Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Male pattern baldness (or androgenic alopecia) is caused by increased levels of DHT. In men with male pattern baldness, DHT causes hair follicles to shrink and lose the ability to create new hairs.
Finasteride takes 3–4 months to show any benefit. It can take up to one year to see the maximum results, so as long as you don’t experience side effects, it is best to continue the medication. Also, when you first start taking finasteride, it may even cause more shedding of fine hairs. This is completely expected and will stop.
Finasteride in Australia cannot be used in pregnant, possibly pregnant, or nursing women (and in fact should not be used in women at all). If a woman who is pregnant, possibly pregnant, or nursing even touches a tablet, she must wash her hands immediately and contact her physician. Finasteride cannot be used in children. And since finasteride is metabolized in the liver, men with liver impairment may not be able to clear finasteride from the body easil
- Keep this leaflet. You may want to read it again.
- If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
- If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
- 1. What Propecia is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Propecia
3. How to take Propecia
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Propecia
6. Contents of the pack and other information
Propecia contains a medicine called finasteride. This belongs to a group of medicines called Type II ‘5-alpha reductase inhibitors’.
Propecia is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia). Propecia increases hair growth on the scalp and prevents further hair loss in men. Men with mild to moderate, but not complete hair loss, can benefit from using Propecia.
How does the hair on your head grow?
On average your hair grows about 1 centimetre (half an inch) each month. Hair grows from hair follicles, which are located under your skin.
A single scalp hair grows continuously for 2-4 years (growth phase) and then stops growing for 2-4 months (rest phase). After this the hair falls out. In its place a new healthy hair begins to grow, and the cycle is repeated. The hairs on your scalp are always in different stages of this cycle so it is normal to lose scalp hair every day.
Mood alterations such as depressed mood, depression and, less frequently, suicidal thoughts have been reported in patients treated with Propecia. If you experience any of these symptoms stop taking Propecia and contact your doctor for further medical advice as soon as possible.