It’s shocking how the demand for hair loss treatments is high in Canada. The demand may be brought about by the fact that close to 50 percent of men in the country have pattern baldness. This distinct type of hair loss is characterized by thinning of hair on the scalp that leads to balding or a receding hairline.
Finasteride (sold as Propecia) is among the prescription drugs authorized for hair loss in men. It is also produced and tested for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BHP), a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. It works by lowering the levels of DHT hormone in the body.
However, there are increased concerns over finasteride warnings and precautions. The drug decreases the amount of DHT, which increases hair regrowth and slows hair loss. As a BHP treatment, it blocks the production of the hormone responsible for enlarging the prostate gland.
If you have BHP or suffer hair loss, you may be wondering whether taking finasteride will be worthwhile. We’ll help you understand how the drug works and its relevant precautions. You also learn when not to take the medication.
In this article, we discuss the following:
Table of contents
What Is Finasteride and How Does It Work?
As a steroid-like drug, finasteride is produced for male pattern baldness and BPH. You’ll come across it in pharmacies or medicine cabinets under the names Propecia or Proscar.
Finasteride helps shrink enlarged prostate glands in adult men. Physicians may prescribe it in combination with other drugs to minimize BPH symptoms. When used effectively, it may reduce the need for prostate surgery.
Finasteride uses the enzyme 5-alpha reductase to block testosterone hormone from converting to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Testosterone is a sex hormone that boosts hair growth in men, while DHT is its derivative that does the opposite. When DHT is produced in the body, it results in a thinner and lighter hair shaft.
Continued use of finasteride offers benefits like decreased nighttime urination and reduced urination urge. It may also improve urine flow and reduce the feeling that your bladder isn’t entirely emptied.
You need a doctor’s prescription to get finasteride from the pharmacy. Ingest the drug with or without food as instructed by your physician. When taken for male pattern hair loss, Propecia takes up to a year to show results. You should also consult your physician regarding the drug’s effectiveness for your condition.
What Are the Finasteride Warnings and Precautions?
Speak to your doctor if you are allergic to any ingredients used to make Propecia tablets. You should also refer to the finasteride drug information leaflet at the pharmacy for a list of these ingredients.
Your physician needs to know whether you’re taking or planning to take nutritional supplements or medications. They might change the doses of your existing medications and carefully monitor any side effects that finasteride carries. Inform your doctor whether you have or had prostate cancer or liver disease.
Read more: How To Use Finasteride For Hair Loss: A Complete Guide
Women who are expectant or would like to become expectant shouldn’t touch crushed or broken Propecia tablets. The drug may harm the fetus when it reaches the bloodstream. It’s thus advisable for them to thoroughly wash the contaminated area with water and soap and reach out to a doctor.
As part of the finasteride precautions, avoid taking a double dose to cover any missed dose. Instead, carry on with the dosage as prescribed by your physician.
Women who are expectant or would like to become expectant shouldn’t touch crushed or broken finasteride (generic Propecia) tablets. The drug may harm the fetus when it reaches the bloodstream.
Common side effects of finasteride include reduced sexual desire, inability to ejaculate, and erection problems. The medication may also cause depression and pain in the testicles. These side effects tend to be mild and disappear with time.
Call your doctor if you experience hives, itching, a rash and swelling of the face and lips. You should also seek expert medical attention if you notice any abnormalities in your breasts and experience difficulty swallowing and breathing.
Call your doctor if you experience breast abnormalities, hives, itching, a rash and swelling of the face and lips.
Other finasteride 5mg precautions include storing Propecia tablets in a tightly closed container away from children’s reach. You should also dispose of any expired or unneeded medications safely. Never let anyone else consume your medication and seek immediate medical help in case of an overdose.
Who Cannot Take finasteride?
Finasteride is only suitable for men aged 18 years and above for favourable medical outcomes. Women and children should never take the medication in any form.
Various medical conditions can make you less suitable to use this medication. Speak to your doctor if you have any allergies brought by finasteride or any other drugs in the recent past. Finasteride won’t be ideal if you have liver problems or severe bladder problems.
Read more: Don’t Take This With That: All About Finasteride Interactions
The active ingredient in each Propecia tablet is finasteride. Other ingredients include docusate sodium, magnesium stearate, sodium starch glycolate, and lactose monohydrate. Go through these ingredients and speak with your physician if you are allergic to any of them.
With Propecia, one of the most common finasteride 1mg precautions is reduced sperm counts at even low doses. This can make it hard for men trying to get their spouses pregnant.
Consult your physician on the proper remedies for hair loss or an enlarged prostate gland if you are trying for a baby. Also, take note of finasteride handling precautions, including storing your meds in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Read more: How Does Finasteride Work For Receding Hairline? Learn More About Its Mechanism Of Action
Of all medications targeted at hair loss and enlarged prostate gland, Propecia proves to have higher efficiency. However, you need a diagnosis and a prescription before taking this drug for your condition for favourable outcomes. You should also need to take note of any finasteride warning or risk factors that may make you less suitable to take the drug.