What is Propecia?
Propecia is a prescription-only medicine that is used to treat male pattern baldness. It is only available in the UK by private prescription. Propecia is the well-known branded version of the active ingredient “finasteride” which has been used to treat hair loss since the 1990s.
How does Propecia work?
Propecia works by preventing testosterone in your body from converting into a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT blocks the absorption of vital nutrients required for healthy hair follicles, which causes male pattern baldness.
By blocking the effect of DHT, Propecia slows down hair loss and in some cases even reverses it. This leads to thicker, healthier-looking hair as your hair follicles get the nutrients they need. But, for Propecia to have an effect on hair loss, one tablet must be taken every day. If treatment is discontinued then hair loss will return within 6-8 months. Propecia only affects hair growth on the head, and not on any other parts of the body.
How quickly does Propecia work?
When taken correctly (one tablet every day) Propecia should begin to show results after three months. In some men, however, positive effects may take longer to develop. For this reason, it is important not to become discouraged too early into your treatment. However, if you have been taking Propecia for longer than 12 months and are yet to see a difference, it is unlikely that the treatment will begin to work after this point. In this case you should speak to your GP about how to proceed.