Articles Tagged with: Proscar

Hair Loss Pharmaceuticals in 2019

There are many roads you can travel to reach your hair restoration destination. Which path offers the best way to restoring your hair to its full, youthful look will depend on your specific condition as determined by an experienced hair loss physician. It may involve hair transplant surgery, low-level laser therapy, or cutting-edge treatments such as platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem-cell hair growth.

But many patients who want to stop their hair loss and regrow the hair that has vanished can get outstanding results with prescription medication. Since Minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine®, was approved for the treatment of hair loss in the 1980s, pharmaceutical options for the treatment of pattern baldness in men and women have expanded, offering patients non-surgical avenues to address their hair loss issues.

Here are the most popular and commonly prescribed pharmaceutical hair loss treatments in 2019:

Minoxidil

The granddaddy of hair loss medications, Minoxidil works by converting vellus hairs –  short, fine body hairs –  to terminal hairs, which are fully developed “regular” hairs. This not only increases the size of hair follicles that have been affected by pattern baldness but also extends the growth phase of the growth cycle, resulting in thicker hair.

Minoxidil is typically applied topically to the scalp once or twice each day depending on the patient’s condition and the doctor’s recommendation. Application is easily done at home.

Individual users of Regular Strength Rogaine®  report success rates of 30-40% while users of Extra Strength Rogaine have observed success rates closer to 50-60%.

Minoxidil is not a cure for baldness. Rather, its real benefits are stopping or slowing down hair loss.

Finasteride (Propecia® and Proscar®)

Finasteride’s appeal is its effectiveness at maintaining existing hair for men with pattern baldness. 83% of men studied retained their original follicle count, and 64% experienced re-growth after two years.

Finasteride drugs like Propecia keep hair from shedding by inhibiting the body’s production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring derivative of testosterone. While DHT assists with sexual development in males during fetal development and puberty, research has also linked it to hair loss. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes new hair to stop growing. As such, individuals with elevated DHT levels may be more prone to hair loss.

Reducing DHT levels is what makes DHT blockers such as Propecia and Proscar so effective. Some studies have shown that Propecia can lower DHT levels by as much as 70%.

It is critical to note that because finasteride and DHT blockers like Propecia affect the hormone system, pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should not handle the medication as it may increase the risk of birth defects in male babies.

Dutasteride (Avodart®)

Like finasteride, dutasteride is a DHT-blocker. While the FDA ultimately approved finasteride in 1997 for the treatment of male pattern baldness, dutasteride has yet to receive such approval. But that may come soon.

The lack of FDA approval of dutasteride for hair loss treatment belies the fact that it works really well as a DHT blocker, meaning it may be equally effective at slowing the progression of pattern baldness. One study found that dutasteride blocked 98.4% +/- 1.2% of DHT at a 5mg daily dose, compared to 70.8 +/- 18.3% with the same amount of finasteride.

Dutasteride not only is effective at slowing hair loss, but it may also be better at promoting hair growth. A 2006 study of 416 men between 21 and 45 years-old found that over a 12-24-week period, dutasteride produced better hair count results than finasteride.

Spironolactone (Aldactone® or CaroSpir®)

Approved by the FDA to treat fluid retention caused by a range of conditions such as Iiver disease and kidney disease, spironolactone is also used to treat other ailments beyond its approved use, including the treatment of high blood pressure, heart failure, and hyperaldosteronism. In recent years, physicians have added female pattern hair loss to this list of “off-label” uses for spironolactone, usually after other medications or treatments haven’t worked for a patient.

Spironolactone is an “aldosterone receptor antagonist.” The “antagonist” part refers to the medication’s effectiveness at slowing down and reducing the body’s production of androgens. These male sex hormones, also found in women, are associated with hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia. Reducing androgen levels can stop the progression of hair loss and even can encourage hair regrowth.

Call the Miami Hair & Skin Institute to Learn More About Pharmaceutical Hair Loss Options

If you’re ready to do something about your thinning hair and want to learn whether medication offers a viable solution for restoring your hair, contact the Miami Hair & Skin Institute online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222 to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.

Top 3 Topical Finasteride Myths

Top 3 Topical Finasteride MythsFinasteride, commonly known as Propecia® and Proscar®, is a widely used medication for the treatment of hair loss in men. It does a great job at maintaining existing hair and re-growing hair in a large percentage of guys dealing with androgenetic alopecia and is one of many non-surgical hair restoration treatments we offer at the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami.

What is Finasteride?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved finasteride as an oral medication over 20 years ago. Its effectiveness is not in dispute: 83% of men studied were able to retain their initial follicle count, while 64% experienced re-growth after two years.

Finasteride gets these results by inhibiting the body’s production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring derivative of testosterone which helps with sexual development in males during fetal development and puberty. The problem is that DHT has been linked to hair loss, so reducing DHT levels can be the key to stopping hair loss in men.

In recent years the drug was introduced in a topical form, much like Rogaine. Since finasteride as a topical treatment is of fairly recent origin, many patients who are exploring hair loss treatment options hear conflicting reports or misinformation about the medication’s use in this form.

