robberob ~ Propecia Question
You asked a good question and one that is common among first time Rx Propecia users.
First off, at eight months you should be seeing perhaps less hair shedding [even though this is tough to see in guys with shorter hair]. However, yes the propecia is working!!!! but it will take between 18 - 24 months to really see the results [which are best seen utilizing digital photography ... As you will not remember what your hair loss may have looked like 2 years earlier].
But the Finasteride [aka: Propecia] is blocking the DHT .... And hence you will be re-growing the 'vellus' [aka: thinning hairs] back to a Terminal or good strong hair by that time.
Yes, there is a difference between the 5mg and 1mg Finasteride!!! The 5mg Finasteride [aka: Proscar] is used in the higher dosage for older men with BPH [Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy ... or simply put = Enlargement of the Prostate].
The 1mg Finasteride [aka: Propecia] is used to stimulate hair re-growth [but, remember, it can only stimulate the vellus hairs ... if you were to absolutely have no vellus hair on the scalp, you would see no results!!!!]
As I tell my patients, 1mg Finasteride can NOT make a hair from thin air ... It can only stimulate the vellus hairs to return to a Terminal hair state [i.e. A fuller hair shaft ... therefore giving the appearance of fuller hair]!!!
This is a tough concept ... But think about it like this ---- If you had a ten thousand hairs on your head in the before picture ... you would have ten thousand hairs [but fuller and thicker shafted] 2 years later while on the Finasteride!
Also FYI --- Finasteride is Finasteride is Finasteride!!!! Propecia was not invented for Hair Loss ... But was a spin off from the side effects of the 5mg PROSCAR utilized in older men with BPH!!! It was reported that they grew 'new' hair!!!
So Merck simply did studies to evaluate what was the lowest dosage form that would decrease DHT production ... and hence 'grow' hair!!
They tested 0.1mg, 1mg, 3mg, 5mg, & 10mg ..... And yes, you guest it ... the 1mg dosage was the answer ... And hence 'Propecia' was born/created.
They are the 'Same' medication [Finasteride] ... But different dosages!!!
Because I feel that Merck charges way to much for this product [And really had no further R&D in the product] .... I provide my patients with 'C.F.' [I.e. Compounded Finasteride] which is simply my formulation of 1.1mg Finasteride + Biotin + Selenium ..... Which is at a much reduced cost!!!!
You can contact me directly if you have further questions.
Mark D. Baxa, M.D.