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You are here:  Home » News & Research » Hair Loss News Center » Official Propecia 5 Year Trial Results


The studies assessed the efficacy of Propecia by four separate endpoints: hair counts in a one-inch diameter circle of the scalp; assessments of "before" and "after" photographs by a panel of dermatologists; patient questionnaires and investigator assessments of changes in scalp hair growth. The effectiveness of Propecia vs. placebo was demonstrated as follows:

Hair count: At the start of the studies, baseline hair counts averaged 876 hairs in a one-inch diameter area of scalp. By the end of the first year, men taking Propecia had an average of 126 more hairs than men taking placebo. This difference continued to grow, and, by the end of the fifth year, the net difference between the groups increased to 277 hairs in favor of the men taking Propecia. At the end of the fifth year, 65 percent of men taking Propecia (n=219) maintained or improved their hair count compared to their hair count at the start of the studies, while all of the men on placebo (n=15) lost hair count.

Before and after photos: The panel of dermatologists who reviewed standardized clinical photographs of men treated with Propecia (n=279) and men on placebo (n=16) at the end of the five-year study rated 90 percent of men treated with Propecia as having had no further visible hair loss compared to baseline vs. 25 percent of men on placebo.

Patient questionnaires: Questionnaires completed at five years by men on Propecia (n=284) and by men on placebo (n=15) showed that men treated with Propecia indicated a higher level of satisfaction with the appearance of: their hair overall (63 percent vs. 20 percent), the hair on top of their heads (59 percent vs. 13 percent) and their frontal hairline (48 percent vs. 7 percent). Men treated with Propecia were more likely to say that: their bald spot was getting smaller (61 percent vs. 20 percent); the appearance of their hair had improved (77 percent vs. 40 percent); they had experienced increased hair growth (75 percent vs. 40 percent) and their hair loss had slowed (90 percent vs. 67 percent).

Investigator assessments: Physician investigators who evaluated the men treated with Propecia (n=279) and men on placebo (n=13) at the end of five years determined that 77 percent of the men treated with Propecia had increases in scalp hair, compared with 15 percent of men on placebo.

Five-year safety profile

The five-year study confirmed the excellent safety profile of Propecia. In the initial 12-month clinical studies, the following side effects were the most common and reported by a very small number of men: less desire for sex (1.8 percent vs. 1.3 percent on placebo), difficulty in achieving an erection (1.3 percent vs. 0.7 percent on placebo) and a decrease in the amount of semen (0.8 percent vs. 0.4 percent on placebo). These sexual side effects went away in all men who discontinued therapy because of them and also disappeared in most (56 percent men who chose to continue taking Propecia through the fifth year of the study. By the end of the fifth year, the incidence of those side effects was less than or equal to 0.3 percent in men who continued treatment with Propecia vs. men on placebo.

- For more information on Propecia, view our Propecia Product Review
- Discuss Propecia with others: Antiandrogen Forums
- Looking to buy Propecia online? Propecia Shop

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