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Why it's used

Finasteride is used to treat male pattern hair loss. It is a prescription medicine. This medicine works by blocking the production of a male hormone which is responsible for the reduction of hair growth. This medicine helps by stopping the male pattern hair loss. Finasteride is also used for the treatment and control of prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia). This medicine helps by reverting the enlarged prostate gland to the previous state, improving the flow of urine and the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Finasteride also minimizes the need for surgery in such patients.
5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitor
Finasteride belongs to a class of medicines called 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitor. 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors, are a class of medicines which are used to treat scalp hair loss and enlarged prostate.

How to use

Follow directions on the product label, information guide, and provided by your doctor before using Finasteride. Eat this medicine as per your doctor's instructions.
Finasteride is eaten with or without food. Swallow the whole medicine and do not crush or divide the tablet.
The typical adult dose of Finasteride is 1 mg/day. This medicine is commonly used for a period of 6 months for prostate gland enlargement. Finasteride is typically used at the same time every day. There are no known habit-forming tendencies with this medicine.
Finasteride is to be used for longer periods of time. This medicine should be used for at least 6 months to achieve a satisfactory treatment response. You should continue to use this medicine as directed by the doctor even if you feel well.
Tell your doctor if you develop new symptoms. Talk to your doctor if depression, suicidal thoughts, and depressed mood.
The safety and effectiveness of using this medicine in children has not been established. The safety and effectiveness of Finasteride have not been established in children.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, to avoid any harm to the baby, you should avoid any contact with Finasteride. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching or coming in contact with Finasteride.
Medicines may be given for uses other than those listed in the medicine guide. Do not use Finasteride for symptoms for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Finasteride to others who may have similar symptoms as you. Self-medication can cause harm.
Store Finasteride at room temperature, 15-30°C (59-86°F), and away from moisture. Keep this medicine away from children and pets.

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How to take Finasteride

Your dose may depend on several personal factors. You should consult with your doctor to find out the dose that is best for you. The dose of Finasteride depends on the following factors:
  • medicines recommended by your doctor
  • any other medicines in use
  • herbal supplements consumed

Finasteride Dosage

Dosage for male pattern hair loss

  • Recommended: 1 mg once daily

Dosage for prostate gland enlargement

  • Recommended: 5 mg once daily


Strength: 1 mg and 5 mg
Film-Coated Tablet
Strength: 1 mg and 5 mg
Coated Tablet
Strength: 1 mg

Special Instructions

Liver dysfunction
Finasteride should be given with caution in such patients.

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Skip the missed dose if it's time for the next dose. Avoid taking a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

Precautions while using Finasteride

Before you use Finasteride, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine and update your medical records to record this information.
Before you use Finasteride, tell your doctor of your medical history including prostate problems, liver problems, severely reduced urinary flow, prostate-specific antigen test, or plan for pregnancy.
The use of this medicine may change protein formed by the cells of the prostate gland (prostate-specific antigen). Finasteride can decrease the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood.
Finasteride is not for use by women and hence pregnant women should not use this medicine. The woman who is pregnant with an unborn male baby, if she eats or comes in contact with Finasteride, the baby is at risk of being born with abnormal sex organs. Women who are breastfeeding should not use this medicine. It is not known that whether Finasteride passes into the breast milk. There is a risk of potential danger to the unborn male baby.
This medicine may pass into the semen of men who are treated with this medicine.

Finasteride Side-effects

The following side-effects may commonly occur when using Finasteride. If any of these side-effects worsen or last for a long time, you should consult with your doctor:
  • decrease in the amount of semen
  • decreased sex drive
  • depression due to decreased libido
  • impotence
  • problem in keeping or getting an erection
  • problems with ejaculation
Rarely, the use of Finasteride may cause the following side-effects:
The following severe side-effects may also occur when using Finasteride:
  • liver disorders
    Symptoms: increased level of liver enzymes
  • breast disorders
    Symptoms: enlargement, pain or lumps in the breast, nipple discharge male breast cancer
    If such side effects occur, contact the doctor immediately.
  • reproductive system disorders
    Symptoms: prostate cancer decreased prostate-specific antigen level in the blood
  • Symptoms: depression due to decreased libido, anxiety depression
  • immune system disorders
    Symptoms: swelling of the lips, swelling of the face, skin rashes, hives, itching, swelling of the tongue swelling of the throat
    If such symptoms appear, stop taking this medicine and contact your doctor immediately.
Your doctor has prescribed this Finasteride because they have judged that the benefits outweigh the risks posed by side-effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side-effects. This is not a complete list of possible side-effects for Finasteride.
If you experience side-effects or notice other side-effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side-effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at


Use in women

Pregnant women are at an increased risk when comes in contact with this medicine. There is a risk of potential danger to the unborn male baby. Women should avoid handling a broken or crushed tablet. This medicine cannot be used in women.

Protein formed by the cells of the prostate gland (prostate-specific antigen)

Men with or without prostate cancer who use Finasteride are at an increased risk. Finasteride can decrease the level of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. In patients with prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia), there is a 50% decrease in the level of blood prostate specific antigen. Proper analysis of prostate-specific antigen in the blood is required in men who treated with this medicine. Digital rectal tests or other evaluations for the prostate cancer are recommended before starting therapy with Finasteride and regularly after beginning treatment.

Prostate cancer

Men using Finasteride are at an increased risk. They may suffer from high-grade prostate cancer.

Breast cancer

Men who use Finasteride are at an increased risk. They may have breast cancer. It is advised to the patient to report if they experience any changes in their breast such as enlargement of the breast (gynecomastia), lumps, pain, and nipple discharge.

Use in children

This medicine should not be used in children.

Mood alterations

Men who are treated with Finasteride are at an increased risk. These patients may have mood alterations including depression, and less commonly suicidal ideation. The patients should be observed for psychiatric symptoms and if this happens, seek medical advice.

Products containing lactose

The patients with rare genetic problems including total lactase deficiency, galactose intolerance, or decreased absorption of glucose-galactose are at an increased risk when using this medicine. This medicine should not be used in these patients because its medicinal product contains lactose.

Urinary problems

Patients with heavily decreased urinary flow and large urine left in the bladder after urination are at an increased risk when using this medicine. These patients may suffer from blockage complications of the bladder. These patients should be carefully monitored. Surgery should be an option.

Interactions with Finasteride

When two or more medicines are taken together, it can change how the medicines work and increase the risk of side-effects. In medical terms, this is called as a Drug Interaction.
This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Finasteride. Share a list of all medicines that you use with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicines without the approval of your doctor.

Traveling With Medication

  • Ensure that you carry enough doses of each of your prescription medicines to last the entire trip. The best place to store your medicines is in the carry on baggage. However, while flying, if carrying liquid medicines, make sure you do not go over the limits imposed for carry-on liquids.
  • While traveling overseas, make sure that you can carry each of your prescription medicines legally to your destination country. One way to ensure this is by checking with your destination country's embassy or website.
  • Make sure that you carry each of your medicines in their original packaging, which should typically include your name and address, and the details of the prescribing doctor.
  • If your travel involves crossing time zones, and you are required to take your medicine as per a fixed schedule, make sure that you adjust for the change in time.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Finasteride is unlikely to cause a side-effect. However, please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. You are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medicines.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration regularly hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.
This page provides information for Finasteride .
Hair Loss
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Hair Problems
Prostate Diseases

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