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Propecia Reviews

If you've used Propecia, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Subj: Breast cancer?
Date: 10/18/2009
Hi, I am 41 year lady with severe male pattern alopecia and also a positive breast cancer history in my mother and aunt. Can I use fenestride or does it have any risk factor for breast cancer?

AskDocWeb: The use of Finasteride by women is not recommended by the manufacturer. In researching the possibility of breast cancer most of the data comes from studies involving men. The pharmacokinetics* for the use of Finasteride in women do not seem to be available to the public. Male breast cancer typically occurs at the rate of 1 case per 100,000 men. In one clinical study that enrolled 3,047 men, 4 of the men taking Finasteride developed breast cancer. We leave it to you to compare those numbers.

* Pharmacokinetics is the data that includes how the drug is used by the body, how the body gets rid of it, when it begins to act, how long the effects last, how the drug is changed into other things in the body, and what happens to the wastes.

Subj: Propecia depression?
Date: 10/20/2009
I am 20 years old and need to do something about my hair loss. I thought medication would be the answer at my age but after reading about Propecia causing depression and anxiety I am very nervous about it. I had severe depression several years ago and never want to go through that again. Does a history of depression have a greater impact on depression from using propecia? Is there anything else out there that has been shown to be effective?

AskDocWeb: Depression isn't listed as an "official" side effect of propecia, although several men have reported it as well as mood swings, irritability, and loss of anger control. We found only two studies that looked into the possibility that Propecia might induce depression. The first was conducted by the Department of Dermatology at the University of Milian, Italy. That small study reported on 19 patients, some of which (number undefined) developed depression after 9-19 weeks of treatment. Their depression promptly resolved after discontinuing the drug. Two of the patients agreed to start the drug again but depression returned within 2 weeks.

The other study came from the Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran. 128 men with androgenetic alopecia, who were taking finasteride (1 mg/day) were enrolled in the study. Their conclusion suggests that finasteride might induce depressive symptoms and that finasteride (Propecia) should be prescribed cautiously for patients with high risk of depression.

So what does that leave? Minoxidil is FDA approved but it is a topical solution that must be applied twice a day. We would rather take Provillus and use a shampoo that fights hair loss, Nisim NewHair Biofactors.

Update December 2010: Merck has officially added depression to the list of possible side effects of Propecia.

Subj: I'm scared of what else it could do!
Date: 10/22/2009
I am so worried. My boyfriend has been taking propecia for about four months now. I have noticed for about 2 and a half months now that he is experiencing a very low sex drive and ED. This is not normal for him. When he looked into taking this medicine he knew that ED was a possible side effect but counted it out since it was only "2%". I briefly and gently tried to bring this up to him about 3 weeks ago and he got sensitive about it and blew it off. Do you have any suggestions about how to bring this up to him? After all of the research I've found this doesnt look good for his health. I know he's really sensitive about his hair loss right now but I'm scared of what else it could do! HELP!

AskDocWeb: You are not alone. Most people struggle with how to approach sensitive topics respectfully. It is helpful to begin with positive feedback before moving onto what they may consider to be a negative. For example you might share a few of the things that you like most about them, their endearing qualities. It is important to stress that you are addressing the problem because you truly care about your relationship with them and you want to improve it.

Subj: Hairloss continuing
Date: 10/27/2009
I started taking Propecia for five months exactly. I still have slight hairloss continuing. Should I be worried that I am one of the few it will not work for? I know you cannot give me a definite answer due to everyone being different but can you give me an educated guess from your knowledge when my hairloss should visually stop if Propecia will work for me? Thank you.

AskDocWeb: If Propecia is not working for you, that is no cause for concern and it does not mean that anything is wrong with you. If you expect your hair loss to completely stop, that is not going to happen. A certain amount of hair loss is normal. Men lose from 50 to 100 hairs per day and normal hair loss for women ranges up to 150 per day. We would give any hair loss product a full 6 months to see results. Anything less is not an adequate test and you would just be wasting your time.

