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Propecia

Discussion in 'Men's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by Administrator, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. baboon

    baboon New Member

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    Paranoid about the impact 2 1/2 years of 1mg propecia are having on the staying power of the little general I've been surfing around on HairLossTalk.com for potential alternatives.

    The one treatment that stands out is Revivogen - a topical dht inhibitor which is localized and therefore doesn't have any of those ball belittleing side effects. Other benefits include price and the fact that you don't need a prescription. Used with Minoxidil the reports are very positive.

    Obviously the biggest drawback will be having to sluice it all over my head every evening and the worry that it won't function as well as that little beauty propecia.

    Any of you guys heard anything or tried switching. Not interested in Merck Dome responses.

    the baboon
     
  2. duhh

    duhh New Member

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    side effects

    Again this is MSEO, the lowered dosage spread out will produce less side-effects. The 1mg split in 2 will allow ppl to take .5 at two different times. This will Possibly help with keeping the side-effects to a minimum with those experiencing them. The suppression isn't that much different with .5mg and 1mg so there isn't that much efficiancy lost. The excess finas. at one time might be causing some unnecessary side-effects that May be avoidable by lowering their dosage, something Similar to what Kevin(aka: HairLossTalk.com, Admin, Stud, etc.) had to do in lowering his dosage to something like .375? although I think he only takes that once a day? :)
     
  3. JDavis

    JDavis New Member

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    7 Months Propecia

    I have not visited this site in a while and I like the new appearance. Anyway, I have been using Propecia and T-Gel for 7 months now.

    I can say that I have not seen anything great, I actually think that I continue to thin while on Propecia and T-Gel.

    Do I need to wait longer? Has anyone else seen good results suddenly happen past a duration of 7 or more months.

    Any info would be great,

    That is my pic to the left so you know how my hair is currently.

    John
     
  4. HairlossTalk

    HairlossTalk Senior Member

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    Hey Jason -

    Cool pic. Im in Chandler all the time, just off Dobson ... with buddies from College.

    Anyways - are you experiencing any itching / flaking still? If so, make the switch to Nizoral. Works better than T-Gel anyways. If still itching/flaking thats going to be a big part of why you may not be seeing as many results.

    If no itching flaking, im sure you've heard it before, but remember that it took some people in the Propecia trials 12 months before they saw a stoppage of hair loss, so you're still well within the normal amount of time.

    Rather than add anything as some are going to suggest, I strongly suggest giving it more time, ride it out, and don't add anything at all.

    HairLossTalk.com
     
  5. richlocks

    richlocks Established Member

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    John,

    Doesn't look to be any thinning in my opinion, altho the pic is far away.

    Hair looks healty, just the temple is receding.. that's all, and not badly. Has the recession stopped? Density looks good to me.
     
  6. JDavis

    JDavis New Member

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    Thank you HairLossTalk.com for the suggestion. I have heard that I should not stop using Propecia and ride it out many times.

    My scalp however is a bit itchy from time to time. I use T-Gel every day, I guess I could switch to Nizoral or Head and Shoulders or something.

    Let me know if you have any other suggestions for having a healthy scalp.

    John
     
  7. JDavis

    JDavis New Member

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    Richlocks,

    If you were to see my hair in the sunlight you would understand. I can't really post a very big pic. Only 80 by 80 pixels here.

    John
     
  8. HairlossTalk

    HairlossTalk Senior Member

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    Definitely get some Nizoral from the grocery store. Apply it immediately when you get in the shower and let it soak for the duration of the shower. Rinse at end and reapply. Let it sit for another minute, then rinse. It should only be used once every 3 days, and it may take a couple weeks before the itch is gone, but if you still have itch *at all* the Propecia wont work as well as it could. This must be controlled, and Nizoral should do the trick. You can do TGel on days that you don't do Nizoral.

    PS... if you like we can put your pix up in the Photo Gallery so Rich and others can see your situation in high detail.

