Propecia side effects
According to recent studies, Propecia (a finasteride-based medication manufactured by Merck & Co, Ltd.) has remained the unchallenged #1 hair loss treatment since 1998 when it was first introduced to the market. Back in 1998 as many as 400,000 men filed for therapy with this medication in US only. These days the number is even more impressing – in 2009 it was pushing 1,000,000 in the US and kept growing. So it’s safe to say that Propecia is an effective and very popular medication. But is it also safe? What are the main side effects of finasteride, which is the active ingredient in Propecia and many other similar hair loss treatments? How does Propecia work and how does it cause whatever adverse effects are there? Let’s get these questions answered in today’s article – along with a few more.
Side effects of Propecia
Even though only as few as 2-3% of people using Propecia suffer from one or more finasteride side effects, this medication still remains one of the most controversial in the pharmaceutical market? Why? Simply because, in spite of being so rarely observed, its side effects are so feared by men. For instance, Propecia may cause a decrease in libido, lower the quality of erection and even reduce sperm count resulting in temporary infertility. Even worse, there’s something known as ‘post finasteride syndrome’ – i.e. a number of sexual problems that don’t go away even after patients cancel their therapy with Propecia. While not exactly backed up by any evidence, this syndrome stirs the minds of many men considering therapy with finasteride. Fortunately, most scientists studying the aftereffects of taking finasteride agree that this is nothing but an urban myth born from the fact that most Propecia users are aged men in their 50s or even 60s, whose sexual function is decreased due to natural factors rather than the malicious effect of finasteride.
Does finasteride work?
While it’s still unclear whether the side effects of finasteride are that much of a problem or not, there’s one thing that is for certain: this medication does what it’s made for perfectly well. It takes an average man around 6 months to achieve at least a 30% improvement in hair structure. That means growing new hair on previously bald patches, fewer hair falling out and overall stronger, healthier hair. So, if the question is ‘does Propecia work?’, the answer is yes and only yes.
However, there’s a fly in the ointment too. Finasteride is no miracle cure that would bring hair back onto your head and guarantee you’d never lose it again. The problem is that the effect persists only for as long as you are taking finasteride and as soon as your therapy is canceled, you’re likely to start losing hair again. However, according to those men who have been using Propecia for 10+ years already, long-term therapy is not really as dangerous as you might have thought after reading the above paragraph.
How to get Propecia
When deciding how/where to get Propecia, one can choose from two options. The first, more conventional way implies going to one’s doctor, being diagnosed with male pattern baldness, taking a number of tests, getting a prescription for Propecia and buying the brand-name version of this medication from a local brick-and-mortar drugstore. The second, much simpler, though somewhat riskier way involves buying Propecia online. In the latter case you don’t have to worry about prescriptions but should spend at least some time choosing a reliable web drugstore and a reliable generic medication if, of course, you’re not going for brand-name Propecia by Merck.
Is Propecia safe?
Taking all of the things stated above into consideration, we can probably conclude that Propecia is not a 100% safe medication. But after all, is there a drug that can be considered 100% safe? Definitely no. Talking about Propecia: it’s super-dangerous if you are a pregnant woman or a woman who is planning to get pregnant soon. In that case, you should not only avoid taking Propecia but also avoid contact with broken or crushed pills as the finasteride in them can potentially be absorbed through skin.
If you are a man undergoing hair loss therapy with Propecia, however, you should be perfectly safe. Remember that side effects are only observed in 2-3% of patients tops, so you’re not likely to be one of those who are affected by finasteride in a bad way. Nevertheless, always watch out for unusual symptoms and contact your healthcare provider immediately if you notice anything strange. Keeping that in mind, you should be able to make your experience with finasteride flawless.