Propecia, also known as Finasteride, is often regarded as “the first line defense” against male pattern baldness. The reasoning is due to the fact that the medication targets the main chemical pathway that drives male pattern baldness. Basically testosterone breaks down into a byproduct known as DHT (dehydrotestosterone) with the help of an enzyme known as alpha reductase.
Besides Propecia, the other FDA approved drug for hair loss is Rogaine which works according to less clear mechanisms which increase blood flow and the supply of nutrients to hair follicles in the scalp. This over the counter solution may actually help increase the production of a prostaglandin known as PGE2 which helps promote the growth of hair.
Side Effects of Using Propecia for Hair Restoration
Like any medication, Propecia is associated with side effects. Among these include:
- thoughts of suicide
- sexual dysfunction
How Propecia May Lower the Desire for Alcohol
Side effects are usually considered undesirable. But in some rare cases, they may actually achieve beneficial results.
A recent study was conducted by Michael Irwig, an assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University Medical Center. 83 subjects who reported sexual side effects due to Finasteride were analyzed. Of this total, 63 reported that they regularly drank alcohol at least once a week before the hair restoration drug was prescribed to them. 41 of these men said that they consumed less alcohol after being on Propecia
- 20 of the subjects reported no effect on their alcohol consumption
- 2 of the participants said that they started drinking more alcohol after starting the medication
Prior to this research, there have been similar experiments conducted on rats which showed that the animal models also consumed less alcohol. Irwig’s study was the first to test the effects of Propecia on alcohol consumption in humans.
These findings were published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research on June 13, 2013.
Can Propecia Be Used For Alcoholism In Addition to Hair Restoration?
The reported findings of this study are fascinating. However, it would be difficult at this point to conclude that Propecia itself can be taken to discourage alcohol intake. This has to do with the issue of research design.
In a true scientific experiment, subjects would need to have been chosen at random. According to Dr. Garbutt, Professor of Psychiatry at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the hair restoration participants represent casual social drinkers as opposed to those with serious alcohol problems.
Ideally, there would need to be a control group that would represent a random selection of the population, including those who may be using alcohol abusively.
Nonetheless the findings published in the June issue of Alcoholism may provide the basis for developing a new drug which targets neurosteroidal systems in order to help lower a person’s drive for alcohol.
Hair Restoration Through Surgery
The issue of side effects is certainly a concern when it comes to taking medications for hair loss. As of yet, there are no fool proof drugs which can actually reverse male pattern baldness in the most seamless way possible. Hair loss is a condition with many different pathways with a lot of variance in how they affect individuals. Therefore, the physical transference of hair follicles can mitigate many potential complications while offering reliable and substantial improvements. Click here to learn more.