    HairLossTalk.com
     
  9. Quartz

    Quartz Member

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    :( Hello guys, have been a lurker on this site for about six months but feel now I must ask your advice as I am starting to get a bit panicky.
    My post is really inspired by JDavis' above comments about Propecia not yet having any effect. After six and a half months on the drug, I am starting to fear I may also be in the 13 per cent of people it has no effect on.
    I started with Proscar in mid-November 2001, moving to Propecia just to do everything 'by the book' two months later. At the time I was hoping to just maintain, as my hair was just beginning to thin at the crown and temples with a general thinning out all over. Yet I have seen no improvement and my thinning has continued to the point where it will soon be noticeable to other people. I feel like time is against me on this and am considering adding minoxidil to the mix. My question really is - Am I wrong to assume that minoxidil would assist the Propecia in working in some way or do they act independantly of each other? I'm still at the stage were maintenance would just about be enough, but would the Minoxidil help that or is just a regrowth agent?
    Perhaps MOST importantly though...I haven't been able to get my scalp under control with either Nizoral or T-Gel, both of which make it feel really 'tight' and itchy. I have had mild dandruff ever since I was a teenager, and even though it never gets to 'scaly' situation, the general consensus is that Propecia won't work unless I can clear my scalp completely. Any ideas?
    Thanks for your time.
    PS I'm a UK resident so perhaps the likes of Troymaclure could help me out.
     
  10. cj

    cj New Member

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    Quartz,

    I'm in a similar position to you (and in the UK). I started on Propecia 2 yrs ago and, with the exception of the odd break of no more than a couple of weeks, have stuck with it. However, like you, I'm still losing hair although maybe not at the rate I was....... I've stuck with it because there don't seem to be any viable alternatives yet and at least I'm doing something!

    As far as the dandruff and scalp itching goes, I've more or less got this under control with Nizoral 1% (available from any chemist). In case you didn't, you need to make sure you use this every 2 or 3 days and leave it on for several minutes before rinsing. When I haven't used it for more than a couple of days I notice the itching come back, so I guess it must do some good in my case. Stick with it!

    Good luck!
     
  11. hairybastard

    hairybastard New Member

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    Quartz,
    It took me a full 10 months to see any results from finasteride. In fact I shed a ton of hair in that time and really wanted to stop the drug but decided to give it at least a year as most doctors recommend. Good thing I did because I had very dramatic regrowth around the 10 month mark. Remember minoxidil and finasteride compliment each other perfectly as one is an anti-androgen and the other a growth stimulent and neither can do both of these alone.
     
  12. Quartz

    Quartz Member

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    Thanks hairybastard and cj, appreciate your replies. I will give it the full year, it's heartening to hear that in hb's case, Propecia kicked in at around the ten month mark. Maybe it could still work...you know what it's like though, the months fly-by without any improvement and you can't help thinking "Surely not me...". By the way, as UK residents, where do you get your Propecia/minoxidil? I ordered from Mensmed and it was £170 for three months supply! Gulp!
     
  13. AJB

    AJB New Member

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    Concerned about finasteride...side effects

    :(

    I've been using finasteride (proscar cut into roughtly 1.25mg quarters) now for about four to five months. I can't tell yet if it is helping my hair, which is not suprising given this short duration.

    I have experienced few if any sexual side effects, except that maybe I'm not as consistently horny as I used to be. That isn't entirely a bad thing. However, despite the intact sex life, I must admit I've felt a bit more moody on it than I used to feel. I thought maybe it was just my imagination, but then one night I went to a party and had a couple beers. I don't drink very often and my tolerance is not all that high these days. I was suprised to notice that I didn't really feel drunk. I had two more beers. At this point I should have had a lampshade on my head, but instead I felt only slightly buzzed. Another night I went out to eat with my girlfriend and, after a couple drinks, felt next to nothing. At least, I didn't feel that kind of relaxing high that alcohol can give you. All I felt was a bit red in the face.

    I didn't think much of it at the time, but on a hunch, I got on the internet, wondering if finasteride might affect the way EtOH is metabolized or something.

    Much to my suprise, I did find a connection between finasteride and alcohol. It would appear that alchohol causes an increase in the production of a "neurosteroid" called allopregnanolone. Allopregnanolone binds to a certain receptor in your brain, the GABA(A) receptor. GABA(A) is a receptor for a neurotransmitter called GABA (short for gamma aminobutyric acid). GABA is one of the major inhibitory neurotransmitters, and is implicated in many anxiety disorders and depression. Certain anti-anxiety drugs like valium bind to GABA's recpetor too. Allopregnanolone is an "allosteric enhancer" of the GABA(A) receptor. That means it helps the receptor do it's job better. Specifically, it intensifies the effects of GABA by making it much easier for GABA to "turn on" the receptor. So, when you drink alcohol, more allopregnanolone gets produced, GABA is thus made more potent, and you feel relaxed and happy.

