A reputation for unwanted side effects has dogged the main hair loss treatment on the market, these side effects have been confirmed and expanded on in a new study.

 

Finasteride – A Thoroughly Modern Medicine

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Finasteride, under it’s brand names, has been on the market  since 1992. Originally marketed as a drug to treat an enlarged prostrate it had been noticed during early tests that laboratory mice had grown new hair. 5 years after is approval as a prostrate drug Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, sought for and received approval for its use as the first drug to combat male pattern baldness.

Since then it has achieved worldwide fame, and not a little notoriety, under its brand name Propecia. It has proven effective for some who take it at preventing further hair loss and in a few cases has even prompted regrowth. It has found other uses too – Hirsutism is an extremely upsetting condition that sees women growing excessive facial or bodily hair… finasteride is remarkably reliable at reducing the effects, achieving a 93% reduction in facial hair and 73% in body hair… though it took 2 years – as with any hair loss treatment the results require a great deal of patience. It has also been used as part of a hormone replacement therapy, though little or no clinical research has been conducted into it’s efficacy for this purpose.

In 2015 a meta analysis of all the clinical trials of finasteride it was announced that none of them gave sufficient information to provide a safety profile as a hair loss treatment… they pointed toward a systematic bias towards under-reporting adverse events. For example, many of the candidates on these trials who came off the medicine early did so because of erectile dysfunction, but these candidates did not end up in the final analysis.

Risks Highlighted By University Study

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In 2012 a health advocacy group calling themselves the Post-Finasteride Syndrome Foundation to find a cure for their condition, erectile dysfunction that continued for months or even years after they stopped taking the drug. According to Merck’s own published accounts in 2016 they had no less than 1385 liability lawsuits on their hands all related to sexual side-effects.

The latest study, from the Northwestern University in the USA, used data gathered by the regional health authority to study over 11000 men. They found that 1.4% suffered sexual side-effects that could last for up to four years after they stopped taking the drug. In younger men it was also found that the length of time for which the took the drug was a greater indicator of the risk than any of the other recognised contributors, like diabetes or hypertension.

As well as confirming the long suspected link to sexual problems the study was also able to identify a number of other problematic side-effects we can now confidently link to the drug. Breast enlargement and tenderness, tender nipples, hives, exceptional weight gain or weight loss, chills, and swelling of the lips and face.

HIS Hair Clinic

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We completely understand the attraction of Propecia to a man suffering from hair loss, especially given the absence of any FDA approved alternatives. However, this list of confirmed side-effects should give serious pause for thought. Taking the drug is a lifetime commitment, stop taking it and the hair loss will continue immediately… the finding that the longer you take the drug the higher your risk of side-effects is pretty damning.

The thousands of clients we have treated will no doubt be delighted and relieved that they chose SMP as their solution. Removing the need for medication or surgery. Little wonder it is finding it’s place as a bona fide option. If you want to discuss your personal hair loss situation with one of our friendly team of experts simply complete the contact form at the side of this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.

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By Ian Watson

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