Although it’s normal for people to start losing their hair as they get older, it can still devastate your confidence and happiness to lose something that is closely linked to your identity.
Given this, it should come as no surprise that there are a number of viable solutions to treat hair loss. One popular option is finasteride, better known as Propecia.
Although you might be ready to race to your local pharmacy to get your prescription of Propecia, it’s important that you know all the information you need before taking it, including the right Propecia dose for you.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Propecia, including:
Table of contents
Let’s dive in.
What Is Propecia?
Propecia, also known by its generic name finasteride, is a medication used to treat male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). This hair loss typically happens around the crown and middle of the scalp, leaving a “horseshoe” shape on a man’s head.
Finasteride works by decreasing the amount of a specific enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme is what causes the main contributor to male pattern baldness: dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT makes hair follicles shrink and produce fewer hairs, eventually not growing hairs at all. By lowering the amount of DHT, it encourages increased hair regrowth and slower hair loss.
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An interesting fact is that scientists weren’t looking for a hair loss treatment when they discovered finasteride.
It was originally discovered when scientists were looking for a treatment for enlarged prostate glands (a medicine that is now known as Proscar). They were fortunate enough to find a side effect: extra hair growth.
Propecia is a prescription medication. Talk to your doctor about your ED and take their direction on what ED medication and dosage to take.
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It was then approved as the first hair loss medication in pill form.
There have been other products that have been FDA approved for the treatment of hair loss. The most popular one is minoxidil, more famously known by its brand name, Rogaine.
While finasteride is taken orally in pill form, minoxidil is a topical solution that is applied directly to the balding area.
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Does Propecia Work?
In a market that is saturated with products that are promoted as hair loss solutions (many of which don’t even work), you might be wondering if Propecia actually works.
Well, good news for anyone who’s been duped by fake hair loss products in the past. Finasteride has been proven to be incredibly effective in the majority of people that take it.
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Finasteride (Propecia) is a prescription medication. DO NOT take it on your own.
Countless clinical studies have been taken and show that hair loss stopped in 86% of participants, and 65% of participants experienced a “substantial” increase in hair growth. It is even said that finasteride works even better in the fifth year of its use than in year one.
Because of its efficacy, doctors will often recommend finasteride to those who wish to slow down hair loss. But it’s important to note that it is much more effective in those with mild hair loss and won’t be noticeable to those who have already lost significant amounts of hair.
Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Propecia Cost
How Do I Take Propecia?
Like any other medicine, it’s important to read the instructions that come with it before use. If you have any questions, ask your doctor.
Take the pill by mouth with or without food once a day.
If the pill has been broken, pregnant women should not touch it, as the ingredients can interfere with pregnancy.
You must keep taking Propecia to maintain hair growth. If you stop taking it, the hair that you grow will be lost over the next year.
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What Propecia Dosage Should I Take?
It’s important to know how much Propecia to take for hair loss.
The Propecia dosage for hair loss that you take depends on the person, so be sure to consult a doctor on what works for you.
For male pattern hair loss, Propecia is typically only offered in 1 milligram (mg) doses. It should only be taken once a day.
Finasteride dosage is also offered in 5 milligrams (mg), but only for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is also only taken once a day.
Women and children should not use Propecia (finasteride). Expecting women and women who are planning to get pregnant should not handle crushed or broken tablets.
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What Do I Do If I Miss a Propecia Dose?
Did you miss a Propecia dose? No problem.
If you miss a dose of finasteride, just skip that missed dose and continue on your regular dosage schedule. Do not take double doses to make up for the missed dose.
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Is It Possible to Overdose on Propecia?
If you take too much Propecia, you may raise your risk of developing negative reactions. This includes any of the side effects of Propecia, including:
- Decreased sex drive
- Trouble getting an erection
- Ejaculation disorder
- Tenderness in breast
Propecia can also have more serious side effects. These include:
- Swelling of lips, tongue, throat, or face
- Nipple discharge
- Lumps or pain in the breast
If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure you contact a doctor or 911 immediately. These can be considered serious medical emergencies.
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If you’re wondering how Propecia’s side effects compare to those of Rogaine, click here to read more about minoxidil’s side effects.
What about drinking while on Propecia?
While it’s never recommended to drink in excess, studies show that the occasional drink doesn’t change the effects of Propecia. But further study is needed for a more definitive answer to the mixing of finasteride and alcohol.
Know What’s Best for You
That’s everything you need to know for the correct Propecia dose to take. Now that you have the info you need, make sure to consult with a doctor to see if the drug is right for you.