    Here's the deal: Allopregnanolone is a metabolite of progesterone. Guess what is one of the enzymes responsible for converting progesterone to allopregnanolone: Yep, 5-alpha reductase. In other words, just like it inhibits the conversion of testosterone to DHT, finasteride blocks the conversion of progesterone to allopregnanolone.

    It gets worse: Just before menstruation, the levels of progesterone in a woman's body drop dramatically. This leads to a corresponding drop in allopregnanolone, which leads to...PMS! That's right, one of the reasons women get moody and anxious before they get their period is because they're experienceing allopregnanolone withdrawl. Contrary to what many think, men also make progesterone, and men also depend on allopregnanolone for the proper functioning of GABA in their brains.

    Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of reading about this, and I'm a bit alarmed. I knew going into it that finasteride could maybe effect erections or my sex drive, but nobody said it could make me depressed or anxious too. But there is clear scientific evidence out there that finasteride can have some profound effects on the way your brain works. Most specifically, it will effect the way your brain reacts to stress: stress causes increases in the production of allopregnanolone, and allopregnanolone production in the cerebral cortex is greatly inhibited by finasteride. Some people are even considering giving finasteride to alcoholics to help them get off the sauce: Since finasteride deprives you of the relaxing reward of drinking, there's less of an incentive to drink!

    I work as a biologist. The studies on this subject have been published in some very reputable journals, like The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, The Journal of Neuroscience, Brain Research, etc.

    Just follow this link:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed

    Type in the blank "finasteride" and "allopregnanolone" and see what you turn up. Scientists use finasteride as a tool in the lab to study behavior in rats, like their response to alcohol or stress. Loss of allopregnanolone even makes rats more prone to seizures when treated with certain drugs. I'm not making any of this up.

    My feelings upon reading all this stuff: Oh f**k! I really don't know what I should do at this point. My emotional state has only been mildly affected, I would say, and I can't really say I've experienced any significant impact on my life. But the fact is, this drug does more than just just stop you from losing your hair (maybe). It turns out there are a lot of steroid hormones in your body, and many of them are converted by 5-alpha reductase. All of these hormones have a purpose, and I just have to wonder what the long-term effects of monkeying around with them might be. If all finasteride did was inhibit DHT, I probably could ignore it, since my sex life is fine. But I'm not so sure any of us should ignore some of its other effects. We should at least be fully informed as to what this drug does to our bodies.

    So, what do you all think?
     
  14. Connecticut

    Connecticut New Member

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    The pernicious side effects of alpha reductase tampering.

    AJB

    Excellent post, the type of which makes this forum worth visiting, even amid all the drivel. I don't think that anyone was harboring under the illusion that systemic alteration of a key enzyme would be without more side effects than a soft erection and watery semen. The body is fearfully, and wonderfully made, indeed.

    I think the upshot of these studies, and of the yet unreported (and yet unknown) side effects of finasteride is that a finasteride topical must be developed.

    Am I mistaken in thinking I read on these boards somewhere that Merck has a patent application in for a topical (read non-systemic) version of finasteride in the works?

    What I suspect, however, is that the process behind male pattern baldness is much more complicated then the simple "DHT-is-bad" mantra of so many here. Even topical DHT inhibition is only one piece in a three-dimensional puzzle.

    Could someone give me some theories (preferably studies) explaining the increased immunological activity in scalp tissues for male pattern baldness sufferers?

    Regards, Connecticut
     
  15. mumbo

    mumbo New Member

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    ok, I need to get hold of some of this stuff, do any of you guys know of a cheap place where i can order it online. Cheapest so far I have seen is $289 (which equates to £198), I live in the UK and its about £275 here.

    mumbo
     
  16. Webbie

    Webbie Member

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    Great post...

