MSD Korea’s Propesia (ingredient: finasteride), which has been used as male hair loss treatment for two decades, was effective and safe in the long term, local researchers confirmed in a five-year study.
According to the study of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and Pusan National University Hospital on 166 people, 85.7 percent of 126 patients who took finasteride for five years, showed that their five-point Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) score was 1 or higher. Over 98 percent showed no more progress of hair fall (IGA score at 0 or higher).
|Professor Shin Jung-won presents the latest treatment information on male hair loss and the clinical efficacy of finasteride during a news conference at the Plaza Seoul on Monday.|
The researchers compared changes in the IGA scores in the five-year study. The result showed that the average IGA score of patients with the treatment went up compared to the period before the treatment. The treatment maintained the efficacy until the fifth year.
In an assessment based on BASP (Basic and Specific) classification to explain various clinical aspects of male baldness, patients who took finasteride for five years showed clinical improvement in both basic and specific types of male hair loss.
BASP classification divides hair loss types into basic and specific, based on the shape of the anterior hairline. There are four basic types – L, M, C, and U – and two specific types – F, and V. In the study, 84.9 percent of the patients were M type, 46 percent, V type, and 29.4 percent, F type.
The exact timing of the first signs of clinical improvement and sustainability varied depending on the type of hair loss. The V-type patients with crown hair loss showed a faster and steadier improvement compared to the others.
The research also evaluated side effects based on the patients’ medical records. Twelve patients experienced adverse events, but there were mostly mild.
Shin Jung-won, a professor of the dermatology department at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, said male hair loss is a progressive disease that requires a steady, long-term medication.
“For a hair loss treatment, it was important to prove long-term safety and efficacy. However, there was no research whether the most commonly used drug finasteride was effective and safe for Koreans in the past,” she said.
This study is the first to evaluate long-term efficacy and safety of finasteride on Koreans, and to confirm the improvement of symptoms in all types of hair loss, she added.
The study of finasteride’s long-term efficacy for Korean men was published in a Japanese Journal of Dermatology.