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What is Male Pattern Hair Loss?
Male pattern hair loss or baldness is the common type of hair loss that develops in most men at some stage. It usually takes 15-25 years to go bald. However, some men go bald in less than 5 years. Typically, at first the hair begins to recede (thin) at the front. At the same time, the hair usually becomes thin on the top of the head. A bald patch gradually develops in the middle of the scalp. The receding front, and the bald patch on the top gradually enlarge and join together. A rim of hair is often left around the back and sides of the scalp. In some men, this rim of hair also thins and goes to leave a completely bald scalp.
Clinical evidence has found that a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) plays a key role in the development of male pattern baldness. While this hormone is essential for proper genital development in male babies, high DHT levels in adult men contribute to the shortening of the hair growth phase, ultimately thinning the hair until hair is no longer grown from the follicle. The drug Propecia (finasteride) works by inhibiting DHT levels in the scalp and interrupting the natural progression of male pattern baldness.
Image source and copyright: Merk & Co.
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Complete a free online medical consultation. Your answers provide our doctors with the information they need to safely recommend the right treatment for you.
A doctor will review your consultation and, if it is safe to do so, approve you for treatment. Our doctors will suggest suitable treatment options, including dosage and treatment duration. Select your medicine and complete your order using our secure payment system.
All prescriptions are sent electronically to our UK based partner pharmacy, ready for dispatch. Our partner pharmacy is regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council and only dispenses genuine branded medicines licensed for use in the UK.
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We aim to offer you similar pattern of healthcare as if you were to visit your normal GP for a face to face consultation. We believe it is important that you complete a medical consultation to ensure that the treatment option you are requesting is appropriate for your needs. Our GMC registered doctors are also able to suggest treatment options for you if you prefer. Once a doctor has approved you for treatment all prices are clearly displayed. Your medical consultation and registration is free and you are under no obligation to purchase any treatment after your consultation.
In order to manage some conditions online, we are required to inform your GP about the medicine you have been prescribed. This will be clearly highlighted during your consultation. We will not contact or share this information with your GP without your consent. You are required to provide consent each time you order, so you remain in full control of when we contact your GP on your behalf.
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How quickly does Propecia (finasteride) work?
One of the most common questions patients ask is how effective is Propecia (finasteride). As with any medication, different people will respond in a different way. However, based on clinical evidence here are some basic guidelines of what you can expect.
If you stop taking your hair loss medicine, you will gradually lose the hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment.
How effective is Propecia (finasteride)?
A 5-year clinical study indicated that two thirds of men who took Propecia regrew hair, as measured by hair count. All of the men in the study who were not taking Propecia lost hair. It normally takes three to six months of using Propecia before any effect is seen, and the balding process will normally resume if treatment is stopped.
What is the difference between Propecia and finasteride?
Propecia is the brand name for hair loss treatment medicine containing the active ingredient finasteride. A brand name is assigned to a generic medicine by a pharmaceutical company for marketing purposes, usually to make it more memorable.
Finasteride is the generic medicine name (official medicine name). It is medically identical to Propecia.
Can women with hair loss use Propecia (finasteride)?
No, Propecia (finasteride) is limited to use in men only.
Women can also suffer hair loss, especially those with many relatives who are also prone to losing their hair. The female pattern sets in at a later age than in men and is usually limited to the top of the head. Total baldness is rarely seen in women. The only treatment licensed for hair loss in women is Regaine for women.
Last Reviewed 16/02/2020 Authored 14/09/2009
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