We’d like to clear up some of the most common topical finasteride myths so you can make a more informed decision about whether or not to consider this form of the drug in your efforts to combat hair loss. Of course, you should always consult with an experienced hair loss physician before making any decisions about how to proceed (and you’ll need to if you want finasteride in any form since it is prescription only).

Here are the top three finasteride myths we hear floating around:

Topical Finasteride is FDA Approved

As noted, oral finasteride was approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss over two decades ago. But the FDA has yet to approve the drug in topical form for this purpose, primarily because of a lack of data not because of any specific concerns about its safety. That said, finasteride’s effectiveness as a topical solution is being widely studied, and there are reports that the Swiss pharmaceutical company Polichem is working towards obtaining FDA approval in 2020.

Even though the FDA has yet to approve topical finasteride for the treatment of hair loss, it is still available in the U.S. for that purpose as an “off-label” prescription.

Topical Finasteride Has No Side Effects

DHT does much more than contribute to hair loss, which means that reducing DHT levels can have unwanted side effects. Since DHT plays a crucial role in male sexual development and mood regulation, reducing the amount of it in the body can impact these aspects of a man’s life in unwanted ways and cause:

Impotence
Lower sex drive
Difficulty achieving orgasm
Abnormal ejaculation
Gynecomastia (male breast development)
Depression

The good news is that that these side effects only appear in a small minority of men (about one out of every hundred) who take finasteride orally and if any issues do arise with sexual functioning, they are almost always temporary and will return to normal after discontinuing the drug.

But some have claimed that applying finasteride as a topical treatment gets rid of these risks. While this is untrue, it is likely that the possibility of side effects from the topical application will be less than oral ingestion due to the way the body absorbs the drug.

Topical Finasteride Can Actually Cause Hair Loss

Some men using finasteride report an increase in shedding soon after they begin using it, making them worry that the drug is doing more harm than good. The reality is that this mild shedding is normal and necessary for new hair to grow. Finasteride actively stops the current hair growth cycle and begins a new one. Any hair that is in mid-cycle will fall out and be replaced by healthier, stronger hair.

As with any medication, you should discuss with your hair loss physician whether DHT blockers or other pharmaceutical treatments offer a viable and effective option for addressing your hair loss issues.

If you’re ready to do something about your hair loss, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222 to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.

Hair Loss Prevention Plan: Finasteride (Propecia® and Proscar®)

Finasteride (Propecia® and Proscar®)In our last post, we talked about the importance of having a hair loss prevention plan if you’re genetically predisposed to losing your hair or if you’ve noticed the first signs that you may have an issue with shedding, thinning, or balding. The battle against hair loss is a fight you can win, but only with planning and action that addresses the causes of your condition.

Having a hair loss prevention plan in place can stop the problem from getting worse or slow down the rate of hair loss. Implementing a plan in consultation with your hair loss physician can increase the strength and resiliency of your follicles and even offer the possibility of growing new hair.

For many men, that plan involves the use of the prescription hair loss medication finasteride, more commonly known as Propecia® and Proscar®. This popular drug is effective at maintaining existing hair and re-growing hair in many men, but comes with some potential (though exceedingly rare) side effects and should not be used by women.

What is Finasteride and What Makes It So Effective?

Propecia’s claim to fame is its effectiveness at maintaining existing hair. 83% of men studied were able to retain their original follicle count, and 64% experienced re-growth after two years. Finasteride medications like Propecia accomplish this by inhibiting the body’s production of dihydrotestosterone, or DHT.

DHT is a naturally occurring derivative of testosterone which assists with sexual development in males during fetal development and puberty. The problem is that DHT has been scientifically linked to hair loss. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes new hair to stop growing. As such, individuals with elevated DHT levels may be more prone to hair loss.

Reducing DHT levels is what makes DHT blockers such as Propecia and Proscar so effective. Some studies have shown that Propecia can lower DHT levels by as much as 70%.

Problems With Reducing DHT Levels

DHT does much more than contribute to hair loss, which means that reducing DHT levels can have unwanted side effects. Since DHT plays a crucial role in male sexual development and mood regulation, reducing the amount of it in the body can impact these aspects of a man’s life in unwanted ways and cause:

  • Impotence
  • Lower sex drive
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Gynecomastia (male breast development)
  • Depression

The good news is that that these side effects only appear in a small minority of men (about one out of every hundred) who use DHT blockers such as Propecia and Proscar. If any issues do develop with sexual functioning, they are almost always temporary and will return to normal after discontinuing the drug.

It is critical to note that since finasteride and DHT blockers like Propecia affect the body’s hormone system, they should not be handled by pregnant women or women who may become pregnant as it may increase the risk of birth defects in male babies.

As with any medication, you should discuss with your hair loss physician whether DHT blockers or other pharmaceutical treatments offer a viable and effective option for addressing your hair loss issues. 

If you’re ready to do something about thinning hair and implement an effective hair loss prevention plan, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222 to receive a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.

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