Hi Dr.Rassman,I am currently a 16 year old male who has hair loss for the past 5 months now. At first, we thought it was dermatitis, but nothing worked. A few days ago, my doctor said that if he was in my position, he would start using propecia, which I have started yesterday.
However, i’m truly not concerned about the side effect ( like you said, all medications have side effects and the ones in propecia are rare). What I am concerned about is the fact im taking it at 16. I know that it says Propecia hasn’t been tested in people under 18, but should I seriously use the treatment? What side effects can a person under 18 see that a person over 18 can’t? Thanks!
You are right — Propecia has not been studied on young men under 18 years old. Puberty is the difference between those over 18 taking the medication and younger men like yourself. Here’s something I wrote a couple years ago about this very issue: Can Propecia Stunt Growth?
First and foremost, you need to have a good diagnosis of male pattern baldness (MPB). Is this what you were diagnosed with? The decision to take a medication rests solely with your and your doctor… though as you are under 18, you’ll also need parental approval.
The other day, I met with a man in his early 20s who felt that he was following the genetic hair loss history in his family. I performed a bulk analysis and a complete miniaturization study and concluded that he is not undergoing any hair loss at this time. I strongly suggested based upon the metrics I established that he NOT take Propecia, and have me follow up with him every year to be sure that he does not pick up the family trait.