knudsen

Level 2 / 45a Bay Street 2028 Double Bay, NSW
Phone: 02 9327 0300

Category: Propecia (Finasteride)

Hair Loss Treatment with Generics?

Posted on 03 Mar, 2015

Are generic prescription drugs as effective for the treatment of hair loss as the original ones?

 

In recent years generic versions of finasteride and minoxidil have come into the marketplace. Generics appear when the patent period (typically 15 years) expires for the original company that process/markets a new drug. They are often made in the same facility as the original drug but are generally made by a respected manufacturer in a certified facility. It is worth noting that purchasing generics from overseas manufacturers does not always offer this protection.

 

The attractive feature of generics is their price as it is usually significantly lower. This reflects the fact that they did not do the original research which is very expensive. Generally speaking, the generics are well produced with equivalent effectiveness compared to the original. Compounding chemists also make variations on original products but the addition of other ingredients is not necessarily helpful.

 

Many minoxidil hair loss treatment lotions add ingredients such as azelaic acid and retinoic acid. There is NO evidence this increases the effectiveness of minoxidil. Indeed, there is NO evidence that any strength of minoxidil greater than 5% adds to effectiveness.

Hair Loss Treatment Confusion

Posted on 10 Nov, 2014

Much confusion surrounds the difference between topical hair loss products (applied directly to the scalp) and internal products (taken by mouth). They both can be effective in managing hair loss but are NOT equivalent when trying to block the male hormone DHT.

 

DHT is produced in both hair follicle and the liver. If a topical product is aimed at the scalp hair follicle it will likely be less effective than oral blocking as the liver supplies DHT directly to the follicle via the blood. This is why finasteride needs to be taken orally to give the best effect.

 

In men with male pattern balding the oral use of blockers (e.g. finasteride) has proven to be far superior to the use of topical stimulants (e.g. minoxidil or laser). That said they can be successfully used together to produce even better results as they act in different areas.

 

For male pattern balding, effective therapy begins with a medical doctor

Finasteride and Prostate Cancer

Posted on 09 Sep, 2013

A long-running study of men in the USA with enlarged non-cancerous prostates (benign prostatic hyperplasia – BPH) using finasteride previously reported a 25% reduction in overall numbers of patients developing prostate cancer. However, there was some debate about whether the prostate cancers detected in users of finasteride were of the more aggressive variety. A recent analysis of this study showed that finasteride users had lower levels of the prostate cancer screening test PSA (prostate specific antigen) which led to more accurate diagnosis of those patients actually suffering cancer rather than just an enlarged prostate. In addition, the smaller prostates made tumour detection easier by biopsy.

 

Overall, men taking finasteride were 30% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 43% less likely to get a diagnosis of low-grade cancer (slow growing). In addition, survival rates were not changed in patients taking finasteride compared to those not on finasteride.This is very reassuring news to patients taking finasteride for hair loss as these prostate effects are beneficial rather than harmful and will likely result in less unnecessary surgical treatment of prostate enlargement in future. We can reassure patients talking finasteride that there are no harmful long-term effects on the prostate from treating their hair loss.

The ongoing Finasteride debate

Posted on 03 Dec, 2012

Recently an international conference heard an in-depth panel discussion about Finasteride and sexual side-effects. It was again emphasized that Finasteride is a safe medication, side-effects were largely dose-related and disappeared upon stopping the medication. It was felt that recently media reports about the incidence and severity of side-effects was significantly overstated and that it remained the medication of choice for treating male pattern hair loss. In my hands, side effects are quite uncommon and only a small intermittent dose of Finasteride is required to achieve long-term stability of the hair loss in most balding men.

New Medication to treat pattern hair loss

Posted on 26 Nov, 2012

The recent Annual meeting of the International Society of Hair restoration Surgery saw discussion of upcoming medications to treat male pattern hair loss. In particular we were intrigued to understand that different versions of prostaglandins (chemicals involved in inflammation) have opposite effects on hair growth! Some prostaglandins have recently been shown to inhibit hair growth, whereas others are well known to stimulate hair growth. Perhaps the most exciting part of the research is that some medications currently being developed to treat asthma via inhibiting specific prostaglandins could have an unexpected benefit in stimulating hair regrowth in balding males. These new compounds are still a couple of years away but may turn out to be the next generation of medicines that positively affect balding.