Reviews and Comments on Propecia Side Effects and Usage, page 69
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: Any breakthroughs?
AskDocWeb: Yes, many men are successfully using Propecia. But the people who come to this website are usually the ones concerned with side effects or are having a problem. The odds are greatly in your favor that you will have no side effects and that it will work well for you. As to being on it for the next 70 years, that is not likely to happen. At the rate that medical science is progressing, we should have a complete cure for this within the next five to ten years. You wrote this quote on 6/16/2004. I’m wondering if there is any breakthroughs like fin and minox that are likely to be out in the near future. Cheers,
AskDocWeb: The whole problem of hair loss is being researched from several angles. Here is an overview of some of the research we are currently following.
- AndroScience Corp. is working on a drug that directly affects hair follicles by reducing their ability to absorb dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that stops hair growth.
- Hopefully Pfizer will come out with one of the products they are working on. One is a drug that works the same way as Rogaine and the other is a drug treatment that mimics the effect of thyroid hormones on hair growth.
- Hair transplants are about to get faster and cheaper if the new surgical equipment under development by Restoration Robotics works out.
- Follica Inc. is in the early stages of developing new methods for growing new hair follicles.
- Copper peptides are still being researched because they shorten the resting phase of hair follicles, resulting in more hair follicles on the scalp being in the growing phase (as opposed to the resting or falling out phase) at one time. Nanogen, a UK-based skin research company, is undergoing Phase I trials to assess the potential of hair regrowth of a new “broad-spectrum” molecule which is copper II based. The company has not released details on the molecule because it is still pending a patent.
- New research from Rockefeller University has revealed that the structure at the base of each strand of hair, the hair follicle, uses a two-step mechanism to activate its stem cells and order them to divide. The self-renewal process of stem cells in the hair follicle appears to control the life cycle of hair growth. For a new round of hair growth to begin, stem cells in the hair follicle must receive a signal to divide. In response to this signal, the hair follicle regenerates first by growing downward through the skin’s middle layer and then produces the specialized cells that form the new hair. After a period during which the hair grows longer, stem cells stop dividing and the hair follicle gradually retracts again. There is then a period of rest and the cycle repeats.
- Hair cloning is getting closer as stem cells and dermal papilla cells have been discovered in hair follicles. Research on these cells is now known as hair multiplication (HM) and is being developed by two independent companies: ARI (Aderans Research Institute, a Japanese owned company in the USA) and Intercytex, a company in Manchester (UK).
In 2008, Intercytex announced positive results of a Phase II trial for a form of cloning hair follicles from the back of the neck, multiplying them and then reimplanting the cells into the scalp. The initial testing resulted in at least two thirds of male patients regrowing hair. It appears that they are ready for Phase III trials.
- Aderans Research Institute is looking at ways to multiply certain cells from the scalp, which would then be injected or seeded into the scalp to generate new follicles.
- In May 2007, U.S. company Follica Inc, announced they have licensed technology from the University of Pennsylvania which can regenerate hair follicles by reawakening genes which were once active only in the embryo stage of human development. Skin apparently can be brought back to this embryonic state when a wound is healing. Hair growth was discovered in the skin wounds of mice when Wnt proteins were introduced to the site. Development of a human treatment is expected to take several years.
- In February 2008 researchers at the University of Bonn announced they have found the genetic basis of two distinct forms of inherited hair loss, opening up the possibility of a new range of products to treat hair loss. They found that a gene, P2RY5, causes a rare, inherited form of hair loss called Hypotrichosis simplex. It is the first receptor in humans known to play a role in hair growth. The fact that any receptor plays a specific role in hair growth was previously unknown to scientists and with this new discovery there is a focus on finding more of these. In May 2009, researchers in Japan identified a gene, Sox21, that appears to be responsible for hair loss in people.
- Researchers at GlaxoSmithKline and the Jewish General Hospital have identified two previously unknown genetic variants on chromosome 20 that substantially increase the risk of male pattern baldness. It’s long been recognized that that there are several genes responsible for causing male pattern baldness. Until now, no one could identify those other genes. If you have both the risk variants on chromosome 20 and the unrelated known variant on the X chromosome, your risk of becoming bald increases sevenfold. About one in seven men have both of those risk variants. That’s 14% of the total population. This discovery may lead to new products that are far more effective for treating hair loss.
- Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) have found that an enzyme associated with the synthesis of fat in the body is also an element in healthy skin and hair. The enzyme is acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 or DGAT1. When researchers used genetic engineering to delete this enzyme in mice, they found that lack of DGAT1 caused hair loss. Their findings were reported in The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
- Other products under research to slow down hair loss are zinc, silica, pyridine N-oxides, methylsulphonylmethane (MSM), cod-liver oil and certain unsaturated fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid.
