PROPECIA (Finasteride)
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PROPECIA (Finasteride)

What is Propecia?

PROPECIA is used to treat male-pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia. It increases scalp hair growth and helps to prevent additional hair loss. It is effective in men with mild to moderate hair loss but is not effective for those who have lost all their hair.

HOW DOES PROPECIA WORK?

PROPECIA contains finasteride. Finasteride is a type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Hair loss in aging males is thought to be caused by the effects of DHT. DHT causes a reduction in the speed of hair growth and causes hair thinning, leading to male pattern balding. These changes may start to occur as early as 20 years of age and become more common as men age. If hair loss is prolonged, it may become permanent. PROPECIA reduces the level of DHT in the blood and may reverse the balding process. This may lead to an increase in hair growth and the prevention of additional hair loss.

­­WHAT ARE THE INDICATIONS FOR PROPECIA?

PROPECIA is used in patients with male-pattern hair loss – also called androgenetic alopecia.

WHAT IS THE DOSE OF PROPECIA?

The dose of PROPECIA is 1 mg taken daily by mouth. At least three months of continuous use is required before an increase in hair growth or reduction in hair loss is seen. Stopping treatment will lead to a reversal of all hair-growth effects after approximately 12 months.

Warnings & Precautions

General warning

PROPECIA should be used with caution in patients with liver dysfunction, as PROPECIA is mainly metabolized in the liver.

Other possible causes of alopecia should be excluded before starting PROPECIA. In addition, a medical healthcare provider should periodically evaluate the efficacy and duration of PROPECIA treatment.

Patients should report any breast changes such as pain, lumps, or nipple discharges.

Increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer

Patients older than 54 years of age and taking PROPECIA are at greater risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. Therefore, patients should be monitored regularly to identify those who develop this complication.

Special Populations

Hepatic impairment

The liver primarily metabolizes PROPECIA. Therefore, it should be used with caution in those with impaired hepatic function.

Renal impairment

It is not necessary to adjust the dose of PROPECIA in patients with renal dysfunction or for those on dialysis.

Children

PROPECIA should not be used in children.

Pregnancy

PROPECIA should not be used in pregnant women. PROPECIA inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT and may cause abnormalities in the development of the male fetus’s external genitalia. Pregnant women should not handle PROPECIA tablets that have been crushed or broken.

Breastfeeding

PROPECIA should not be used in breastfeeding women. This is because PROPECIA inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT and may cause abnormalities in the development of the male fetus’s external genitalia.

Use in the elderly

No studies have been done on the effectiveness of PROPECIA in patients over the age of 65 years.

Use in postmenopausal women

One large study has shown no benefit to using PROPECIA in healthy postmenopausal women suffering from androgenetic alopecia.

Contraindications

PROPECIA is contraindicated in women who are or may be pregnant. This is because PROPECIA inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT and may cause abnormalities of the male fetus’s external genitalia.

PROPECIA is contraindicated in persons with a hypersensitivity to any component of the product.

Side Effects

Common side effects of PROPECIA include:

  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculation disorders

Less common side effects include:

  • Hypersensitivity reactions such as swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, and face
  • Muscle pain
  • Depression
  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast enlargement
  • Male breast cancer
  • Testicular pain
  • Male infertility

Drug Interactions

No significant drug interactions of clinical importance when using PROPECIA have been identified.

Frequently Asked Questions

Patients over the age of 54, who take PROPECIA, may have an increased risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

PROPECIA is manufactured as a film-coated tablet It1 is tan-colored and has the code “P” on the one side and PROPECIA on the other. It contains 1 mg of finasteride.

PROPECIA 1 mg should be taken daily, with or without food. At least three months of continuous use is required before an increase in hair growth or reduction in hair loss is seen. Stopping treatment will lead to a reversal of all hair-growth effects after 12 months.

PROPECIA inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT. In pregnant women who take PROPECIA, this may result in abnormalities of the male fetal genitalia. Do not handle broken or crushed PROPECIA tablets, as the possible absorption of PROPECIA through the skin may pose a risk to the male fetus.

PROPECIA is taken once a day by mouth. It can be taken with or without food. You cannot speed up hair gain by taking more than one tablet per day.

PROPECIA is contraindicated in women who are or may be pregnant. PROPECIA inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT and may cause abnormalities in the external male fetal genitalia development. It should not be used in breastfeeding women.

PROPECIA is contraindicated in persons with a hypersensitivity to any component of the product.

Children should not use PROPECIA

In most cases, men starting PROPECIA see an increase in hair growth that will fill in thin or balding areas on the scalp. Most will also notice a slowing in the rate of hair loss. You will most likely not be able to regrow all the hair loss. It is likely that you will not see hair gain on the side of the head in the temporal region.

It takes time for hair to grow and so at least three months of continuous treatment is required to see an effect. If you have not seen an improvement in your hair growth after 12 months of treatment, then it is unlikely that continuing with treatment will be beneficial. If you stop taking PROPECIA, you will lose most of the hair that you have gained within approximately 12 months of stopping your treatment.

PROPECIA is not effective in the treatment of postmenopausal women suffering from androgenetic alopecia.

If you miss a dose of PROPECIA, do not take an extra dose. Instead, take the next dose, as usual, the following day.

Common side effects of PROPECIA include:

  • Decreased libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Ejaculation disorders

Less common side effects include:

  • Hypersensitivity reactions such as swelling of the lips, tongue, throat and face
  • Muscle pain
  • Depression
  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast enlargement
  • Male breast cancer
  • Testicular pain
  • Male infertility

If you experience severe side effects, immediately contact your doctor, or go to the nearest emergency health care facility.

PROPECIA should be stored away from children. It should be stored in a dry place at room temperature, away from heat and sunlight. It should be stored unopened in its foil pouch and only opened when ready for use.