Propecia (1 mg finasteride) was approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern baldness in December 1997. Another finasteride oral dosage form, Proscar or 5 mg finasteride tablets are FDA approved only for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and should not be used for androgenetic alopecia. Do not confuse these finasteride tablets.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 1 mg (Caution; do not confuse these tablets with the 5 mg finasteride tablets (Proscar)
STORAGE: Tablets should be stored at room temperature, 15 C-30 C (59 F-86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Finasteride (Propecia) is used for the treatment of male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia in males only.
DOSING: The recommended dose is one 1 mg tablet (Propecia) once daily. Generally, patients should use 1 mg of finasteride daily for three months or more before any benefits of treatment are observed. If hair loss improvement is not noticed after 12 months, additional finasteride treatments will likely not help.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Carbamazepine, rifampin, and St. John's wort may reduce blood levels of finasteride by increasing its breakdown in the liver. Itraconazole, erythromycin and similar drugs increase blood levels of finasteride.
PREGNANCY: Finasteride should not be used or handled by pregnant females. Finasteride prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT, a hormone which is necessary for the development of male genitalia. Finasteride should not be used or handled by pregnant mothers due to the potential hazard to the male fetus.
NURSING MOTHERS: Finasteride should not be used by women. It is not known if finasteride is excreted in human milk.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects associated with finasteride are breast enlargement, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation disorders. Serious side effects include increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer, and increased risk for male breast cancer.