Propecia, one of the two medications licensed to treat male pattern hair loss, may cause those taking it to drink less alcohol, a new study has claimed. Licensed by the MHRA and approved by the FDA, the UK and US medical regulatory bodies respectively, Propecia has halted male pattern hair loss in many thousands of cases.
Study author Dr Michael Irwig, an assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, said that: “Finasteride [the brand name of which is Propecia] interferes with the brain’s ability to make certain hormones called neurosteroids, which are likely linked to drinking alcohol.”
“For Finasteride, the relationship between metabolism of progesterone, the production of neurosteroids and the relationship of neurosteroids to alcohol actions and consumption is still being sorted out,” Irwig added.
Propecia/finasteride works by blocking DHT, the powerful androgen hormone that causes follicular miniaturisation atop the scalp. This leads to hairs becoming thinner and weak, appearing like baby hairs. Blocking DHT should halt hair loss, providing the area is not already bald and shiny, and when used as part of a hair loss treatment programme, hair can be regrown, too.
Sussing The Study
Commenting on the results, James Garbutt, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said: “The biggest challenge with this finding is that it is naturalistic rather than a controlled study so cause-and-effect is hard to establish.”
In addition Garbutt argued: “This [study] highlights the importance of being aware that any medication one takes has the potential to cause side effects and many side effects are not known for medications until years after they have been on the market,” Garbutt added. Whilst this is true, Propecia has been certified as safe to use, and there has been two and five years studies carried out to test its efficacy.
The Chance of Side Effects
The study involved interviewing 83 men who experienced sexual side effects as a result of Propecia (it should be noted that in clinical trials only 2% of men experienced side effects as a result of the medication).For men who experience Propecia side effects, the second proven hair loss medication minoxidil can be taken instead.
Of the 63 men who had at least one drink a week before using Propecia, 41 men (65 percent) reduced their alcohol consumption after stopping Propecia, Irwig found.
In addition, it was discovered that 20 men (32 percent) reported no change in their alcohol consumption and two men (3 percent) reported drinking more. Garbutt has concluded that there is an interest in the neuroactive steroid system with regards to the development of new medications for problem drinking.
The Belgravia Centre—————————————————————————————————–
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacies produce high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centres or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.