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Oral Agents

Trichology

Oral Agents

To inhibit hair damaging hormone circulation and to increase hair growth.



Hair loss is largely a genetically-influenced phenomena, with genes inherited from either parent being a dominant factor in determining whether, and when you will lose your hair. However, hair loss can also be blamed on the presence of the male hormone, testosterone, a chemical agent which acts on the genetically susceptible hair follicles in men and women, instigating degenerative changes and preventing the hairs from growing as well as they should.

Although the effect on hair by the presence of excess testosterone can be reduced, it is now known that men with male balding have an increased capacity to convert testosterone to the more potent androgen, di-hydrotestosterone, via increased activity of the chemical substance or enzyme (5 alpha reductase) responsible for this conversion; di-hydrotestosterone (DHT) is the hormone, therefore, that can damage hair follicles most, greatly influencing hair loss in men who are genetically sensitive to it.
The amount of circulating DHT is therefore directly related to the extent of hair loss in the male; in those with high levels of DHT, hair loss can be more severe and rapid.
In most men, the body makes DHT in increasing amounts, usually from the late 20’s onwards, gradually converting or miniaturising thick hair into fine ‘baby’ hair, particularly on the ‘crown area’ and ‘temple region’, leading to a typical male pattern baldness scenario – there are, however, counter measures that can be taken.
Of the two damaging chemical substances (5–alpha reductase enzymes), type I predominates in skin, including the scalp, whereas type II is present in scalp hair follicles – if one, or both of these can be restrained, the chances of preventing hair loss are intensified.


Things you need to know

  • Continuous use of Avodart or Propecia treatment is necessary to sustain benefit, but it is possible that regular intensive use of the treatment can be reduced to a basic maintenance level in due course, in order to maintain the status, or position you have reached.


  • Improvement in scalp hair growth, and satisfcation with the appearance of their hair in men taking Propecia, has shown to continue over time# As with all drugs, and prescription medications, side effects are possible, but in the case of taking Avodart or Propecia, the potential is extremely small, and these would be fully explained to you before commencing treatment.


  • The mechanism by which the process of hair regeneration works, through taking Avodart or Propecia is slow. Patients should normally notice a reduction in, and a stabilisation of, hair loss within 3 to 6 months. The greater development for hair re-growth is between 6 to 12 months, with further improvement, for those who respond well to the treatment, attainable thereafter towards a more cosmetically-acceptable appearance.


  • The dosage, or administration of Avodart or Propecia, is normally daily, but can be less frequent and this is fully explained in an accompanying ‘Information & Instructions for Patients’ leaflet upon prescribing the relevant treatment to you.

Propecia

Propecia, an anti-baldness drug, is a medical oral therapy available as a recognised treatment for men with male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) to prevent further erosion of their hair, and to increase hair growth; for young men, it can also be used to deter hair loss starting.

As an anti-androgen agent, comprising Finasteride 1mg, (chemically similar to Dutasteride, the active compound in Avodart), Propecia is a type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, reducing circulating DHT sufficiently without lowering testosterone levels, to a point where there is no further influence on hair loss – when DHT levels are low, hair follicles can strengthen, and produce hair for longer.

Extensive clinical trials, and evidence from other countries where the drug has already been used, have shown dramatic success rates, with hair thinning having stopped in most men who have taken the 1 mg tablet daily for six months, and some two-thirds having found that their hair has began to grow back. Generally, three to six months of once daily treatment are required before evidence of stabilisation of hair loss can be expected.


Avodart

As an anti-androgen agent, comprising Dutasteride 0.5mg, Avodart reduces circulating levels of di-hydrotestosterone (DHT) by inhibiting both type I and type II 5-alpha reductase enzymes which are responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT – this is likely to lead to a reduction in hair loss and induce hair growth.

It is known to be particularly useful for treating genetic male pattern hair loss on the ‘vertex (top of the head) and the ‘mid-scalp area’.It is available as a medical oral therapy in capsule form.

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