Among hair loss treatments for women, Cyproterone Acetate is one of the most frequently used. This solution is similar in effects as finasteride or Propecia, an antiandrogen that inhibits the transformation of testosterone into more powerful substances that may cause alopecia.
Cyproterone Acetate is also kown as Procur, Cyprone or Androcur and is a synthetic antiandorgen solution. The Cyproterone Acetate works by inhibiting the enzymes that makes it possible for the testosterone to turn into dihydrotestosterone.
In women, the Cyproterone Acetate will also suppress the luteinizing hormone, reducing the production of testosterone. Cyproterone Acetate also inhibits cortisol in the body. The Cyproterone Acetate may also be used in some combined birth control pills, such as Diane 35.
Cyproterone Acetate and Hair Loss
Cyproterone Acetate may be used in patients that suffer from hair loss. The product has been developed for use in men, but may also be applied in women.
The adrenal glands in women are responsible for the production of the testosterone. The Cyproterone Acetate will hinder the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which is a more powerful hormone that can affect the skin and result in hair loss. The solution will inhibit the enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase, which facilitates the transformation of the testosterone.
The dose of Cyproterone Acetate will be established according to each patient in part.
Cyproterone Acetate Side Effects
Cyproterone Acetate may have certain side effects, the most important being the change in liver enzymes. This side effect is more common in patients that get a high dose of Cyproterone Acetate (i.e. 200 mg per day or over). Consequently, a patient that is under treatment with Cyproterone Acetate should get regular blood tests to monitor the liver enzymes.
Other possible side effects of cyproterone may include:
- Changes in the metabolism, especially when metabolizing the carbohydrates. This may affect diabetes mellitus patients, so the insulin dose may have to be increased.
- Weight gain
- Excess of potassium in the body; the levels of potassium should also be monitored
- Impaired blood clotting, especially when combined with combined birth control pills
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Sudden mood changes
- Osteoporosis, especially when used as a long term treatment
- Male breast growth
- Erectile dysfunction
When suddenly discontinued, Cyproterone Acetate may have a negative effect on the adrenal glands, resulting in adrenal insufficiency. Also, the sudden discontinuation of Cyproterone Acetate may cause an increase of testosterone in the body.
The discontinuation of Cyproterone Acetate should be gradual and made during 2 to 4 weeks.
Other Uses of Cyproterone Acetate
Cyproterone Acetate may also be used in:
- Prostate cancer
- Enlarged prostate
- Reduces hot flashes in menopausal women
- Reduces acne
- Reduce increased libido
- Delay precocious puberty
- Hormonal therapy in male patients that undergo a sex change.
Cyproterone Acetate shouldn’t be used during the lactation period and pregnancy.