Propecia Vs. Proscar

Sun 19 Aug 2007

Some people have been asking whether or not Proscar can be substituted for Propecia (one of the two FDA approved medications for hair loss).

The first question  one might have is why switch?   The answer is simple:   it’s less expensive!  

Proscar and Propecia contain the same active ingredient that helps to inhibit Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) called finasteride.   The only difference between these two medications is the dosage measured in miligrams (mg).   Propecia contains 1mg of finasteride whereas Proscar contains 5mg of finasteride.

So hair loss sufferers can technically substitute Proscar for Propecia if they do the following:

  • Obtain a prescription from their general practioner or hair loss physician for Proscar
  • The Proscar pills are split into quarters (using a pill splitter would be the easiest way to cut the pill)

Because Proscar is not listed as a treatment for hair loss, some doctors may refuse to write a prescription for this.   It is also important to understand that finasteride is not evenly distributed throughout the Proscar pill, which technically means some days you may be taking more finasteride than others.

It is also my understanding from what I’ve read, that no additional side effects or shedding should occur when switching from Propecia to Proscar.     That being said, I have recently read of a hair loss sufferer’s complaint about side effects and shedding when switching.   Whether or not it’s related, I can’t be sure.   You can view and participlate in this discussion here, located on our hair restoration discussion forum.

All in all, however, many first-rate hair restoration physicians  condone the use of Proscar as a treatment for hair loss.

Bill Seemiller
Associate Publisher of the Hair Transplant Network and the Hair Loss Learning Center
View my Hair Loss Weblog

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