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Generic Name: Finasteride (fin-AS-tur-ide)

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Propecia (Finasteride)Propecia (Finasteride)






Propecia (Finasteride) is used to treat men with male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). It helps to promote new hair growth at the crown and in the middle of the scalp. It should be used by adult men only.

This medicine is also used to treat symptoms of BPH such as frequent and difficult urination. It may reduce the chance of acute urinary retention (sudden inability to urinate). It also may decrease the chance of needing prostate surgery.

This medication works by decreasing the amount of a natural body hormone (DHT). Decreasing the amount of DHT leads to increased hair regrowth and slower hair loss. Finasteride will not affect hair growth on other parts of the body.

Women and children should not use this medication.

How to Take It

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your doctor. Take it with a full glass of water.

Side Effects

Side effects that may occur while taking this medicine include:

  • inability to maintain an erection
  • decreased libido
  • depression
  • testicle pain

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience:

  • chills
  • bloated face or arms
  • skin rash
  • seizure or convulsions
  • lump in underarm or breast
  • decreased sex drive
  • nipple discharge
  • back pain

Warnings & Precautions

  • This medicine may slightly increase the risk of developing a very serious form of prostate cancer.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Finasteride, any other medications, and inform your doctor of medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are currently taking.
  • You may experience sexual dysfunction while taking this medicine, even after stopping treatment.
  • This medication should only be used by men. Women should not even touch broken or crushed finasteride tablets if pregnant; this contact may harm the fetus.
  • Your blood may need to be tested often while taking Finasteride to ensure it is improving your condition and not causing harmful effects.
  • Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you have/had prostate cancer, liver disease, infections, or urinary problems.
  • For an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Drug Interactions

Before taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes supplements and herbal products.

Dosage & Missed Dose

A typical dosage is a 1 mg tablet / day. It may be taken with or without food.

You can take it with or without food, depending on your preference.

Propecia usually takes 3+ months before the full effects are noticeable. Once you stop taking it, the effects will be reversed within a year.

Take your next dose as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular schedule. Do not double doses or take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (preferably not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed.


This medication is for males only. Women and children should not use it.

More Information

For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider, or you can visit this website, for additional information from the manufacturer of this drug.



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APA Reference
Psych Central. (2018). Propecia. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Oct 2018
Last reviewed: By Christine Traxler, M.D.
Published on All rights reserved.