» Thanks Dr. Poswal. So I assume in Indian patients the success rate is less
» than this from a probably caucasian patient study:
» “In a 5-year study of men with mild to moderate hair loss, 2 out of 3 of
» the men who took Propecia (finasteride 1 mg) daily regrew hair, as measured
» by hair counts. In contrast, all of the men in the study who were not
» taking finasteride lost hair. In the same study, based on photographs that
» were reviewed by an independent panel of dermatologists, 48% of those
» treated with Propecia experienced visible regrowth of hair, and a further
» 42% had no further loss.”
Thank you for the link.
At a time, I personally wanted to try finasteride when I noted hair thinning myself. However, I was not convinced of the benefits and the risks seemed too much for me. That is why I prefer to educate patients on the risk and benefits and let them make the choice personally. I do not advise finasteride as a must treatment for hairloss sufferers.
The link you supplied is indeed eye opening.
Some quotes from there
- "In December 2008, the Swedish Medical Products agency concluded a safety investigation of Propecia and subsequently advised that the use of Propecia may result in irreversible sexual dysfunction. The Agency’s updated safety information lists difficulty in obtaining an erection that persists indefinitely, even after the discontinuation of Propecia, as a possible side effect of the drug.
The UK’s Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) say that erectile dysfunction that persists once use of Propecia has stopped has been reported to them."
“In December 2009, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in the UK announced new drug safety advice on finasteride and the potential risk of male breast cancer. The agency concluded that, although overall incidence of male breast cancer in clinical trials for finasteride 5 mg was not significantly increased, a higher risk of male breast cancer with finasteride use cannot be excluded.”
“Finasteride is in the FDA pregnancy category X. This means that it is known to cause birth defects in an unborn baby. Women who are or who may become pregnant must not handle crushed or broken finasteride tablets, because the medication could be absorbed through the skin. Finasteride is known to cause birth defects in a developing male baby.”
When comparing these adverse effects to the fact that the benefits were “2 out of 3 of the men who took Propecia (finasteride 1 mg) daily regrew hair” I am not convinced. It does not mention that the regrowing hair were terminal, thick calibre hair that would provide coverage v/s flimsy vellus hair.
I am sorry not to share your enthusiasm for the medication. Maybe, you may consider me cynical in that I try to read in between lines when someone tries to claim extraordinary results. I would also be interested to know who conducted the study and whether it was a double blind, peer reviewed study or one financed by the pharma company.
Personally, I would not recommend finasteride as a mandatory treatment for my patients. And, having seen patients from most parts of the world, I do not think it has anything to do with Caucasian v/s Indian patients.