Treatment of Alopecia with Propecia


Question

. I am treating a 21 years old male with androgenic alopecia pattern. His hormone profile is normal. For the last 6 months he received Propecia (A selective 5 alpha reductase inhibitor) showing a nice improvement. How long do I have to continue the treatment? What will happen once I stopped the treatment? Shilo, Shmuel M.D

Response

Androgenetic Alopecia is a chronically progressive condition that occurs in people with an inherited susceptibility and is mediated by the action of androgens and, in particular, dihydrotestosterone in the hair follicle androgen receptor. Blocking the synthesis of dihydrotestosterone will arrest progression of hair loss but will not change the natural history of androgenetic alopecia in people who are genetically pre-disposed. As such, the treatment will continue to arrest the hair loss for as long as the treatment is continued. When the treatment is stopped then the hair loss will resume. In answer to your question, the treatment needs to be continued for as long as he needs to keep his hair. Professor Rodney Sinclair, University of Melbourne