Propecia Affects Prostate Exam Results?
Propecia is a registered trademark of Merck
Can Propecia affect Prostate Exam Results?
The answer is YES.
Propecia (Finasteride) & Hair Loss
Hair loss and prostate exam may seem to be two totally different issues but not so if you are taking Propecia for hair loss.
Propecia is the only FDA approved pill for treating hair loss. The active ingredient in Propecia is 1 mg Finasteride. Finasteride works by inhibiting the enzyme type II 5 alpha reductase (5AR) in our body. Type II 5 alpha reductase is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT which many believe is one of the reasons causing male pattern baldness. By inhibiting 5 alpha reductase, the production of DHT is suppressed and this has a positive effect on hair loss.
Propecia (Finasteride) Affects Prostate Exam PSA Score
Part of routine prostate exam involves drawing blood from the patient and measure his PSA score. PSA is short for Prostate-specific antigen. It is a substance produced by the prostate gland. Elevated PSA levels may indicate possibility of prostate cancer, prostatitis, or an enlarged prostate.
Propecia and Artificially Low PSA Level
Generally speaking, most doctors consider PSA levels less than 4 ng/mL as normal for a prostate exam screening. Anything above 4 ng/mL would be a cause for concern. Some experts believe that the cutoff level should be adjusted based on a patient's age. The reason is because younger patients who are healthy tend to have smaller prostates and lower PSA values. As a result, according to some doctors, a lower cutoff value such as 2.5 or 3 ng/mL may be more appropriate for younger patients.
That being said, equally important is whether a patient's PSA level is trending up or not over time, and if trending up, over what period of time.
However, the situation is not as simple for patients who are on Propecia or Finasteride. Propecia can potentially suppress PSA levels in a patient's body and skew the PSA test to reflect a lower value that could affect the doctor's prognosis of a patient's condition.
Real Life PSA Levels Before & After Finaseride
Here we have a real life illustration of someone who went for his bloodwork twice over a course of 2 years. The first bloodwork was drawn during a time when this patient was on Finasteride. Then after quitting Finasteride for about 6 months, he went for his second bloodwork.
PSA Level while on Finasteride = 0.68
PSA Level After Quitting Finasteride = 1.55
As you can see from the values presented above, the patient's PSA level was pushed down to a score of 0.68 while he was using Finasteride. But his real PSA level without the help of Finasteride was actually 1.55, about 2.3 times higher in reality.
Of course, that is not to say that Finasteride will suppress PSA score with the same extent for every patient. Every person is different. But it is definitely worth noting that such a such a large discrepancy can occur and a person's PSA score while on Finasteride may not be telling the true story. Precise monitoring over an extended period is necessary for anyone who is concerned about his prostate health.
Options Besides Finasteride for Hair Loss?
Needless to say, this aspect of Propecia (Finasteride) presents quite a challenge for those who are trying to regrow their hair while staying on top of their prostate health at the same time.
For those who are looking for a hair loss treatment that does not involve messing with their hormones and prostate health, you can consder minimally invasive FUE hair transplant. This is a valid option to regrow your hair without having to deal with side effects from medications.
Below is a before and after result from Hasson & Wong hair clinic, a sponsoring clinic and top ranked hair transplant clinic on HairSite according to our patient statistics.
No drugs, no medications, no lingering side effects.
Just Good Honest Results
To learn more about Propecia and prostate exam issues or to find out more about FUE hair restoration, contact email@example.com or visit www.hassonandwong.com for details. Free no obligation consultations.
More Patient Results from Hasson & Wong
Real Patient. Real Result