    Great post, AJB. Your findings more or less support my own feelings of depression and a lack of excitement for pretty much everything since I started Finasteride over 2 years ago. While I'm not saying this is a "smoking gun" connection, I do feel that the drug has affected my emotional state in a negative way. I do not feel that the drug is the cause for my depression, but I do feel that there is at least some connection. Of course, the thought of losing one's hair is a very stressful and even depressing thought...I wonder how that factors into Finasteride users who experience depression?

    Well, regardless, great post...
     
  17. AJB

    AJB New Member

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    Finasteride and your brain

    Conn. and Webbie,

    My guess is that, if anything, finasteride may have more of an impact on anxiety and the response to anxiogenic stimuli than depression per se. However, anxiety and depression apparently often go hand in hand, so maybe it's hard to tease the two problems apart.

    It seems to me there might be certain people who should be most concerned about taking finasteride. Those could be people with a depressive or anxiety disorder. Also, people with epilepsy may be at risk for more seizures, since many anticonvulsant drugs do their job at least partially by potentiating GABA in some way. Finasteride lowers the siezure threshold in normal animals, removes the anticonvulsant effects of alcohol, and so it seems reasonable that it could be a concern for epileptics. It would be great to see some studies out there on people to look at these things. You can bet Merck isn't going to fund them, though!

    In reality, I don't honestly know what the true impact of finasteride might be, if there is any, on one's mental health. But it seems reasonable to be concerned. Even forgetting about allopregnanolone, and just focusing on androgens, DHT is just potent testoserone. Both testosterone and DHT bind to the same receptor, but DHT does so with about 5-10x the avidity. There is proven research out there linking low testosterone with depressed mood and lower energy. So when you take finasteride, if your total androgen levels drop below a healthy threshold, you might find yourself sufferning from what many hypoandrogenic individuals suffer from.

    The sad truth is, while DHT is not the friend of your hair, it has effects on the central nervous system and the neuromuscular system. Most of those effects are beneficial. A lot of what people say about DHT being useless after a certain age, etc. is just bunk. It is not absolutely essential after a certain age for normal male development, but it's not the enemy that some people make it out to be.

    I just have to wonder if taking this drug gives some of us "male menopause" and "male PMS" while we're re-growing our hair. Ironically, our "cure" could make us as uncomfortable as the disease.

    Go bald gracefully? I fully admit, I'm not happy about those prospects, and I fully admit I haven't kicked finasteride...but I'm worried.
     
  18. Bluesmen

    Bluesmen New Member

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    "There is proven research out there linking low testosterone with depressed mood and lower energy."

    AJB, in fact when you take Finasteride your testoterone levels are HIGH (about +15%), since some of your testoterone is no more converted to DHT by the 5 alpha reductase enzyme.....

    Bluesmen
     
  19. AJB

    AJB New Member

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    Blues...

    I've often seen that posted. I understand the logic, but, as I alluded to above, I think it's too simplistic.

    It's true that testoserone levels increase because of lowered conversion of testosterone to DHT. The thing is, it's really correct to think of DHT as highly potent testoserone. So, if you ask me, the best way to do the math is to say that finasteride lowers the "androgenicity" of testosterone. You get less bang for your buck out of testosterone than DHT, so to speak. Both act on the same receptor. Both do pretty much the same thing. One just does it less potently than the other. A low estimate of DHT's potency vs. that of testosterone is to say DHT has 5x the strength of testosterone. Finasteride lowers your DHT levels by about 70%. So, lets say there are units of "androgen". One molecule of DHT is "worth" five units of androgen. One molecule of testosterone is worth one.

    So, when you take finasteride you lose 350 units of androgen from lowered DHT and gain 15 units of androgen from testosterone. Your net loss is 335 units of androgen, given this crude form of bookeeping.

    Anyway, that's the way it looks to me.
     
  20. colin

    colin Member

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    AJB....I agree w/you on for the most part.I suggest 3 tablespoons (in 3 divided doses throughout the day)of flax seed oil to *EVERYONE* who uses finasteride.Flax raises T levels signifigantly,protects against gynocemastia(yeah,I spelled it wrong,aka b**ch tits),natural fat burner,HAIR GROWTH over time and as an essentail fatty acid it has a slew of add'l health benefits.Overall it'll do a fair amount to counteract the negatives involved with using finasteride.
    Colin
     

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