I’ve been reading your blogs for a while now but have finally got the nerve to send you an email to ask a question. I’m 28 yr old male. I have been taking Propecia since I was 24 yrs old. Actually I first started taking Propecia, I was told by my dermatologist to take it just three times a week because he felt that my hair loss was very minor. I did that for about 3 months or so then I went on one pill a day from the time I turned 25 and took a pill a day for about 1 year and a half. By the time I was 26 and half, I was reading that Propecia could affect my ability to have children so I stopped taking the pill. I started to see heavy amounts of shedding of my hair but I thought it might be due to the amount of stress I go through. However, after a six month stint off Propecia, I met with a doctor and decided to go back on it until now. Since the time I started back on it last February (2007) I’ve noticed my hair is substanitally thinner than it was last year even though I’ve been taking Propoecia. Its thin to the point where I can see my scalp in most angles of light. Does this mean that Propecia is not working for me? I’m actually going through a stressful time in my life right now, does that have anything to do with it or cause Propecia not to work? I lose about 30 hairs everytime I shampoo my hair and there is basically hair everywhere over my pillow case. Are there any suggestions you may have for me?
You cannot expect results when you take a medication inconsistently. The recommended regimen for Propecia is to take the medication daily. You need to stick with a knowledgeable doctor and maintain taking the drug daily if you want a chance at some results. Taking Propecia is also a lifetime commitment so you need to understand this before embarking on taking the medication. Anything less will eventually push you into what I have discussed many times on this blog — “catch-up hair loss”. There is also no comparable “catch up hair growth” that equals the value when you first started to take the drug and during the first full year of treatment. Today, doctors have an instrument which measures your hair bulk and hair miniaturization so you can see, over time, if you are winning or loosing the hair loss battle. My best advice has always been to go see your doctor in person to address your concerns.
Regarding whether Propecia is working for you, you should be able to ask your prescribing physician, who I hope has measurements of your hair loss at the time you restarted the drug over a year ago to be able to compare them to now.