Male Pattern Baldness: What Propecia Is And How To Use It

UPGUYS > Blog > Hair > Male Pattern Baldness: What Propecia is and How to Use it

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on May 12, 2022

Whether it takes the form of a bald spot on your head, a receding hairline, or hair thinning on your entire scalp, hair loss can be very nerve-wracking.

As a man, your hair is a vital part of your identity, and hair loss can make you lose your confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, hair loss from male pattern baldness can be treated. One of the most popular hair loss treatments your doctor might prescribe for you is Propecia. But does Propecia work?

Below is a guide that explores the ins and outs of how to use Propecia. If you're looking to grow your hair back, this article will explore the following:

  • What is Propecia?
  • What causes male pattern baldness, and how does Propecia help prevent hair loss?
  • Are Propecia and finasteride the same?
  • What's the proper Propecia dosage?
  • How and when to take Propecia pills?
  • What to take and what not to take with Propecia?
  • How long does it take Propecia to work
  • Propecia side effects
  • Who should not take Propecia
  • Key takeaways

What Is Propecia?

Propecia is a prescription drug used to treat male pattern hair loss in the middle of the scalp and at the crown. This medication is recommended by adult men only.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness and How Propecia Helps Prevent Hair Loss?

Hair generally grows from each hair follicle for about three years. After some time, it's shed, and new hair grows from the follicle.

When you suffer from male pattern baldness, some of your hair follicles become smaller than average. Each new hair that grows from this follicle is usually thinner and sheds more quickly than before. Sometimes the thin hair may not grow out to the skin surface.

In case you crush or break the tablet, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant. Propecia can absorb through the skin and cause birth defects.

Male hormones may cause the aforementioned changes to your hair growth cycle. High levels of DHT—an offshoot of testosterone— can shrink your hair follicles and also shorten the hair growth cycle. This causes your hair to grow out looking thinner. It'll also be more brittle, making it fall out faster.

Treatment with Propecia can help prevent further hair loss. It works by reducing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body. This will help slower hair loss as well as increase hair regrowth.

Are Propecia and Finasteride the Same?

Yes, Propecia and finasteride are the same hair loss treatment. The difference is Propecia is the brand form of the drug while finasteride is the generic form.

It's known as finasteride since that is the active ingredient in the medication. Finasteride is also sometimes called genetic Propecia.

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What's the Proper Propecia Dosage?

Generally, you should take 1 milligram (mg) of Propecia once a day for male pattern hair loss. However, the dose of this medication will vary for different patients. Your dosage will depend on:

  • Your age
  • How severe your condition is
  • Other medical conditions you're using
  • How you react to the first dose

Ensure you consult with your doctor before you start taking Propecia. The above information includes only the average doses of this prescription drug.

If your dose is different, don't change it unless the health care provider tells you. Dosage for people younger than 18 years isn't recommended.

How and When To Take Propecia

Take Propecia by mouth with or without food as directed by your health care provider. It does not matter what time of day you take it. But try to take the medication at the same time every single day to maximize its effectiveness.

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Ensure you swallow your Propecia pills whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or break them. In case you crush or break the tablet, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or may become pregnant. Propecia can absorb through the skin and cause birth defects.

If a woman does come in contact with Propecia, they should wash the affected area right away with soap and water.

Take Propecia by mouth with or without food as directed by your health care provider. It does not matter what time of day you take it.

What to Take and What Not to Take with Propecia?

Often, going bald can make you self-conscious, but Propecia can help. If you want to get the most out of your medication, here are some things you should do:

  • Inform your doctor about other drugs you may be using
  • Take the tablets with a lot of water
  • Do not share your pills with another person, even if they have the same symptoms
  • Avoid getting up too fast from a lying or sitting position, or you may feel dizzy

How Long Does Propecia Take to Work?

Propecia is effective, but it doesn't work overnight. To get the results you desire from Propecia, you'll need to take it consistently.

While Propecia starts reducing DHT levels as soon as it's absorbed, it can take about three to four months before you start noticing improvements in your hair. This is because hair takes time to grow.

Read more: Propecia Cost

Propecia Side Effects

While Propecia has useful effects like promoting hair regrowth, it can also cause unwanted side effects. Here are some Propecia side-effects you may encounter, depending on their likelihood:

Some of the common side effects of Propecia include:

Infrequent side effects include: 

  • Allergic reaction to the drug
  • High-grade prostate cancer
  • Low blood pressure
  • Swelling in the legs, feet, arms, or hands
  • Decreased amount of semen

Rare side effects include:

  • Male breast cancer
  • Hives
  • Seizures
  • Angioedema- a type of allergic reaction
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Low sperm count
  • Pain the testicles
  • Orgasm problems
  • Rhabdomyolysis breakdown– when your muscle tissue breakdown, releasing muscle fibre contents into the blood

Read more: Propecia Warnings & Precautions

Who Should Not Take Propecia?

Propecia is not suitable for some people. You may not be able to use this medication if you:

  • Have an allergic reaction to Propecia
  • Are under 18 years
  • Are a woman who is pregnant, planning to get pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • Have severe bladder problems
  • Have liver problems
  • Have high-grade prostate cancer
  • Have suicidal thoughts

Read more: Propecia & Alcohol

Key Takeaway: Propecia Before and After Use

Generally, you can see noticeable results after a year of using Propecia. But people's hair varies, and the timeline may also vary.

If you're searching for reliable solutions for your male pattern baldness, UPGUYS has got your back. Contact us today to get started.



Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.