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    Propecia (branded Finasteride)

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    What is Propecia?

    Propecia is a prescription tablet taken once a day by men with male pattern baldness. It’s only available in the UK by private prescription. Propecia is the well-known branded version of the active ingredient “finasteride” which has been used to treat hair loss since the 1990s.

    Propecia reduces the effect of hormones on hair follicles, which can prevent and even reverse hair loss. It is effective in 90% of men and its effects are often seen after three to six months.

    How does Propecia work?

    The active ingredient in Propecia (finasteride) blocks the action of an enzyme in the body that converts the male hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the hormone that causes male hair loss. 

    By reducing the amount of DHT affecting follicles in the scalp, Propecia helps to halt hair loss and, in some cases, reverse it. It allows hair follicles to get the nutrients they need to grow. Find out more about how Propecia works.  

    DHT and hair loss - Does propecia work

    How quickly does Propecia work?

    When taken correctly (one tablet every day) Propecia should begin to show results after three to six months. In some men, however, positive effects may take longer to develop. For this reason, it is important not to become discouraged too early in your treatment.

    However, if you have been taking Propecia for longer than 12 months and are yet to see a difference, it is unlikely that the treatment will begin to work after this point. In this case you should speak to your GP about how to proceed.

    Does Propecia treat the underlying causes of hair loss?

    Propecia won’t treat the underlying cause of hair loss in the long run. Although it does temporarily treat the underlying causes by reducing levels of DHT. It’s not a cure for hair loss.

    Male pattern baldness is genetic. If you stop taking hair loss treatment its effects will wear off and hair loss will start again within 6-12 months.

    Dr. Neel Patel “It is important to speak with a GP if you’re concerned about hair loss in order to choose the safest and most effective treatment for you.” 

    How to take Propecia

    Take 1 tablet of Propecia each day. The tablet can be taken with or without food.

    Propecia will not work faster or better if you take more than 1 tablet a day. You must continue to take Propecia for the treatment to work. If you stop taking Propecia, your hair loss will return.

    How effective is Propecia?

    Propecia is considered the most effective hair loss medicine available. Clinical research has shown when men aged 18-41 with mild or moderate hair loss took Propecia it was effective at slowing or reversing hair loss in 9 out of 10 men. In some cases stimulating regrowth.

    It is unlikely that Propecia will be effective when taken by men who:

    • have severe hair loss (very little hair left)
    • are not suffering from male pattern baldness (i.e. other types of hair loss)
    • have a receding hairline
    • do not take Propecia every day 

    For most men, Propecia takes 3-6 months of daily use to show effects. Propecia isn’t a permanent cure for male pattern baldness. If you stop treatment hair loss can resume within six months.

    What are the side effects of Propecia?

    Propecia side effects are uncommon and usually mild. Sometimes Propecia can cause:

    • a rash
    • reduced sex drive
    • low mood
    • erection problems
    • tenderness on or around the nipples 

    Finasteride (generic Propecia) has also been associated with depression and suicidal thoughts. Very rarely sexual dysfunction including low sex drive and erectile dysfunction have persisted even after a person has stopped taking finasteride.

    For full information on side effects and correct use, see the patient information leaflet. If any Propecia side effects concern you, contact us via your Patient Record. 

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      About Propecia

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      Does Propecia cause erectile dysfunction?

      Most people will experience no side effects when taking Propecia. However, about 1 in 100 men who take Propecia may find it difficult to get an erection.

      In studies where men are taking finasteride (Propcia) erectile dysfunction occurs at a rate of 2.1% to 3.8%. Cases of ED were infrequent and this side effect of hair loss treatment was minimal. ED can be caused by other factors such as stress, high blood pressure and relationship problems. If you’re worried about ED you can find out how to get better erections.

      Does Propecia cause weight gain? 

      There is no evidence to suggest Propecia causes weight gain. In fact, one study has found that men who take Finasteride (generic Propecia) put on less weight than those who don’t take it.

      Does Propecia lower testosterone?

      The active ingredient in Propecia, finasteride, works to block the enzyme that turns testosterone to DHT. This means that instead of lowering testosterone levels, taking Finasteride could increase your testosterone levels by as much as 15%

      Is Propecia safe long term?

