propecia

  • Manufacturer: Merck & Co., Inc.
  • 1 MG
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Propecia Overview

Propecia is the only FDA-approved treatment for men with mild to moderate hair loss, both on the top of the scalp (vertex) and in the anterior mid-scalp areas. Propecia is intended to slow down the loss of hair and improve the rate of re-growth. It is important to note that Propecia only maintains hair on the scalp areas, and does not affect hair elsewhere on the body.

How Propecia Works:

Propecia is known as a steroid reductase inhibitor. It prevents hair loss by reducing the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in men. DHT has been shown to shrink hair follicles down to the point where they no longer produce hair that is visible to the eye. By reducing DHT production in the body, hair loss is reduced. In clinical trials, two out of three men even experienced re-growth of lost hair.

How to take Propecia:

Propecia is taken once-a-day. Some men may begin seeing results in as little as 3 months. Propecia tablets are taken orally, and can be consumed with or without food. You should continue to take Propecia even if you notice improvement of your condition. If you discontinue use of Propecia, hair loss will gradually resume. Avoid missing any doses. If a dose is missed, skip it, and continue taking the medication the following day.

Taking the medicine at the same time each day may help you to remember when to take it. Always check with your primary care physician prior to starting, stopping or changing the dosage of any medication.

Benefits of Propecia:

Propecia is an easy, once-daily treatment and offers a convenient way to help prevent hair loss. More than a million men in the U.S. have successfully taken Propecia since 1998, providing hope for men searching for an end to their struggle with hair loss. As many as 9 out of 10 men reported keeping their hair count while taking Propecia.

Propecia Side Effects:

Studies have shown that side effects are not generally experienced in most men taking Propecia. However, possible side effects may include erectile dysfunction, a smaller amount of ejaculate, and loss of sexual drive. If you experience swollen lips, hives or skin rashes, notify your doctor promptly, as these symptoms could be indicative of an allergic reaction to the medication.

Who should not take Propecia?

Propecia is indicated for only for men, and should not be taken by women, children or infants. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not handle any of the tablets if they are broken or crushed, as exposure to the medicine can cause developmental abnormalities in male infants.

Important Patient Information

FINASTERIDE (HAIR GROWTH) - ORAL (fin-AST-er-ide) COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Propecia

IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.

USES: This medication is used to treat male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) at the crown and in the middle of the scalp. It should be used by adult men only. This medication works by decreasing the amount of a natural body hormone (DHT). Decreasing the amount of DHT leads to increased hair regrowth and slower hair loss. Hair growth on other parts of the body is not affected by finasteride. Women and children should not use this medication. Finasteride is not approved for prevention of prostate cancer. It may slightly increase the risk of developing a very serious form of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.

HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking finasteride and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions regarding the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth, with or without food, usually once daily, or as directed by your doctor. If the tablet is crushed or broken, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or by a woman who may become pregnant (see also Precautions section). Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day. It may take up to 3 months to notice a benefit. You must continue to take this medication to maintain your hair growth. When you stop taking finasteride, any gain in hair quantity is generally lost within 12 months. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

SIDE EFFECTS: Decreased sexual ability/desire may occur. In some men, this medication can decrease the amount of semen released during sex. This is harmless, but has continued in some men even after stopping treatment. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: lump in the breast, nipple discharge, breast enlargement/tenderness/pain, pain in the testicles, inability to urinate. A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking finasteride, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, prostate cancer, infections, urinary problems. Finasteride should not be used in children. The drug can be absorbed through the skin. If the film coating of the tablet has been broken or the tablet crushed, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Exposing a developing male infant to finasteride can result in abnormalities of the genitals. This medication should not be used in women, especially during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It may harm an unborn or breast-feeding baby. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about this medication.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use. This medication can affect the results of the blood test used to detect prostate cancer (prostatic-specific antigen or PSA levels). If you have a PSA test done, make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug. This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

OVERDOSE: If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) away from light and moisture in a tightly closed container. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Prescribing Information

This product information is intended for United States residents only. Before prescribing, please refer to the patient information. You can view the document and also download it on your computer. You may also consider printing out a copy for yourself.

• View US Prescribing Information - PDF Version

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