Q. Do I really need to be on Propecia forever? What is the consequence of stopping propecia?
It is recommended that Finasteride should be taken continuously to maintain the overall benefits. However, some patients may wish to discontinue using the hair loss drug due to experiencing side effects. There is no ideal way of stopping propecia. Individuals will need to follow the recommendations of their physician. A doctor may suggest taking a different version of Finasteride other than Propecia as a hair loss medication, or perhaps a different strategy. Each patient case, of course, will likely require a different approach as there is no such thing as a one size fits all method.
Rapid Shedding After Stopping Propecia
After stopping propecia, there will be a period of noticeable hair loss. Many experts attribute this to a phenomenon known as upregulation. This is believed to occur due to the increased sensitivity of the androgen receptors on the hair follicles. In other words, Finasteride works to lower the levels of DHT in the blood stream. Since the receptors have been experiencing a prolonged period of time when their exposure to DHT had been very minimal, they will be more sensitive when the presence of this compound returns to baseline concentrations.
The benefits of Finasteride will then be lost. However, stopping the drug will not exacerbate or accelerate your hair loss rate. This may seem to be the case, due to the emotional shock of losing so much hair all at once. But in reality, you are simply losing the gains that were acquired when you were taking the drug. What happens is that the condition of your hair will revert to the point where you would have been if you did not take the drug for hair loss in the first place.
The period of rapid shedding after you stop taking Finasteride can usually be expected to occur between six to twelve weeks after quitting. Some of this hair loss is partly due to the stress of being off the medication since your body had grown used to it. However, after nine months, your hair will go back to its normal density. Again, this will reflect how your hair would have been if you never took Finasteride at all.
Possible Lack of Benefits From Propecia as a Hair Loss Medication
Another reason patients may consider stopping Propecia as a hair loss medication is that they may not see any benefits from using the medication to treat hair loss.
For most individuals, it is advised to ascertain the effects for about two years of continuous use. Photos can be taken every three months or so as an objective way to monitor any improvements, or lack thereof.
Stopping the drug if no benefits are experienced will not result in a worsened hair loss state.
Rogaine may be considered as another hair loss drug to manage the progression of normal shedding rates after stopping Propecia. Patients cannot rely on it to grow back hair they have lost, but simply to slow down the rate of hair loss. In some cases, tretinoin may be prescribed to enhance the skin’s permeability to the Minoxidil, which can help enhance its performance.