What is a generic medication?
Generic medications are significantly discounted copies of brand name medication that have the same active ingredients, intended use, dosage, side effects, effects, and route of administration as the original brand name medication. In other words, generic medications have the same pharmacological effects as their brand-name counterparts. Over half of all prescribed medications are for generic medications.
Propecia (Propecia) General Drug Information
Propecia is prescribed to adult men in order to treat male pattern hair loss. The active substance in this medicine is finasteride.
Available in 1mg tablets, Propecia decreases the amount of DHT – a natural body hormone. Lower levels of DHT are associated with the increase of hair regrowth and slower hair loss. Propecia does not affect hair growth on other parts of the body.
Men who regularly take Propecia have a higher risk of developing a serious form of prostate cancer and need to discuss the risks and benefits of this drug with their physician before starting therapy.
How to Use Propecia
The method of administering this drug is up to a patient’s treating physician. However, most men take Propecia once daily, with or without food. Patients should review the leaflet information provided by their pharmacist before starting treatment, as well as each time they get a refill. The information below only serves as a general guideline and cannot replace a consultation with a qualified healthcare professional.
Patients need to use Propecia regularly, preferably at the same time each day, in order to achieve the greatest benefit. Full results may take as long as three months to become apparent. Patients need to inform their doctor in the event their health worsens while they are taking Propecia.
This treatment is not a cure for baldness, so men need to continue their regimen in order to continue enjoying its results. Stopping Propecia will reverse any gain in hair quantity within a year.
Pregnant women (or those planning on becoming pregnant) should take special care to avoid contact with Propecia, especially broken or crushed tablets. More information about how this drug can affect female partners of patients taking Propecia is available in the Precautions section.
Patients need to discuss a number of issues with their doctor before taking Propecia. This includes the possibility of allergic reactions, as well as any pre-existing conditions such as infections, liver disease, urinary problems or prostate cancer.
Men under 18 years should not use this drug.
Propecia is not indicated for use in women.. Pregnant women in particular need to be especially careful as the active ingredient in Propecia can be absorbed through the skin. Exposure to Propecia can harm unborn male babies, leading to abnormalities in genital development.
If a patient’s partner is pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, the patient needs to speak with his doctor about whether he should stop treatment and — in case he decides to continue — how to protect his female partner from exposure to the drug.
Patients who miss a dose should take it as soon as they remember. If this happens near the time for the next dose, patients should skip the missed dose and proceed as usual. In such cases, there is no need to double up the dose in order to catch up.
Propecia can interact with a number of other substances and, before starting treatment, patients need to review all other prescription drugs and herbal supplements they are taking with their doctor. In case of an adverse interaction, patients should check with their doctor before stopping or changing the dosage of any other drugs.
Propecia can alter the results of certain tests used to detect prostate cancer. Such tests measure levels of prostatic-specific antigens (PSA). Patients undergoing a PSA test need to alert laboratory personnel or their doctor to the fact they are taking Propecia.
This is not a complete list of all possible interactions and only a discussion with a doctor or pharmacist can fully inform a patient about all possible risks.
Propecia Side Effects
Many men who use Propecia do not experience serious side effects and are usually prescribed the medication on the basis of a sound risk assessment by their doctor. Still, a number of possible side effects may occur, including decreased sexual desire or ability. Propecia can also decrease the amount of semen some men produce during sex and, in some cases, this may continue even after treatment has stopped. Patients need to alert their doctor in case these symptoms persist or worsen.
Men should also contact their doctors in case they experience breast lumps, nipple discharge, breast enlargement or pain, testicular pain or an inability to urinate.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to Propecia may include rash, itching, and swelling of the face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness or trouble breathing.
Propecia should be stored in tightly closed containers at room temperature between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C). Do not store in the bathroom as exposure to moisture is to be avoided. Do not expose to light. Keep away from children and pets.
Unwanted medication should be disposed of properly and should not be poured into drains or flushed down the toilet. Patients should consult a pharmacist or their local waste disposal company to find out more about safe disposal methods.
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