Propecia is a prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), male pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia). Propecia may be used alone or with other medications.
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. Propecia (finasteride) tablets are film-coated tablets for oral administration. Each tablet contains 1 mg of finasteride and the following inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, sodium starch glycolate, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, talc, docusate sodium, yellow ferric oxide, and red ferric oxide.
Take Propecia exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The recommended dose of Propecia is one tablet (1 mg) taken once daily. 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. Store Propecia at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
Propecia is not indicated for use in women. Women should not handle crushed or broken Propecia tablets when they are pregnant or may potentially be pregnant because of the possibility of absorption of finasteride and the subsequent potential risk to a male fetus. Propecia tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets have not been broken or crushed.
The following conditions are contraindicated with this drug. Check with your physician if you have any of the following:
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.