Proscar is a brand name for the drug Finasteride, which can be used to treat hair loss in men. It is made by the US drug company Merck, and usually comes in the form of one-a-day 1 mg tablets. Finasteride is the active ingredient of Proscar, and it also contains inactive ingredients such as starch and sugar.
How Does Proscar Work?
When men produce the hormone testosterone, some is converted into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by enzymes in the body. This process helps to give men their male characteristics. However, DHT also causes hair follicles to get smaller, and this can cause a type of hair loss called male pattern baldness. Proscar works to stop this hair loss by preventing the body from converting testosterone into DHT. By blocking the production of DHT, finasteride allows the hair follicles in the scalp to gradually return to their normal size.
What Type of Hair Loss Does Proscar Help to Treat?
Male pattern baldness (which is also known as androgenetic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss among men. Hair loss, particularly the thinning of the hair that covers the scalp, is a natural part of the ageing process but it can be very distressing to people who experience this type of balding prematurely. However, hair loss affects many men at a young age – about 30% of men will have experienced it by the age of 30, and half of all men will have suffered some male pattern baldness by the age of 50. It is partially genetic, so if your father or grandfathers had this type of baldness, you are more likely to experience it. Proscar works to counteract the hormonal causes of hair loss.
How Effective is Proscar?
Scientific studies have shown that treating male pattern baldness with Proscar helps to slow further hair loss and can make a real difference to a person’s appearance. After about six months of treatment, men who take Proscar can expect to see an improvement in hair loss of about 30%, as finasteride works to actually increase the number of hairs a person has. Patients can usually see an improvement in as little as three to six months. Effectiveness usually only lasts as long as the drug is taken, meaning the process of hair loss normally starts again within a year if you stop taking Proscar.
Does Proscar Have Any Side effects?
Proscar has a good medical safety record and side effects are uncommon. Some men who take the drug experience some of the following: a smaller libido, an inability to get an erection, tender breasts, depression. Proscar is not suitable for treating hair loss in women or children, and it should be stored safely according to the packet’s instructions or your pharmacist’s advice.
How Can I Get Hold of Proscar?
Proscar is not available on the UK’s National Health Service as a treatment for male pattern baldness. This means you will need to see your doctor to procure a private prescription. A wide variety of retailers and pharmacies in the UK will be able to provide the drug.