Propecia is a drug used to treat male hair loss (baldness) in men. Propecia is not for use by women or children. Propecia contains finasteride and other ingredients which are formulated in a film-coated tablet.
Safety and efficacy studies of Propecia that were carried out on men aged 18-40 with mild to moderate hair loss (on the vertex and mid-scalp areas of the head) revealed Propecia to be an effective treatment. There was no evidence that Propecia is effective in the temporal areas.
It is believed that male hair loss is genetic, and starts gradually when men reach their 20s. Hair loss starts with a thinning of hair on the scalp which leads to a receding hair line, or baldness, on the top of the head.
Propecia should be used as prescribed by a doctor. The usual dose is 1mg taken orally once a day. Propecia does not have to be taken with food.
Do not be discouraged if you do not see an immediate improvement. The active ingredients in Propecia may take several months to work. For best results, treatment should be sustained for an extended period. If there is no improvement after 12 months, it is likely that Propecia is not going to be effective. On cessation of treatment, a reversal of any benefits will occur within 12 months.
If a dose is missed, it can be taken as soon as you remember, as long as it does not clash with the next scheduled dose. In this case, rather skip the missed dose. Never take a double dose.
Pregnant women should not handle broken tablets. Propecia contains finasteride which can be absorbed through the skin and cause damage to the genitals of a male fetus. The tablets are coated so they may be handled if not broken or crushed.
Propecia should be used with caution by men with liver disorders because finasteride is metabolized in the liver.
If any of the following symptoms appear contact a doctor as soon as possible: lumps, pain or discharge from the nipples, breast tenderness or enlargement.
Reports of side-effects are rare, but some have been reported. A small percentage of men have experienced a lack of sex drive, ejaculation problems, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decreased amount of semen. These side-effects are usually temporary and should disappear quickly. If treatment with Propecia is stopped, the side-effects will disappear.
Other side-effects may include hives, rash, itchiness, swelling of the face and lips, breast enlargement or tenderness, and pain in the testicles.
If any of these, or other uncomfortable or painful symptoms, persist or get worse, contact a doctor immediately.
There is insufficient information about overdose with Propecia. However, as with all medications, excessive doses will result in serious medical conditions. If overdose is suspected, get emergency help immediately.
Propecia should be kept in a cool, dry place away from sun and moisture.
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