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    What are the Side Effects of Propecia

    Does Propecia have any side effects?

    Any medication you use may have some form of side effect. Some will be insignificant, whereas others can be worse. Propecia is the same as any other medication, with users experiencing some side effects, as well as the effects that the treatment should have. In this article, we will give you all of the background information you need regarding Propecia and its side effects. As well as this, we will answer some of the questions you may have about Propecia’s side effects, including the causes, how long they last, how common they are, and how you can avoid them.

    What is Propecia?

    Propecia is a branded version of the medication called finasteride. Finasteride/Propecia is used to treat male pattern baldness (also known as hair loss), a condition that affects the retention and production of hair in men. Propecia is part of a group of medications known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. This group of medications are used to treat male pattern baldness as they block the action of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This is one of the main contributing factors to male pattern baldness. By effectively reducing the levels of DHT, sufferers of male pattern baldness or hair loss, can notice a significant improvement in their condition by using Propecia regularly. 

    What are the side effects of Propecia?

    As mentioned, Propecia is the same as many other medications in terms of it having some side effects. The actual medicine in Propecia is finasteride. This means that the side effects are actually in response to finasteride and not to Propecia. There are common side effects, and there are more uncommon ones. Some possible side effects include:

    • Reduced sex drive

    Propecia can lead to men having a reduced sexual desire. 

    • Reduced semen levels

    Men that take Propecia may also notice that they have a reduced level of semen when they ejaculate.

    • Erectile dysfunction

    Erectile dysfunction is a condition that will affect around one in five men. Unfortunately, one of the possible side effects of Propecia is erectile dysfunction. There are treatments that can be taken to combat erectile dysfunction.

    Other, less common side effects of Propecia include:

    • Enlargement of the breast

    Propecia can lead to the breast tissue in men beginning to enlarge. Men may also have some nipple discharge or some tenderness in the nipples. 

    • Testicular pain

    Pain in the testicles is also a side effect of Propecia. If you begin to feel higher levels of pain, you shouldcontact your doctor.

    If you start to show signs of an allergic reaction when taking Propecia, you may need to stop taking it as you could be allergic and would need to contact your doctor.

    What causes Propecia side effects?

    The majority of the side effects listed above are caused due to the medicine, finasteride, affecting hormones. Hormones are used to control many bodily functions, and when they are altered by medication you are likely to notice some changes or side effects. This is why some men may experience issues with sexual performance (via erectile dysfunction), or with the amount of semen they are producing. As finasteride affects testosterone production, sexual performance may be hindered. Testosterone is the main sex hormone in a male and plays a large role in the sexual reproductive systems of men.  

    How long before Propecia side effects start?

    Before taking Propecia, your doctor should inform you of the potential side effects and when you should start to experience them if you are going to. Propecia will affect everyone differently, and this also goes for how and when you experience side effects. Some people will begin to notice an improvement in their hair loss symptoms after around three months, however, you may not experience a significant improvement for up to 12 months. Around 80% of people that take Propecia for around 12 months will notice that it reverses their male pattern baldness. Around two-thirds of this 80% will also experience some form of hair growth due to Propecia.

    How common are Propecia side effects?

    As previously mentioned, everyone's experience with Propecia will be different. Some people will find that the medication works quicker than others, and some people will experience side effects that are different to others. However, there are side effects that are more commonly experienced by users than others. As previously listed, these include reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction and reduced semen levels. However, the side effects of Propecia are not common at all, with only around 4% of users reporting experiences of side effects. 

    How long do Propecia side effects last after stopping?

    Some people may find that the side effects they are experiencing will last until they stop taking Propecia. But what about after you have stopped taking Propecia? When you stop taking Propecia, it will take around seven days for it to fully exit your system. This will mean that you will stop experiencing any side effects after around seven days as the medication will be out of your system, and thus, your body should return back to its normal state. Hormone levels should also level out, so side effects that are caused by changes to testosterone levels will also end once the medication has left your system. 

    How to avoid Propecia side effects

    Side effects of Propecia are incredibly rare, with only a very small percentage of people experiencing them. You should not need to do anything to prevent Propecia side effects, as chances are you will not experience any anyway. If you are concerned about the side effects of Propecia, speak to your doctor before taking the medication.




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