The funny thing about the discovery of Propecia as a cure for baldness is that it was not for this purpose that the investigation about it was originally intended for.
Finasteride, the basic ingredient of this drug, was initially investigated for treatment of erectile dysfunction. But Finasteride did not work well with ED. Rather, researchers found that Finasteride can help in treating baldness and a prostrate disease they call BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. This disease causes the prostate to become bigger than normal.
As a consequence of this research, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Finasteride in 1992 for treatment of BPH (in 5-mg tablets) and, in 1997 for treatment of baldness (in 10mg tablets).
About Finasteride’s Origin
There are internet rumors that attack the safety of using Finasteride due to the side effects some people experienced with the use of the drug, which are mostly sexual in nature – premature ejaculation, erection that’s taking too long to take place or no erection at all, and loss of libido.
But official reports have it that only 1-2% percent of those who are taking Finasteride experience sexual side effects, and most of these minor side effects that are not even sexually related. We are mentioning this statistical information because those who are experiencing sexual side effects apparently are the ones who are more active in sharing negative reports in the internet.
To clarify, to inform, and to allay the fears of those who are using and those who are considering the use of Propecia, let us go to into details about the accidental discovery of Finasteride. Let us go back to that fateful time in 1974 when someone named Julianne Imperato McGinley reported a research finding that’s related to birth defects.
Her report was taken from a study of Caribbean girls who were initially raised as girls but developed male characteristics such as the male genitalia after the start of puberty. Imeparato-Ginley’s research group later found that this abnormal condition is somewhat similar to those conditions associated with abnormalities in the sexual development of some men. Two common characteristics were seen in those who had these abnormalities: they did not suffer from baldness and they had smaller prostates. These characteristics, they concluded, were associated with deficient levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the body.
In 1975, the report was seen by the research chief of Merck at that time. Intrigued by the idea that decreased levels of DHT could lead to developing smaller prostates, the chief began his search to create the drug that could copy the condition lower DHT in the body. His intention was really to help those older men suffering from BPH.
Minor Side Effects
If you are one of those belonging to the group that’s not experiencing sexual side effects, you are probably experiencing one or two of the following: mild testicular pain, minor swelling of the breasts, swelling of the face and the lips, itching, rashes and other allergic reactions. Remember, these are the body’s normal reactions to Finasteride – that basic chemical contained in Propecia.