Propecia (Finasteride) is a hormone-influencing drug that is approved for two specific conditions, which are male-type hair loss or male pattern baldness, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as prostate enlargement. Both conditions are highly bothersome physiologically and psychologically, and they are both caused by the excessive activity of testosterone-derived hormones. Among these highly active testosterone derivatives, which is the male sexual hormone synthesized in the testicles and in the adrenal glands, is dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Medical researchers believe that DHT is mainly responsible for the bothersome symptoms exhibited by men affected by androgenic hair loss and prostate enlargement. Specifically, DHT causes a weakening of the hair follicles in the scalp of men, which inevitably causes hair fragility and gradual hair loss and baldness. In the prostate, DHT causes an excessive stimulation of the prostatic tissue, which causes a volume enlargement of this organ, and compressive effects that disturb the normal urinary flow. How can one stop the destructive effects of excessive DHT amounts that negatively influence the hair follicles and the prostate? The enzyme 5-alpha reductase has the role to convert testosterone, the typical male sexual hormone, into the more active version dihydrotesterone (DHT), which causes all the trouble.
Propecia is a drug that blocks this enzyme, which results in substantially lower amounts of DHT being produced. After the excessive DHT stimulation is removed through Propecia administration, the hair follicles become stronger and the male pattern baldness can be reversed. It is important to mention that Propecia administration needs to be continuous based on the physician’s prescription because the hair fragility and baldness symptoms may return after about 6 months from the drug discontinuation. The same mechanism is applied in the case of prostate enlargement. Propecia (Finasteride) is able to block the conversion of testosterone into the undesirable DHT, which diminishes the excessive prostate stimulation and improves the urinary flow and sexual functioning. In a similar manner, if Finasteride therapy is discontinued for any reason, the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia may return a few months later.
Propecia has been tested for side effects and potential complications after treatment, and it has successfully passed all clinical trials for safety. However, temporary side effects are possible, which are a result of diminished sexual hormone activity. They may include temporary erectile problems, transient breast enlargement in men and ejaculation difficulties. Talk to your physician and discuss the utility of Propecia treatment to make sure that you take the right dosage and any adverse effects are adequately monitored. Your doctor may adjust the dosage and monitor the beneficial effects of Finasteride treatment so that you can enjoy the maximum benefits without causing a hormone imbalance.