Feel free to add to this list.
Subj: Chest pain and breast tenderness
I started using Propecia just over a year ago and started to notice hair regrowth after just a few months. However at the 5 month mark I went for a Health Scan, which included an ECG. I was diagnosed with an ST depression which indicated some sort of heart trauma, although I don’t recall ever having one. I was also experiencing a tightness in the chest at that point and my GP sent me to A&E and I found myself in hospital for the next 6 days. My heart was fine, despite the chest pain and they think my ECG was normal for me. I did declare to them that I was taking Propecia and the hospital pharmasist did note it was for hair loss with out me prompting.
At the one year mark I was still suffering the chest pain, but I was also getting indegestion. The tablets I took for that seemed to ease the chest pain. I mentioned this when I got my next years batch of tablets from the chemist and he thought it was probably the indegstion causing the pain. I re-read the patient information leaflet and saw that breast tenderness was one of the side effects, so stopped taking the Propecia. I have started taking Lazaprol for the indigestion/acid reflux. The chest pain hasn’t gone away but is less severe than it was. I told my GP I was going to stop the propecia to see if it had any effect, but he didn’t seem to acknowledge it, focusing on the other issues I had. Given that I have been off the Propecia for a month now and the breast tenderness hasn’t gone fully away, is this due to my other conditions? Does this Propecia side effect take some time to disappear? I’d like to go back on it if I knew this wasn’t going to happen again.
AskDocWeb: The relationship between the use of Propecia and breast tenderness is currently unknown as is the length of time it takes for the side effects to go away.
Subj: Side effects of Propecia
I recently had a hair transplant in late august. The results are starting to show and it has been almost 4 months since I had the transplant. I was recommended to take propecia, I went to my doctor did some blood work and was okayed in doing so. So after almost a month after my hair transplant I started to take propecia. I took about 12 pills in just over 2 weeks. I noticed many side effects with this drug right away. My face would swell up like a blowfish, I had erectile dysfunction, could not maintain an erection at all while on the drug. While on propecia I would have premature ejaculation problems without even being fully erect. While also on propecia I got real depressed and I lost my libido. I have a few questions to ask about my side effects. It has been two months since I took my last pill of propecia, the swelling in my face was gone almost right away, but I still have problems maintaining an erection And I still don’t feel the same. Are the side effects permanent? or will they eventually go away and I will get to normal like my old self again?
AskDocWeb: According to the manufacturer, in all the men who had side effects from taking Propecia, the side effects went away after the drug was discontinued. They do not say how long that took. It would be helpful for other men if you would report back every so often to let us know how you are doing. Good luck.
Subj: Irritability, depression and mood swings
I have been using 0.5mg of the generic version of Propecia, Finasteride, daily for the past few years, but I am stopping today. It is only now that I am making a connection with my increased irritability, depression and mood swings to this medication. I never used to be the type of person to lose my anger easily and “blow up” at someone, but sadly this is the person I am today and I am really upset about this.
My wonderful partner is the one who brought this to my attention, as one day after an argument he mentioned how he has to be careful what he says to me in order for me not to lose my temper. I am so ashamed of this, and I am pretty sure it is due to Finasteride, as I just looked on Wikipedia and indeed it states some of the side effects are as follows: “Propecia (and other products containing finasteride) causes a rise in testosterone levels, because testosterone that would normally be converted into DHT remains testosterone. Persistently higher levels of testosterone in the body could have negative psychological effects, such as impulsivity, aggression, irritability and depression.” Those side effects fit me perfectly, as I am also more impulsive now, less patient, and definitely more aggressive. I am hoping that by stopping this medication my testosterone levels will level out and these bad side effects will be gone.
Propecia didn’t even help fill in my balding areas, it just helped to keep what hair I had, but I would rather be bald than suffer the mood swings I do now, which unfortunately those around me have to suffer to. I also shaved my head, and I can’t begin to tell you how great and liberating it is not to have to worry about hair now, not to mention it being time saving, plus it looks good and is very fashionable.
Please guys, take a look at how your acting, and if it seems you get angry much easier now, are more moody, aggressive, irritable, sad or depressed, then stop taking this medication. No amount of hair saved or grown is worth us causing those around us to suffer due to our bad mood swings. I am just glad I found this out now, because no hair is worth me losing my wonderful partner over mood swings caused by medication I don’t have to take. Good luck to all of you.
Update December 2010: Merck has officially added depression to the list of possible side effects of Propecia. Read more feedback.
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