Propecia (finasteride) has been the most effective medication to treat genetic hair loss. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the drug's side effects. There are websites dedicated to warning the general public about the dangers of taking this drug. However, studies show that adverse reactions are minimal. Many hair loss sufferers are too scared to take finasteride and would rather find an alternative with fewer side effects. In this article, we will discuss some alternatives and the most promising drug in the pipeline.
How Does Propecia Work?
Propecia is the brand name for the active drug called finasteride. Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. DHT is the hormone responsible for triggering male and female pattern alopecia. Finasteride inhibits the enzyme, thus, decreasing the levels of DHT in the scalp. Propecia can decrease up to 70% of DHT in the body.
DHT gets demonized by many, but it is an essential hormone. DHT is responsible for the growth of body, facial, and pubic hair. DHT is also responsible for the development of the male genitalia during adolescence. That is why finasteride should not be prescribed to anyone under the age of eighteen. Studies have linked DHT to muscle building, and one study even suggests that DHT may be better for building muscle than testosterone.
What Are The Alternatives
There is no real alternative for finasteride yet. The only other medication that is comparable to finasteride is dutasteride. Dutasteride is also a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, except it's even more powerful than finasteride. Dutasteride can inhibit over 90% of DHT in the body and scalp. Theoretically, dutasteride should be more effective in treating male pattern baldness. However, the incidence of side effects is higher. Furthermore, dutasteride is not FDA-approved to treat genetic hair loss.
The only other medication approved by the FDA is Rogaine (minoxidil). Minoxidil does not inhibit DHT. The medication works by prolonging the hair follicle's life cycle. Unfortunately, DHT will still bind to the androgen receptor in the hair follicles and eventually cause them to shrink until they no longer grow. While minoxidil does prevent further hair loss, it is not as effective as finasteride. Therefore, it's not considered a viable alternative.
Breezula (CB-03-01, Clasceterone) May Be The Alternative
The only drug that may replace or at the very least be an alternative to finasteride is called Breezula. There are several different names for Breezula. Some call it CB-03-01, which was the compound name. The official drug name is called clascaterone. Regardless of the name, the drug is the same. Hair loss sufferers have been on pins and needles waiting for the FDA to approve the drug. A version of the drug has already been approved for acne, but not for hereditary hair loss.
Breezula is a potent anti-androgen that will inhibit DHT locally on the scalp without eliminating it throughout the body. Essentially, Breezula will stop DHT from binding to vulnerable androgen receptors on the scalp. Breezula will be a topical treatment that will be applied to the scalp, similar to minoxidil. In the most recent study, dosages at 5% and 7.5% saw the best results. Researchers of the study noted that participants saw an increase in hair thickness with the 7.5% dosage and that participants in this group halted their hair loss and regrew hair. To date, there have been no sexual side effects reported in any of the studies.
Unfortunately, we don't have any alternative for finasteride yet. But Breezula looks like the frontrunner to replace finasteride. The studies have shown great promise, and the fact that there are no sexual side effects reported makes it even more desirable to hair loss sufferers worried about finasteride side effects. Medications are essential to treat and stop the progression of hair loss. However, the only method effective at regrowing hair on a completely bald scalp is surgical hair restoration. If you have lost a great deal of hair, the only way to truly bring it back is through surgery. To consult with some of the best hair restoration physicians globally, chosen and voted in by thousands of other hair transplant patients, click HERE.
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