Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration - Hair Loss Medication & Pregnancy
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Q: Although I was prescribed Propecia, I have not yet started to take it. I would like to take it now, but my wife wants me to wait until after we have our second baby so as to avoid having the drug in my system when we conceive. She’s concerned that if it’s so harmful to pregnant women, that having it in my sperm is an issue. — L.V., Bellmore, New York

A: There is no evidence that if you take the medication it will affect the fetus. However, your wife should not ingest the drug or handle broken pills during pregnancy.

Read more about Propecia and Side Effects.

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Q: I am currently taking Propecia 1mg a day for hair loss and heard that Proscar 5mg now comes in a generic form. If I get that, how should I take it? — G.A., Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: If you are currently taking Propecia 1mg a day, and want to switch to Proscar (Finasteride 5mg), you can either take Proscar 5mg, 1/4 pill every day or 1/2 pill every other day.

If you break up the pills, be mindful of the potential risk to pregnant women from handling crushed tablets. You can purchase a pill cutter in any pharmacy.

You should be aware that this dosing is not recommended by Merck and that there are no studies showing that either breaking up the pills or taking alternate day dosing is as effective as taking Propecia (Finasteride 1mg) a day.

That said, finasteride lasts in tissues for several days, so these alternate day dosing schedules seem reasonable.

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Q: I recently turned 22 and have been on Propecia for about 2.5 years. The amount of hair that de-miniaturized with daily 1 mg peaked about a year ago and I have seen steady thinning since. I feel that I am too young for a hair transplant. My question is whether or not an increase in dosage of Propecia is indicated here or if I should seek other options entirely? — N.W., Portland, Oregon

A: At 22 years old, I would increase the dose of Propecia before considering hair restoration surgery. However, it is important to realize that there is no scientific evidence that increasing the dose will have any additional effects. There are published data by Roberts et al in the JAAD in 1999 demonstrating that 5 mg is no better than 1 mg from controlled clinical trials.

I usually increase the dose when someone has been on the same dose of medication for about three years, although there is no good data on how exactly to increase the dose, or that it will actually make a difference.

For this purpose, I generally use finasteride in the form of Proscar 5mg every other day (or Proscar 1/2 pill every day).

If you break up the pills, be mindful of the potential risk to pregnant women from handling crushed tablets.

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