Ok doc, I just saw on the news (and the found it on the web) where it says Propecia is basically ok for women. Please comment on this new study.
My concerns for this treatment are the following:
- The study is very limited to only 37 women.
- The “new pill” is finasteride 2.5 mg (which is 2.5 times the strength of Propecia for men) with an added birth control pill to prevent pregnancy because of the high risk of producing abnormal babies, a known side effect of finasteride in pregnant women.
- Finasteride for women is not approved by the FDA for female hair loss. We know that in 1 out of 200 or so men who take the 1mg dose of finasteride, that there is some breast nodules (gynecomastia) as a side effect and this makes me wonder what the effect might be on women who carry genes for breast, ovarian or uterine cancer or who may have an early version of these cancers already growing in their body. If they take finasteride as used in this study, what will happen here? Safety is critical to FDA approval for a particular use, so I would worry that without adequate statistics, we will not know about this risk.
- The study was not a double blind randomized control study. Which in short means there can be a bias in the study.
- These stories are sensationalistic at its best, causing great interest for desperate women and providing misinformation to the non-medical population. Another example of media hype was this story from a few years ago: Lemon juice ‘is HIV-killing spermicide’.
- These articles will, without a doubt, drive doctors and women to gather and exploit finasteride for the treatment of hair loss. We will know, the wrong way, about cancer and other such risks in these women when it appears in the courts.