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How Does Propecia Work?

Propecia not only stops and slows down hair loss in men, but it can also reverse the process, helping hair to regrow to its once lustrous levels. It mainly does this by blocking enzymes, and we’ll get into the specifics of what it does and how it does this.

The Enzyme Blocker

As men grow older, their body may begin to release greater quantities of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme takes the testosterone the body produces and turns much of it into a new hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This change is directly responsible for hair loss and male pattern baldness. It doesn’t work the same way in women, so using the drug for female hair loss will not be effective in the same way and can actually cause serious health problems.

For men, however, Propecia can be incredibly effective at blocking this enzyme and helping testosterone production to continue as normal. The levels of testosterone can increase in the body due to this change, and that often leads to a regrowth of dead hair cells or at least a slowing down of hair loss.

Ideally, new hair growth will be stimulated by the boosted testosterone levels. The body will no longer have to fight to keep testosterone levels at a reasonable level, suffering all sorts of problems in the process. Lowered testosterone can affect a number of different systems in the male body, hurting sexual performance and creating serious health problems. Propecia addresses those problems by restoring testosterone to its proper levels and helping the body get back on track.

While male pattern baldness is an expected side effect of aging, it is not medically necessary, nor is it something that all men have to simply live with. It can be successfully treated and even reversed, in some cases.

How Effective Is It?

Propecia won’t work for everyone, nor is it completely effective at reversing or stopping hair loss in all men. It is considered to be about 86% effective, and even in those cases, not all the old hair will return. Still, it is the most effective treatment for hair loss available today and as such, it is most often recommended by doctors for treating progressive hair loss and male pattern baldness.

Most men will experience some change while using it, though, but in some cases, doctors will prescribe a combination of Propecia and Minoxidil (Rogaine) for more effective treatment.

Side Effects

As Propecia works, it can cause some side effects. The changes in testosterone levels can affect your risk for testicular cancer. It can also cause a variety of sexual problems, such as impotence, loss of libido and changes in penile size. The drug was originally used to treat enlarged prostates, so it is not uncommon for it to have a profound effect on sexual performance and sex drive.

If your side effects are too severe, your doctor may be able to prescribe you something to treat them or may find you an alternative treatment method. Still, nothing is considered quite as effective as Propecia for treating male pattern baldness.


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