What You Should Know about Propecia: Finasteride Side Effects

May 2, 2015 — by Robert True
Tags: Hair Loss Hair Transplants

Picture of a man with a full head of hair after hair restoration surgery rather than finasteride useAt True & Dorin, one of the premier hair loss clinics in the nation, we believe that patients should be fully educated about all of their hair loss treatment options before deciding upon the path that is right for them. This is why we take the time to explain the advantages and disadvantages of all possible approaches to hair loss, including doing nothing at all and simply accepting one’s baldness. Ultimately, our goal is to help men and women with thinning hair to find the solution that helps them feel most comfortable in their own skin.

For most of our patients, that solution takes the form of one of our two advanced methods of performing hair transplant surgery: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or follicular unit extraction (FUE). Others decide to pursue alternative treatments, including popular medical therapies such as minoxidil and finasteride, commercially marketed as Propecia® and Finpecia®. Finasteride, in particular, has proven effective at stabilizing hair loss and regrowing hair, regardless of the type of hair loss a person is experiencing. While it is by no means guaranteed to regrow hair, and can be extremely expensive - especially considering that it must be used indefinitely if results are to be maintained - it has been a blessing to certain individuals.

Unfortunately, it has also had a number of adverse side effects in some individuals. Whether these side effects would be justified in your case depends on your priorities. This is why our doctors take the time to explain finasteride side effects to patients during consultations at our New York office. This way, patients can make educated decisions as to whether it is worth it to them to explore the possibilities of finasteride in light of the possible risks.

What are the possible side effects of finasteride?

The most serious risks associated with finasteride are an increased risk of prostate cancer in men who are over the age of 55 and an increased risk of birth defects in pregnant women who handle crushed or broken finasteride tablets. Finasteride may also be linked with an increased incidence of male breast cancer in certain patients; however, this link has not been definitively shown.

Severe allergic reaction is possible with finasteride. Patients who experience hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or face, or difficulty breathing should discontinue use of the drug and seek immediate medical attention.

Among non-life-threatening side effects of finasteride, by far the most common are sexual. These include:

  • Decreased interest in sexual activity
  • The inability of male patients to achieve or maintain an erection
  • The loss of sexual ability, desire, or drive
  • The inability to have an orgasm
  • Premature or otherwise abnormal ejaculation

Other possible side effects include:

  • Swelling of the feet or hands
  • Swelling of the breasts
  • Runny nose
  • Sleepiness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Dizziness
  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Back pain
  • General weakness

Learn More about Finasteride Side Effects

To learn more about finasteride side effects, or about the safe and effective surgical alternatives to this hair loss treatment, please contact our hair loss clinic today.