FINASTERIDE (fi NAS teer ide) treats certain types of hair loss. It works by increasing hair growth on the scalp. It belongs to a group of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
An unusual or allergic reaction to finasteride, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. You can take this medication with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. Special care may be needed.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
What may interact with this medication?
Saw palmetto or other dietary supplements
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
Breast tissue changes, new lumps, redness, pain, or discharge from the nipple
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
Breast pain or tenderness
Change in sex drive or performance
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Visit your care team for regular checks on your progress. It may take at least three months of daily use of this medication before you notice an improvement in your hair loss. You must continue to take this medication to maintain the results. If you stop taking this medication, the effect will be reversed within 12 months.
This medication can cause serious birth defects. If you are pregnant or may get pregnant, do not handle broken or crushed tablets of this medication. If you are pregnant and come in contact with broken or crushed tablets, contact your care team. Exposure to whole tablets is not expected to cause harm as long as they are not swallowed.
Do not donate blood while you are taking this medication. Donated blood may contain enough of this medication to cause birth defects in someone who is pregnant. Ask your care team when it is safe to donate blood after you stop taking this medication.
This medication can interfere with PSA blood tests for prostate cancer. If you are scheduled to have a blood test for prostate cancer, tell your care team that you are taking this medication.
Talk to your care team about your risk of cancer. You may be more at risk for certain types of cancer if you take this medication.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from moisture. Keep container tightly closed. Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.