Subj: Low blood pressure
Date: 10/28/2009
Hi, I'm about to start taking propecia and rogaine today, I was wondering though, I had taken acutane a little over a year ago and I don't really get acne anymore, but I read that acne was a possible side effect with one of these medications, so since acutane stops me from getting acne, would there be any effects with this medication for me? Also, are there any known side effects for taking both propecia and rogaine at the same time? I also thought I should say that I already have low blood pressure so would taking this be dangerous for me?

AskDocWeb: Although rare, when too much minoxidil (Rogaine) is absorbed through the scalp may produce and overdose. The symptoms of an overdose include low blood pressure, fainting, dizziness, and confusion. For this reason we think that anyone with low blood pressure should consult with their doctor before using products containing minoxidil. This is especially important for those who have recently had a hair transplant. There is not enough data to know how much of a problem acne might pose while taking Propecia.

Subj: Hair is significantly thicker
Date: 10/30/2009
7 months, still have a crazy sex drive and my hair has gotten significantly thicker. This is the best $2 a day I have spent. For those guys with the penis problems I'd say get to the gym, load up the squat rack and get some blood flowing.

Subj: Changing hair loss products
Date: 10/30/2009
I had been using rogaine for about 4 years with great results. However, with many hair loss treatements it comes with side affects. I was tired of the messy application and dry, itchy scalp. So I asked my doctor if I could start using proscar instead of rogaine. He said he thought I would benefit from it and prescribed 1.25mg daily(5mg tablet divided into quarters). Apparently, he and certainly I were unaware of any future loss from past gain of using rogaine if I stopped using it. So about 6 months after starting proscar and stopping the rogaine cold turkey, my hair has started shedding badly. And now I can see the top of my head where I couldn't before. I have restarted the rogaine application along with the proscar. I'm wondering if this is a normal shed from the proscar or is this loss from stopping the rogaine? And now that I am back on the rogaine, is it too late to regain what I lost by stopping in the first place? How long does it really take for those follicles to dye rather than lie dormant? Thank you in advance.

AskDocWeb: Shedding has been reported from both starting a new hair loss product and discontinuing one so yours could be from either one. Once hair follicles become dormant the hair falls out after a couple of months. The good news is that hair follicles can lay dormant for many years and still start producing hair again if they receive the right stimulus.

Subj: Sexual side effects are not fun
Date: 11/2/2009
Sex is not as fun anymore. I don't want it that much. Kinda depressing. This all started when I first took propecia. It got pretty bad to where I didn't want it at all so I stopped taking propecia after a few days. I stopped taking it over a year ago and my sex drive still suffers. I told my doctor and he got some book out that discussed the effects of propecia in the long term. He said there wasn't anything in there about long term side effects of propecia having to do with sex drive. Help?

AskDocWeb: When you say that you stopped taking Propecia after a few days, it sounds like you only took a small number of pills. Do you remember how many you took before the sexual side effects showed up? If your GP doctor can't help you then you may want to consult with a urologist.

Subj: Birth defects from the male taking Propecia?
Date: 11/3/2009
Queston: I've been on propecia now for over 8 years. I have noticed some decrease in semen out put and some ED but my question is concerning what if any birth defects are prevalent if the male is taking the drug?

AskDocWeb: The manufacturer says the amount transferred during intercourse is so low as to not cause any problems. So far there is only one report of problems caused by conceiving a child or having intercourse during pregnancy when the man is taking Propecia. See the post from Elizabeth.

Subj: Propecia memory loss?
Date: 11/12/2009
I've experienced fairly severe memory loss over the past two years. I've been taking propecia for appx three years. Is there any way to determine if this stems from the drug or unrelated?

AskDocWeb: Memory loss is not listed as a side effect of Propecia. There is a rumor going around that the FDA is investigating Propecia for memory loss but so far it is unconfirmed.

Subj: Hair loss started again after 2 years of Propecia
Date: 11/12/2009
I've been taking propecia for the last 2 years it maintained my hair for that period, I would also like to add that I smoke. In the last month I started using t-gel as my shampoo and taking multi hair vitamins and omega oil and using frizz serum for my frizzy hair at the front between both temples, but I've started to notice a very great amount of hair loss at the front what is the reason for this? Why now?

AskDocWeb: Here is a general rule of thumb to go by: If you start using a new product on your hair and a month later start noticing hair loss, you may want to consider discontinuing that product.

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