How Does Propecia Work?
Propecia is a hair loss treatment containing the active ingredient finasteride. This substance counters the over-sensitivity to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which is found near the scalp and leads to pattern baldness. By blocking the enzyme that processes testosterone and turns is into DHT an increase of testosterone is achieved, which encourages hair growth on the scalp. Further body hair is not affected by the use of propecia tablets.
How do I take finasteride tablets?
Propecia tablets should be taken with a full glass of water, with or without food. The standard dose of one tablet a day should not be exceeded. If you forget to take a tablet skip the dose and take the medication again as usual on the next day. Please consult a doctor immediately if you exceeded the prescribed dose by accident.
How effective does the treatment work?
Finasteride, the active substance in propecia, needs about 3-12 months in order to work fully effective and aid hair growth or stop hair loss. As hair growth is a long-term process visible changes will only occur slowly. However, the treatment usually works within half a year in most cases. The treatment only prevents hair loss and aids hair growth as long as you take the tablets.
Once you stop taking them you will lose the regrown hair within 6-12 months. The medication works best if you take the finasteride tablets on a daily basis.
How to use Propecia?
Take as prescribed and consult the leaflet provided for more information.
Possible side effects of Propecia
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Stop taking Propecia and talk to your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: swelling of your lips, face, tongue and throat; difficulty swallowing; lumps under your skin (hives) and breathing difficulties. You should promptly report to your doctor any changes in your breast tissue such as lumps, pain, enlargement or nipple discharge as these may be signs of a serious condition, such as breast cancer.
Uncommon: may affect up to 1 in 100 people
- you may be unable to have an erection (impotence)
- you may have less desire to have sex
- you may have problems with ejaculation, for example a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex. This decrease in the amount of semen does not appear to affect normal sexual function.
These side effects above may disappear after a while if you continue taking Propecia. If these symptoms persist, they usually resolve after stopping Propecia.
- breast swelling or tenderness
- palpitations (feeling your heartbeat)
- changes in the way your liver is working, which can be shown by a blood test
- pain in the testicles
- persistent difficulty having an erection after discontinuation of treatment
- persistent decrease in sex drive after discontinuation of treatment
- persistent problems with ejaculation after discontinuation of treatment
- male infertility and/or poor quality of semen
- depressed mood
If any of these side effects gets serious, or if you notice any side effects not listed on this leaflet please tell your doctor or pharmacist. It will help if you make a note of what happened, when it started and how long it lasted.
A more detailed list of side effects can be found in the patient information.
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.