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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Finasteride (Oral)

Finasteride (By Mouth)

Finasteride (fi-NAS-teer-ide)

Treats enlarged prostate in men, and also slows hair loss in male pattern baldness.

Brand Name(s):

Proscar, Propecia
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to finasteride. Women and children should not take finasteride. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should avoid handling crushed or broken finasteride tablets.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • For hair loss, you may need to take this medicine for 3 months or longer before you notice improvement.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, skip the missed dose and take your next regular dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature in a closed container, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you have liver disease or problems urinating.
  • This medicine may cause a decrease in the amount of sperm you ejaculate during sex.
  • If you are tested for prostate cancer using a blood test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen), tell the doctor that you are taking finasteride. This medicine can affect the test results, especially if you are over 41 years of age.
  • Once you stop using this medicine for hair loss, any improvement will probably be reversed within 12 months.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or lips, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Pain in the testicles

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Loss of interest in sex or ability to have sex (impotence)
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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