Propecia

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Propecia Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Propecia® (finasteride) used for?

Propecia® prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body.

Propecia® is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area. Male pattern hair loss is a common condition in which men experience thinning of the hair on the scalp. Often, this results in a receding hairline and/or balding on the top of the head.

Propecia® is for use by men only and should not be used by women or children.

How should I take Propecia® (finasteride)?

Take Propecia® exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Propecia® can be taken with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

It is important to use Propecia® regularly to get the most benefit. You may need to take Propecia® daily for three months or more before you see a benefit. Propecia® can only work over the long term if you continue taking it. If the drug has not worked for you in twelve months, further treatment is unlikely to be of benefit. If you stop taking Propecia®, you will likely lose the hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping treatment. You should discuss this with your doctor.

To be sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood may need to be tested often. Your doctor will also test your prostate specific antigen (PSA) to check for prostate cancer. Visit your doctor regularly.

How do I store Propecia® (finasteride)?

Propecia® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Propecia® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Propecia® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Propecia® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Propecia® (finasteride)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of Propecia® or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

Propecia® should never be taken by a woman or a child. Finasteride can be absorbed through the skin, and women or children should not be permitted to handle finasteride tablets,

To make sure you can safely take Propecia®, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • Liver disease, or abnormal liver enzyme tests
  • Prostate cancer
  • A bladder muscle disorder
  • Stricture of your urethra
  • If you are unable to urinate
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a similar medicine called dutasteride (Avodart)

Using Propecia® may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. Your doctor will perform tests to make sure you do not have other conditions that would prevent you from safely using finasteride.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication. This medication is pregnancy risk category X, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Propecia® (finasteride)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you notice any breast lumps, pain, nipple discharge, or other breast changes. These may be signs of male breast cancer.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • Impotence, loss of interest in sex, or trouble having an orgasm
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Swelling or tenderness in your breasts
  • Dizziness, weakness
  • Feeling like you might pass out
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Skin rash

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Propecia® (finasteride)?

Propecia® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Aspirin Low Strength (aspirin)
  • Cialis (tadalafil)
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • lisinopril
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • omeprazole
  • Singulair (montelukast)
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine)
  • trazodone
  • Viagra (sildenafil)
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)

Does food or alcohol interact with Propecia® (finasteride)?

Propecia® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Propecia® (finasteride)?

Propecia® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Propecia® (finasteride).

What is the dose of Propecia® (finasteride) for an adult?

The recommended dose is one tablet (1mg) taken once daily.

What is the dose of Propecia® (finasteride) for a child?

The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How is Propecia® (finasteride) available?

Propecia® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet 1mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Propecia®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: August 11, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019

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