- Propecia, also known by its generic name, finasteride, is a treatment for men’s hair loss.
- Propecia is also used to treat an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
- Finding the lowest price for Propecia can help more men access hair loss treatment.
Up to two-thirds of all men can experience male-pattern baldness, known to doctors as androgenic alopecia. Propecia can help you keep the hair you have, yet before you begin taking it, you should know how it works, and whether it’s right for you.
What Is Propecia and What Is It Used For?
Propecia, medically known as finasteride, is most typically used to slow the progression of male-pattern baldness. Finasteride is also used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate, or BPH) under the brand name Proscar.
How Does Propecia Work?
Propecia is an antiandrogen drug that blocks the production of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of DHT can shrink the hair follicles on your scalp and shorten the cycle of hair growth. Over time, this causes hair loss.
Finasteride can’t stop hair loss completely, however. Androgenic alopecia is a genetic condition, and can’t be cured, only treated.
What Formulas Are Available for Propecia?
Propecia comes in tablet form and is also available as a topical preparation called Propecia Foam.
Propecia Dosage and Administration
Men typically start on 1 milligram of Propecia daily. You’ll generally begin seeing results no later than three months after you start.
You’ll likely only experience the effects of Propecia while you’re taking it; once you stop, the symptoms will return within a year.
How Should I Take Propecia?
Propecia is usually taken orally, in pill form, with a glass of water. You can take it with or without food. You don’t need to take it at the same time every day, but it’s best to be consistent.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of Propecia?
The most common possible side effects of Propecia are:
- Lower libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Difficulty in achieving orgasm
- Difficulty ejaculating
- Swelling or tenderness in the breast area
Some of these side effects may continue after you stop taking Propecia. However, these effects are usually temporary and will go away on their own.
You should also seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Pain in the breasts
- Lumps in the breasts
- Discharge from the nipples
- Other breast changes
- Testicular pain
- Blood in the semen
These are potentially signs of breast or testicular cancer, and you should talk to your doctor about screening right away.
Currently, research is ongoing into what’s been termed post-finasteride syndrome, where either the side effects of the medication linger or new ones begin to emerge. There’s considerable debate on whether this syndrome exists, possible mechanisms, and the possibility that these symptoms may have been coincidental and could have had other causes, such as stress or anxiety.
What Should I Avoid When Taking Propecia?
Avoid combining other antiandrogen medications with Propecia. If you’re taking an alpha blocker in combination with Propecia, make sure that any other medications you’re taking are not alpha blockers as well.
Before taking Propecia, check to ensure that any other medication you’re taking doesn’t affect your liver enzymes. As Propecia is broken down in the liver, changes in your liver enzymes can change how long Propecia remains in your system, either increasing or reducing its effectiveness.
Propecia can also be absorbed through the skin, so if you need to move your prescription to another bottle or clean up a broken pill, use gloves and dispose of it where others won’t handle it.
What Should I Do If I Miss a Dose of Propecia?
If you miss your daily dose, wait until the next day to resume taking it. Don’t take two doses on the same day.
What Should I Do If I Overdose on Propecia?
There are no known short-term problems with overdose of finasteride. However, a higher dose is more likely to trigger side effects and other discomfort.
In particular, taking more Propecia than recommended over a long period of time makes hormonal side effects more likely and isn’t recommended. If Propecia isn’t helping with your hair loss, talk to your doctor.
Who Should Not Take Propecia?
Women should not take Propecia, and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not handle Propecia. Because women have lower testosterone levels than men, even a small dose can potentially cause hormonal problems and birth defects. Children should also not take Propecia for similar reasons.
Among men, the biggest concern is a possibility of hormone-related issues. Men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) that may be caused by hormonal imbalances should discuss the impacts with their doctor before taking Propecia. If you’ve ever had prostate cancer or liver disease, or if men in your family have ever had breast cancer, ask your doctor about possible risks tied to these diseases.
Are There any Potential Drug Interactions with Propecia?
While there are no known major drug interactions as of this writing, a number of medications can cause moderate or minor reactions when taken with finasteride. These include:
- Cialis (tadalafil)
- CoQ10 (ubiquinone)
- Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- Eliquis (apixaban)
- Fish oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
- Flomax (tamsulosin)
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Metoprolol succinate ER (metoprolol)
- Metoprolol tartrate (metoprolol)
- MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol 3350)
- Plavix (clopidogrel)
If you’re taking any of these medications, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before taking Propecia. Likewise, speak to your provider if you experience new or unusual symptoms after beginning Propecia.
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If you’re looking to keep your hair, you shouldn’t have to pay more for finasteride. BidRx helps you get the lowest price for Propecia by putting your prescription up for bid by pharmacies across the country. Pick the price and pharmacy that works best for you, and have it shipped right to your door.
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