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Date of last update: 9/5/2017.

Forum Name: Pharmacy & Drug Topics

Question: Can women use the drug Propecia for alopecia?

 mittens1978 - Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:42 am


I’m wishing to ask a question regarding alopecia androgenetica. I’ve been suffering from this since the age of 13 (since my periods started) as well as hirsuitism and acne, on my chin and neck. From the age of 25 I started wearing lace wigs / systems specially designed for hair loss wearers as my hair thinned to the point where it could no longer be disguised with cover products or thickening products.

My brother also suffers from this alopecia androgenetica, acne and hirsuitism, but he has had amazing results using Propecia (I think the generic drug is finasteride). He has been able to regrow hair, and his hirsuitism and acne has been controlled As all the literature surrounding Propecia has always said it is strictly for men I’ve never tried it. Recently my brother has switched to Avodart (I think the generic term is dutasteride) due to reports that it is more effective that Propecia as it tackles both types of 5-alpha-reductase enzymes which thins hair on scalp and causes excess hair / acne on face and body as opposed to Propecia which tackles just one type of 5-alpha-reductase enzymes. However, he made a very interesting comment to me.

He mentioned that the reason why Propecia (and also Avodart) is restricted to men is that it can cause horrific deformities in unborn male fetuses so women who are pregnant or are able to get pregnant are in danger. However, what if I definitely don’t wish to have children? I am 31 years of age and am currently on Dianette / Diane-35. I’m not using it for contraceptive purposes either; I use it to help my acne and hirsuitism. For religious reasons I do not have sexual relationships.

My question is; is it safe for me to try either Propecia or Avodart so long as I ensure there is no chance of me getting pregnant? I’ve tried all other avenues (various preparations of minoxidil which seems to slow down hair shedding but by the time I was introduced to it I had lost a lot of hair already and it would not regrow hair, just slow down further loss. And I’m tired of wearing wigs and lace systems which are costly, take time and cause your scalp to itch. As Propecia and Avodart have worked so well for my brother I would love to try them myself but I’m scared of the fact that these medications all state that they are prepared just for men

Thank you
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:49 am

User avatar Hello,Finastride is a contraindication of women of child bearing age.There have been some work done in italy using finastride with oral contraceptives with some benefit in premenopausal women.Finasteride Treatment of Female Pattern Hair Loss
Matilde Iorizzo, MD; Colombina Vincenzi, MD; Stylianos Voudouris, MD; Bianca Maria Piraccini, MD, PhD; Antonella Tosti, MD

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142:298-302.

The authors were not sure whether the results were due to the drug or oral contraceptive.
Avodart is contraindicated in women and children.
Best wishes.

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