Propecia (finasteride)

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Brand Name

Propecia {Merck}

Generic Name

finasteride, pronounced fih NAH steh ride

Propecia (Finasteride)

Product (brand)
Strength & Quantity
RX Prescription Required  + more info
Strength & Quantity
RX Prescription Required  + more info

Drug Guide


The information contained in the following drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

**All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

What is Propecia?

Propecia is used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss, which is also called androgenetic alopecia. You may be prescribed Propecia if you are a male that has male pattern hair loss on the vertex and the anterior mid-scalp area of your head.


Key Facts About Propecia

Propecia is for men only and it should not be used by women or children.

Propecia is useful for treating male pattern hair loss, which is a common condition that men experience. This condition is when men experience thinning of their hair on the scalp, which often results in a balding on top of their head or a receding hairline.

It is not known if Propecia works for a receding hairline on either side of and above the forehead and temporal area.

You must take Propecia regularly to get the optimal benefit from this treatment. Many men see a benefit from taking Propecia daily after three months of use or longer. Propecia only works long term if you continue taking it regularly. If you do not see any benefit from Propecia after twelve months it is unlikely that further treatment will benefit you. If you stop taking Propecia, you may lose the hair you have gained within 12 months of stopping this treatment. You should discuss these concerns with your doctor before starting treatment with Propecia.


Before You Take Propecia

If you have an allergy to finasteride you should not take Propecia.

If you have ever had an allergic reaction to dutasteride (Avodart) you should not take Propecia.

Propecia should never be taken by a woman or a child. Because Propecia can be absorbed through the skin, women and children should not handle Propecia tablets.

Women who may be exposed to Propecia while they are pregnant may be at risk of having a child with birth defects. Therefore, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should be especially careful not to handle Propecia.

If women or children come in contact with Propecia tablets that are broken or crushed be sure to wash the area with soap and water immediately.

Tell your doctor if you have liver disease or if you have had abnormal liver enzyme tests before taking Propecia.

If you have had prostate cancer, a bladder muscle disorder, or stricture of your urethra tell your doctor before taking Propecia.

Tell your doctor if you have problems urinating before starting treatment with Propecia.

Using Propecia may increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. You may need to have certain tests performed to make sure that you do not have any medical conditions that would prevent you from safely using Propecia. Your doctor will determine if these tests are necessary.

Tell your doctor both before you start taking Propecia and after you have started treatment if you have breast lumps, nipple discharge, pain or other breast changes. These could rarely be signs of male breast cancer, which would be a reason for you not to take Propecia.


Propecia Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine)
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Aspirin
  • Avodart (dutasteride)
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Fish Oil (omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids)
  • ibuprofen
  • Lamictal (lamotrigine)
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin)
  • lisinopril
  • Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Zocor (simvastatin)
  • Singulair (montelukast)
  • trazodone
  • Viagra (sildenafil)
  • Wellbutrin XL (bupropion)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Propecia. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.


Directions for Taking Propecia

Take Propecia exactly as your doctor has told you to. Do not take Propecia in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Propecia should be taken with a full glass of water.

Propecia may be taken with or without food.

You should take Propecia at the same time every day.

Propecia needs to be stored at room temperature, and away from light, moisture and heat. Be sure to keep the bottle tightly closed in between use.

If you miss a dose of Propecia you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose do not take the missed dose in addition to your regular dose.


Propecia Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Propecia and seek emergency medical help immediately:

  • breast changes such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge
  • difficulty breathing
  • hives
  • swelling of your lips, tongue, face or throat

Less serious side effects of Propecia may include:

  • abnormal ejaculation
  • decreased libido
  • dizziness
  • faint feeling
  • headache
  • impotence
  • runny nose
  • skin rash
  • weakness
  • swelling in your breast,hands or feet
  • trouble achieving an orgasm

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Propecia. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.


Propecia Description and Dosing

Propecia is available as a 1 mg dose only.

The usual dose for male patients is 1 mg of Propecia, taken one time daily.

Propecia tablets are tan, octagonal, film-coated and convex tablets with “stylized P” logo on one side and PROPECIA on the other side.

All people taking Propecia should consult their doctor for specific dosing pertaining to them. Do not attempt to alter or change your dose without your physician’s consent.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Propecia you should seek emergency help immediately.


Ingredients in Propecia

The main ingredient in Propecia is finasteride. Other ingredients include 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.

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