Are You Going to Use Finasteride for Hair Loss? Read This First

Sold in the market under the brand names Propecia and Proscar, finasteride is a medication that is intended to treat people who are suffering from hair loss.  In the early days, finasteride was just like other medications that were originally used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer. It turns out that patients who took finasteride for their prostate-related issues had experienced great results with it, along with a surprising bonus, and that is, the growth of hair.

Finasteride actually works by means of inhibiting or stopping type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting the hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT, in turn, is the one responsible for losing one’s hair, resulting to baldness if not remedied.  Thus, simply put, the action of finasteride is to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and the end result would be the prevention of hair loss. This “favorable side effect” of preventing hair loss and promoting growth of new hair by finasteride is what made it famous in the pharmaceutical world, not by its primary use which is for treating benign prostatic hypertrophy and other prostate-related ailments. Read more…

This month in medical poetry: March

Welcome to the first edition of a new monthly feature here at Canadian Medicine: "This month in medical poetry." (Yes, I know it's April now. Oh well.)

The practice of publishing poetry in medical journals is fairly widespread. The leaders, so far as I know, are the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which both publish poetry in just about every issue. I should note, however, that I use the word 'leaders' loosely here -- many of the poems that appear in these journals, and others, are spectacularly bad. And therein lies much of the fun in reading them.

By the way, that man pictured above is Dr William Carlos Williams, the patron saint of doctor-poets, a man better known for his poetry than his pediatrics work.

You can check out all the poems in CMAJ and JAMA from March below:


"Joceyln's choice" by Dr Tara Tucker, CMAJ, March 25
The full text is available on the CMAJ's website. Here's a taste -- brace yourself:

Dignity lost, depths of pain so vast
"Total Pain" we called it
Spiritual
Physical
Emotional
Social
what more was there to hurt?
we named it, you understood

"Ladan and Laleh" by Dr Normand Carrey, CMAJ, March 11


"" by Dr Frank DeCicco, JAMA*, March 26

"" by Dr Frank DeCicco, JAMA, March 19

"" by Dr Frank DeCicco, JAMA, March 12

"" by Dr Frank DeCicco, JAMA, March 5

*JAMA requires an online subscription, unfortunately. These links lead to versions that are sometimes abbreviated if the poems are longer, but I encourage you to find a password and read the whole things.


How to submit your poem
CMAJ uses a service called Manuscript Central to manage their submissions; you can visit their page . There's information for potential authors on their website.

JAMA's poetry editor is Charlene Breedlove, an associate editor with the journal. Submissions are to be sent to . JAMA also uses , but apparently not for poetry.

Check out our website: