Propecia® Hair Loss Treatment

The prescription medication Propecia® helps prevent a common cause of hair loss, and is one of the most effective hair loss treatments available. However, the active ingredient in Propecia®, finasteride, can cause sexual side effects such as impotence, low libido and problems with orgasm. Some patients that were receiving Propecia® hair loss treatments have reported sexual side effects that continued to persist after discontinuing treatment.

What Causes Hair Loss?

The most common cause of hair loss is hormonal changes in the body. The hormone androgen plays an important role in both hair loss and hair growth. Androgen is metabolized by an enzyme called the 5 alpha reductase. This enzyme frequently combines with testosterone to produce DHT, which is the main cause of hair loss.

When DHT is present in hair follicles it can prevent needed nutrients from reaching hair follicles. The DHT causes follicles to reproduce at a slower rate and it also shortens the growing phase of the hair. In addition, it DHT can shrink follicles, causing hairs to become smaller and finer. In short, DHT is the cause of hair loss in the majority of patients.

Propecia® Hair Loss Treatment

Effective hair loss treatments like Propecia® block the formation of DHT. Lowering DHT inhibits the shrinking of follicles and allows the follicles to stay healthy. Finasteride is the only oral medication approved by the FDA to treat hair loss on the top of the head, which is known as male pattern baldness. It has been clinically proven to regrow visible hair and reduce hair loss.

Propecia® works by blocking DHT. Propecia® has been linked to long term sexual side effects in men. (reference:

Propecia® Side Effects

While it has proven to be effective, Propecia® side effects can be serious and might even include long term sexual side effects, including:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Decreased semen

Other Hair Loss Treatments

Alternatives to Propecia® to treat male pattern baldness include:

  • Rogaine (minoxidil), a topical treatment sold in retail stores and salons
  • Laser treatments, offered at hair restoration facilities
  • Hair transplant, which can be done at a hair restoration facility

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