Most women / some men do not bother for excess hair growth on body. Extra hairs on body can be due to hormonal imbalance. Hirsutism is the condition where a women has appearance of facial and body hair growing in patterns usually seen only on men. Cyproterone acetate (Cyprostat, Procur) is one such drug that has been utilized for the past 10 years to treat the condition of Hirsutism in female. It is also used in the treatment of prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and hyper sexuality because of its anti-androgen effect. Other uses are for the treatment of acne, excess facial hair and scalp hair loss.
Major cause for Hirsutism: Extra hair growth results from excessive production of the androgen or male sex hormone by the ovaries. It was found that excess hair growth in women can be due to genetic factors which cause a mild increase in androgen production along with an increased sensitivity of hair follicles to androgens.
How cyproterone acetate is effective against Hirsutism:
Cyproterone acts as an anti-androgen. It acts by blocking androgen receptors sites, preventing binding of testosterone and other androgens to their respective receptor sites. By blocking those receptors, it reduces the amount of testosterone in the body through a negative feedback mechanism. So by blocking this hormone-receptor binding, cyproterone acetate helps in treatment of excessive hair growth.
The pill form should be taken every day at the same time after a meal. Initially it is preferred to start the treatment with lower doses, such as 25-50mg/day, have been used maximum tolerated dosage is 100mg/day. It’s available as intramuscular injection. The injection is given once in every 2 weeks.
Noxious effects of cyproterone acetate:
Fatigue, mood changes, headache, palpitations, bleeding problems, and chest pain are the common side effects associated with cyproterone acetate.
Note- The most serious side effect is liver toxicity.
Warnings and precautions:
§ Cyproterone acetate is contraindicated in pregnancy
§ Avoid if you are breast feeding women.
§ Under 18 years old persons should not use cyproterone acetate.
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