One of the popular brands that most balding men use to restore hair is Propecia. For the length of time that it has been in the market, Propecia received mixed reviews. Aside from the praise that it received for being an effective hair loss drug, it is also being thrown into the spotlight for its untoward effects.
Propecia is a drug that is manufactured by the company called Merck. It is also known as Finasteride, and it hinders hair loss in men by blocking the effects of the enzyme 5-alphareductase which is responsible for turning testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT is the hormone responsible for hair loss because once it comes in contact with your follicles; it causes these to thin, shrink and then shed off.
A lot of hair loss victims are finding that Propecia is giving them the answer that they need, however this would cost them something else in return.
One of the major complains regarding certain adverse reactions to Propecia is related to sexual or reproductive problems. A lot of males complained of a decrease in libido, difficulty to maintain an erection, poor sperm quality and infertility. And to make matters worse is that even after they stopped taking the product there were still no signs of relief.
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In a recent study that was conducted in George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, those men who suffered sexual dysfunction also showed signs of depression and even reported of suicidal ideations.
This study was spearheaded by Dr. Michael S. Irwig, and the results of his study was released in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. In this report he pointed out that 46% of men in the study who were Propecia users exhibited depressive symptoms and none in the control group. And 44% of those taking Propecia claimed to have suicidal thought compared to the 3% that was in the control group.
The reason behind this is that Finasteride or Propecia is able to cross the blood-brain barrier which is a very critical component that causes these effects. When it is able to enter through, it messes with the neurotransmitter, gamma amino-butyric acid which plays a critical role in offsetting anxiety and depression.
Dr. Irwig states that Merck should provide stronger warnings on the label in order to alert the public about the repercussions of taking the drug. Adding to this, doctors are also encouraged to discuss these risks in length with the patient so that they can be duly informed about the possible effects of the treatment.
However, the company also claims that their product already contains due warnings on their label. Also, during the clinical trials for Propecia, depression was not established to be among its side effects. But this does not mean that since it did not show then, it doesn’t mean that it will not present any symptoms now.
To avoid having to sacrifice your sexual and mental health for the sake of a full head of hair, make sure that you discuss all of your options with your surgeon. Propecia for hair loss may hold so much promise, but you should also take the risks into consideration because they could weigh even more than your problem with a balding head.