What is Propecia
Propecia is a brand name for the generic drug Finasteride – a prescription-only oral tablet taken daily to slow down hair loss in men and women. Approved by the FDA in 1997, this treatment uses the enzyme 5-alpha reductase (the enzyme involved in steroid metabolism), Propecia blocks the conversion of testosterone to the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Testosterone is a hormone that’s present in both men and women, though men typically have more testosterone present in their bodies. According to the Society for Endocrinology, about 10 percent of testosterone in all adults is converted to DHT. Testosterone contributes to the growth of body hair.
Though research suggests it’s an effective treatment, some people are unable to overcome some of the drug’s side effects, such as lower libido, erectile dysfunction, and decreased volume of semen.
It’s important to know that Propecia cannot prevent male pattern hair loss, and cannot regrow hair that has been permanently lost, but it can stop hair loss in its tracks.