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Proscar (finasteride):

Trade Name Strength
Propecia®1 mg tab30 tablet bottleMerck U.S.
Proscar®5 mg tab100 tablet bottleMerck U.S.

Finasteride is a specific inhibitor of 5a-reductase, which is the enzyme responsible for converting testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This drug can efficiently reduce the serum concentration of DHT, therefore minimizing the unwanted androgenic effects that result from its presence. The effect of this drug is quite rapid; suppressing serum DHT concentrations as much as 65% within 24 hours after taking a single 1 mg tablet. Medically, this drug has been marketed to treat two specific conditions. The first release of finasteride in the U.S. was under the brand name of Proscar®, made for use by patients with benign prostate hyperplasia (prostate enlargement). More recently (December 1997), finasteride was approved for use as an anti-balding medication. We now have the additional brand name Propecia®, which is the same drug but the tablet contains only 1/5th of the Proscar@ dosage. Scientists have long believed that DHT was the main culprit in many cases of male hair loss (along with genetic factors), so there was little doubt after the release of Proscar® that finasteride would eventually be used for this purpose. It has provided what many feel is a breakthrough for men with hair-loss problems.

Due to the very specific nature of finasteride, it has little effect on the other hormones in the body. It has no affinity for the androgen receptor, and does not exhibit any androgenic, antiandrogenic, estrogenic or antiestrogenic properties. It should have no impact on circulating levels of cortisol, thyroid-stimulating hormone, or thyroxine, nor should it alter HDIJLDL cholesterol levels. Changes in luteinizing hormone (LH) or follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are also not notable, and it is not shown to have an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. In a small percentage of cases the decreased DHT level did produce symptoms of sexual disinterest/dysfunction. Although this is not a common complaint, this problem can usually be resolved quickly by discontinuing the drug. It is also interesting that finasteride has been shown to increase the circulating levels of testosterone by roughly 15%, since a greater amount of the androgen is being left unaltered by the reductase enzyme.

ProscaK!D/Propecia® shows great potential for the steroid using athlete. And as you know, the dihydrotestosterone (DHT) metabolite is responsible for many of the unwanted androgenic side effects associated with testosterone use. The high levels of DHT that form in certain tissues produce oily skin, acne, facial/body hair growth and accelerated male pattern baldness. By minimizing the production of DHT, we should greatly reduce many of these harsh side effects and make our testosterone cycles more comfortable. In many instances, Proscar®/Propecia® can allow the athlete the use of steroid compounds (testosterone esters such as cypionate, enanthate, Sustanon etc.), Halotestin® and methyltestosterone with much less androgenic side activity. Of course we must not forget that all steroids activate the androgen receptor, so while this item offers help by means of reduced androgenic activity, not drug exists that can completely block androgenic side effects from appearing with steroid use.

One other thing to note is that finasteride specifically blocks the type II 5a reductase enzyme. There are actually two "isozymes" in the human body, labeled as type I and type II. Type 15a-reductase is predominant in the sebaceous glands of most regions of skin. The Type II 5a-reductase isozyme is primarily found in prostate and hair follicles (among others). So although the type II enzyme is responsible for about two-thirds of the circulating DHT, a small amount of DHT may still be produced in the body by the type I enzyme. Finasteride may therefore have a more pronounced effect when preventing hair loss, and be somewhat of a lesser benefit when dealing with acne and body/facial hair growth (tissues where the type I enzyme is still active). Of course the drop in serum DHT will still have some beneficial effect on all related side effects. This is not a major concern in any event, as hair loss is really the primary worry amongst most male steroid users who would use this drug. A little oily skin or new hair growth on the back/shoulders can be dealt with by other means or simply endured. The user knows these problems will only be temporary. But the advancement of a balding condition can be very difficult, if not impossible to reverse. We must also remember that testosterone, Halotestin® and methyltestosterone are really the only hormones that converts to stronger steroids via 5-alpha reductase. Boldenone and methandrostenolone do also I guess, but to such a low degree that one would think Proscar would be of little significance. Perhaps we will come to find that some other steroids are broken down into stronger metabolites via 5a-reductase, but needless to say for now the uses of this drug are not great in number.

There is no research to site on exactly what dosage would be the most appropriate for a steroid user. Logic would dictate that the typically prescribed amount of Propecia®, a single 1 mg tablet per day, would most likely be sufficient. In clinical trials the effect of just a single tablet is clearly dramatic. But if after a while the androgenic content of the cycle is still perceived as too high, increasing the number of tablets per day or perhaps switching to the stronger Proscar® (5mg tablet) may be necessary. Proscar@/Propecia© is also a relatively expensive compound, so it can become quite costly as the dosage increases. It is probably best to keep the dosage at the lowest effective amount. Cost may not be the only basis for such a decision, as DHT is believed to affect the nervous & reproductive system in many beneficial ways. By minimizing this conversion we not only face the possibility of interference with sexual functioning, but might also be inadvertently lessening the level of strength gained during testosterone therapy (this being tied to the actions of DHT on the neuromuscular system). A "use only when necessary' position should likewise be taken in regard to this drug.

It is also important to note that while Women may receive some small benefit from the drug (although testosterone is really not a steroid for females), they must be very careful with it. Those who are, or might become pregnant, should never take or even handle a finasteride tablet. The DHT blocking action can cause severe developmental problems to an unborn fetus, even in very small amounts. Since the drug can be absorbed through the skin, handling a broken tablet may be all that is needed for such an occurrence. Since women generally stay away from testosterone, and the design of Proscar®/Propecia© has been strictly for men, as of yet there is little to report on the effectiveness of this compound for combating virilization symptoms.
Counterfeits: Should be a safe buy



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