The drug propecia is a prescription hair loss medication designed mainly for men with mild to moderate hair loss. The effects of hair loss and propecia were studied in several clinical trials, and propecia was found to be better than a placebo.
The men in the studies, aged between 18 and 41, took propecia daily for a year. Some men took a placebo. Of the men who took the propecia, 86% either did not suffer further hair loss, or actually increased the amount of hair in the affected areas. Only 14% of men had continued hair loss.
The drug propecia has been found to be ineffective for women. This, combined with the potential danger of abnormalities to a male fetus, means that propecia is not prescribed for female pattern hair loss. Propecia has not been studied in older men, or men with complete baldness, and it has not been proved to work with a receding hairline. Propecia is not suitable for children, no doubt due to its negative effect on developing male genitals.
Generally, propecia is a very safe drug for hair loss. Most men taking it did not have any side effects, though some reported:
* erection difficulties
* reduced amount of semen