Finasteride 1mg is the generic form of Propecia that is FDA approved for male pattern hair loss, or androgenic alopecia. When Finasteride is used in a 5mg dose it is generic for Proscar and is FDA approved to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is also known as an enlarged prostate.
Finasteride is a 5 Alpha-Reductase Inhibitor medication. Finasteride works on the scalp by blocking the conversion of Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It has been discovered that DHT can play a role in male pattern hair loss. Once DHT is blocked by Finasteride, you may experience a reduction in hair loss and a general maintenance of the hair you currently have. Sometimes, Finasteride will even regrow some of the lost hair, but the main goal is reducing additional hair loss.
Take your dose of Finasteride at the same time each day. You may take Finasteride with or without food. If you miss a dose and are only off by a few hours, you may go ahead and take your missed dose. However, if you missed a dose and it has been more than a few hours skip your dose and continue on like usual the next day. Finasteride will not work better if you take more than 1 daily, so take Finasteride exactly as prescribed and never take an extra dose. You may need to take Finasteride for 3 months or more before you start seeing the benefits.
There is not usually a shedding period if you are switching from an oral Finasteride or Dutasteride to topical Finasteride or Dutasteride, or from a topical to an oral form. However, if you have been using a topical Minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) product and you are switching to a medication that does not contain Minoxidil, you may see shedding. To help avoid this shedding, you can do a slow taper of the Minoxidil product over 6-8 weeks while transitioning to the new product, or you can make sure there is Minoxidil in your new formula.
Store your Finasteride in a closed container at room temperature in a dry environment. Avoid bathroom storage due to a potentially high humidity environment. Store Finasteride safely away from pets and children. Finasteride is a category X medication, meaning that it can cause birth defects. For this reason, women should not handle even the unbroken Finasteride tablets. If a tablet is crushed, its exposure to skin can increase when handled.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Finasteride:
Potential side effects of Finasteride:
Common Finasteride side effects may include:
The following less common side effects have been reported with Finasteride use:
Tell your health care provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
The following links provide further information on the potential risks and benefits of this medication:
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