Propecia is used for treating certain types of male pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia) in men. Propecia is a steroid reductase inhibitor. It works by reducing the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. This may block certain types of hair loss in men.
Use Propecia as directed by your doctor.
- Take Propecia by mouth with or without food.
- Continue to take Propecia even if you notice improvement of your symptoms. Do not miss any dose.
- Taking Propecia at the same time each day will help your remember to take it.
- If you miss a dose of Propecia, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Propecia.
Store Propecia at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Propecia out of the reach of children and away from pets.
Active Ingredient: Finasteride.
Inactive Ingredients: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose LF, titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, talc, docusate sodium, yellow ferric oxide, and red ferric oxide.
Propecia can affect a blood test called PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) for the screening of prostate cancer. If you have a PSA test done, you should tell your doctor(s) that you are taking Propecia. Because Propecia decreases PSA levels, changes in PSA levels will need to be carefully evaluated by your doctor(s). Any increase in follow-up PSA levels from their lowest point should be carefully evaluated even if the test results are still within the normal range for men not taking Propecia. You should also tell your doctor if you have not been taking Propecia as prescribed because this may affect the PSA test results. For more information, talk to your doctor.
Do NOT use Propecia if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Propecia
- the patient is a woman or a child.
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Some medical conditions may interact with Propecia. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a narrowing or blockage in the urinary tract, prostate cancer, or trouble urinating
- if you have a history of abnormal liver function tests or liver problems.
Some medicines may interact with Propecia. However, no specific interactions with Propecia are known at this time. Ask your health care provider if Propecia may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
Important safety information:
- You may need to take Propecia for up to 3 months before you notice any improvement. Do not take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
- If your symptoms do not improve within 12 months, check with your doctor. You may need to discuss other treatment options.
- Infrequently, Propecia may cause decreased sexual desire or ability. These effects usually decrease in men who continue to take Propecia. If they continue or become bothersome, check with your doctor.
- Propecia may increase the risk of certain birth defects, including abnormal formation of genitalia in male fetuses. Propecia is coated to prevent contact with finasteride while handling undamaged tablets. The coating is not effective if the tablets are damaged, broken, or crushed. Women who are pregnant or may be pregnant should avoid contact with damaged, broken, or crushed tablets. If contact occurs, tell your doctor at once.
- Propecia may interfere with certain lab tests, including prostate-specific antigen tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking Propecia.
- Propecia is for use by men only and should not be used by women or children.
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
No common side effects have been reported with Propecia.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); breast enlargement, lumps, pain, or tenderness; nipple discharge; testicular pain.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.