Propecia, the Baldness Pill: Does it Work?
If you are a man with hereditary hair loss, there are products available to help you keep your hair. One option is finasteride (Propecia), a prescription medicine that is in tablet form and taken orally.
Finasteride was first developed to shrink enlarged prostate glands. Researchers noticed that it also helped grow hair, so a special lower-dose formulation—Propecia—was developed for hair loss.
Finasteride interferes with conversion of testosterone to another hormone called 5 alpha-dihydro-testosterone (or DHT). DHT reduces hair follicle activity. Over time and under the influence of DHT, follicles sprout thinner hairs until no hair regrows. When finasteride blocks DHT production, thinning of hair ceases and a more normal growth may possibly occur.
Last reviewedJuly 2012by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.