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Finasteride (Propecia)

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Propecia finasteride for hirsutism acne alopecia in PCOSFinasteride, marketed by Merck under the brand names Proscar and Propecia, is a type II 5a-reductase inhibitor.  As 5a-reductase is the enzyme which converts testosterone into the more potent form dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the drug is sometimes used to treat some of the symptoms of PCOS which relate to hyperandrogenism or high testosterone levels, such as acne, hirsutism and hair loss.

The drug is used predominantly for the treatment of men with benign prostatic hyperplasia and male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia).

Finasteride is a weaker anti-androgen than other drugs in this class such as spironolactone and has been associated with an increased risk of anxiety and depression, conditions which women with PCOS are already at higher risk for than the general population.  This makes the drug a less suitable choice for women with PCOS in general, though in some individual circumstances, it may be more appropriate.
Propecia finasteride for acne alopecia hirsutism in PCOS

For the treatment of PCOS symptoms, finasteride (Propecia) may be prescribed in a dosage ranging between 1 mg and 5 mg.Finasteride (Propecia) is a category X drug during pregnancy, meaning that it is known to cause birth defects in male foetuses.  Women who are intending to become pregnant or who are pregnant must not take this drug.

More Information:

Altomare G, Capella GL (October 2002). “Depression circumstantially related to the administration of finasteride for androgenetic alopecia”. The Journal of Dermatology 29 (10): 665–9. PMID 12433001.

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