      It is safe to continue taking Propecia over long periods of time. Many people take it for months or even years without having any issues.

      When taking Propecia some men experience sexual problems. Taking Propecia may slightly increase your risk of erectile dysfunction. Around 1 in 100 men are affected, but Propecia and erectile dysfunction. If you’re worried about any side effects speak to your GP or message our clinicians in your Patient Record.

      How much does Propecia cost?

      Propecia is not provided on the NHS, but it can be requested privately. In fact, you can request Propecia online through the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor service for the following prices:

      • Four-week pack: £55
      • Eight-week pack: £95
      • 12-week pack: £135
      • 24-week pack: £210 

      To view our prices in detail, visit our hair loss clinic.

      As it can take three months or longer for any effects to be seen, some patients may find it more convenient and better value to order in bulk. If you order the 24-week pack, then the cost of Propecia is £368 per year. We also offer a hair loss subscription service for finasteride (generic Propecia).

      Can I order Propecia online?

      Yes, you can order Propecia online from a number of licensed and regulated UK healthcare services, including LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor (subject to an online consultation with one of our doctors).

      Our NHS experienced clinicians are based in London and can safely prescribe medicines that have been licensed by the UK government agency MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency). We are also registered with the Care Quality Commission.

      To request Propecia from Online Doctor:

      1. Visit our online clinic and click “Start consultation”.
      2. Register your details.
      3. Fill out a short medical questionnaire, outlining the history of your hair loss.
      4. One of our doctors will then read your responses and make sure you are suitable for treatment.
      5. If you are successful, your order will be processed and your Propecia will be made available for collection or delivery.

      Alternative hair loss treatments

      We also offer the cost-effective generic treatment Finasteride in our hair loss clinic. Finasteride has the same active ingredient as Propecia which means they work in the same way.

      Other hair loss treatments such as minoxidil (also sold branded as Regaine) are also available from our hair loss service. You can buy Regaine on its own, or you can request it as part of a bundle with Finasteride. We also offer an over-the-counter hair loss treatment bundle which contains Sons minoxidil 5% solution, a DHT blocking shampoo and biotin capsules.

      Other options include hair transplants, skin camouflage and wigs or hairpieces.

      How our service works

      1. Complete our simple, confidential online consultation

        5 mins

      2. One of our clinicians confirms your suitability and notifies you by email

        About 30 mins (Mon-Sun 9am-5pm)

      3. Choose delivery or collection

        Next day delivery

        Collect in your local ParcelShop​​​​​​​

      What our patients say

      Delivery & collection information

      • Standard delivery


        Delivered within 2-3 working days.

      • Next-day delivery


        Orders approved before 5pm Monday-Friday will arrive within 1-2 working days. Orders approved between 5pm Friday and 12pm Sunday will usually arrive on Monday or Tuesday.

      • Standard ParcelShop collection


        Collect from 7000+ convenient ParcelShops in 2-3 working days.

      • Next day ParcelShop collection


        Collect next day from 7000+ convenient ParcelShop locations, if approved before 5pm Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday orders, collect Monday if approved before 12pm Sunday or Tuesday if ordered after 12pm. 

      • London same-day collection


        Order before 5pm Monday-Friday to collect in pharmacy the same day. Subject to the availability of your treatment in your selected London pharmacy.

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          Meet our clinical team

          Based in our London office, our doctors and independent pharmacists have years of experience caring for patients in NHS hospitals, GP surgeries or in community pharmacies. Any one of the team may provide you with advice, your prescription or aftercare via private message.

          Meet the whole team
          • Dr Kieran Seyan  - Meet the clinical team at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

            Dr Kieran Seyan

            GMC: 6104204

          • Dr Gigi Taguri  - Meet the clinical team at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

            Dr Gigi Taguri

            GMC: 6129350

          • Dr Mitra Dutt- Meet the clinical team at LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

            Dr Mitra Dutt

            GMC: 6077868

          • Dr Neel Patel

            Dr Neel Patel

            GMC: 7085151

          Meet the whole team
          LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

          This service operates in the United Kingdom only

          LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

          This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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          LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

          This service operates in the Republic of Ireland only

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