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All about: Propecia

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Generic name:
Brand names: Propecia

Why is Propecia prescribed?

Propecia is a remedy for baldness in men with mild to moderate hair loss on the top of the head and the front of the mid-scalp area. It increases hair growth, improves hair regrowth, and slows down hair loss. It works only on scalp hair and does not affect hair on other parts of the body.

You may begin to see improvement as early as 3 months after you begin taking Propecia, but for many men it takes longer. The improvement lasts only as long as you take the drug; if you stop, new hair growth will cease and hair loss will resume.

Propecia is a low-dose form of Proscar, a drug prescribed for prostate enlargement.

Most important fact about Propecia

Propecia is NOT for use by women. If taken during pregnancy, it can cause abnormal development of a male baby's genital organs.

How should you take Propecia?

For maximum benefit, take Propecia regularly once a day. It can be taken with or without food.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a closed container away from moisture.

What side effects may occur?

Propecia's side effects are primarily sexual, and relatively uncommon--they strike one or two men in a hundred. If any side effects develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Propecia.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Breast tenderness and enlargement, decreased amount of semen per ejaculation, decreased sex drive, impotence, itching, rash, swelling, testicular pain

Why should Propecia not be prescribed?

Due to the drug's effect on male babies, women should avoid Propecia if there is any chance that they may be pregnant.

Do not use Propecia if it gives you an allergic reaction, or if you've ever had an allergic reaction to its chemical twin, Proscar.

Special warnings about Propecia

If there's even a possibility that they're pregnant, women should avoid handling a crushed or broken Propecia tablet for fear of absorbing some of the active ingredient through the skin. Whole tablets are safe to handle thanks to a protective outer coating.

Use Propecia with caution if you have liver problems.

Propecia lowers readings of the PSA screening test for prostate cancer. If you're scheduled to have your PSA level checked, make sure the doctor knows you're taking Propecia.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Propecia

No significant drug interactions have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Avoid even touching the active ingredient in Propecia if there's a chance that you're pregnant.

Recommended dosage

ADULT MEN

The recommended dosage, for men only, is 1 tablet daily.

Overdosage

Although no specific information is available on Propecia overdose, any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

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