss.  A good treatment plan generally involves a lot of different approaches to be fully effective. 

Ryan Welter, MD
Boston Hair Restoration Surgeon

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.