Hair Loss Treatment: A Guide To Finasteride Side Effects

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Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on March 28, 2022

We usually lose 50 to 100 scalp hairs per day. If you are dealing with more hair loss, you could end up with mild thinning or total baldness. Hair loss is caused by many different reasons, including major body stress or hereditary male pattern baldness. 

Finasteride is generally prescribed as a hair loss treatment for hereditary male pattern baldness. Before deciding on this hair loss treatment, you probably wonder about Finasteride's side effects.

In this article, we talk about the following:

  • The Finasteride side effects, including common and serious side effects
  • How to get rid of the side effects?
  • When you should not use Finasteride
  • Final words

What Are the Side Effects of Finasteride?

If natural methods to promote hair regrowth doesn't work for you, you may be considering Finasteride. Finasteride is a pill that works by blocking the hormone for male pattern baldness called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

A single dose of Finasteride can reduce DHT within 8 hours and suppresses DHT for 24 hours with continued use. Unfortunately, DHT also plays a significant role in sexual health, so taking Finasteride can result in several side effects.

Finasteride Common Side Effects

Some of the common side effects of Finasteride are impotence or erectile dysfunction and reduced sex drive. You may also have a decreased sperm count or a reduced volume of ejaculation. Some people lose interest in having sex. 

About 1 to 10% of people may get low blood pressure upon standing, dizziness, or headaches. An even less percentage of people (1 to 2%) can get runny noses, skin rash, or testicular pain.

You need to take Finasteride for 3 months before you see any results. While some of these side effects may reduce with use, some people can experience persistent side effects.

What Is the Side Effect of Finasteride 1 Mg?

Your prescription for Finasteride can be for 5 mg or 1 mg. Typically for male pattern baldness, only 1 mg dose of Finasteride is prescribed. 1 mg dose is considered safe for use over longer periods, but you may deal with persistent side effects.

What Is the Side Effect of Finasteride 5 Mg?

Finasteride is also used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). When treating BPH, doctors usually prescribe 5 mg of Finasteride. More than 5 mg is not recommended as higher doses can lead to more side effects.

Read more: Hair Shedding Vs. Hair Loss: What's Normal & What's Not

Finasteride Rare Side Effects

Finasteride's serious side effects include persistent erectile dysfunction. About 1.4% of users experience erectile dysfunction for more than 90 days. They continued to deal with these symptoms for about an average of 1,350 days after stopping the medication. 

You may also experience temporary infertility while taking Finasteride because of reduced sperm count. Infertility should improve once you stop taking the medication. You may have an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and stress, but that could also be due to sexual dysfunction and loss of libido.

Avoid using Finasteride if you are trying to have a baby. The medication can affect your unborn baby, so you should take extra care to stop using or even touching broken or crushed Finasteride during that time.

In rare cases, there is an increased risk of breast cancer or high-grade prostate cancer. Studies are not consistent in this area, but you should take extra care to get tested by regular doctor's appointments. If you experience these serious symptoms, you may want to speak to your doctor and stop using Finasteride.

Some people have an allergic reaction to the medication. Get immediate medical attention if you get hives, difficult breathing, or your tongue swells.

How to Reduce Finasteride Side Effects?

One of the big questions you are probably asking yourself is how to reduce the side effects of Finasteride. Unfortunately, you may not be able to eliminate all the side effects.

To reduce Finasteride's side effects, you want to make sure that you are taking the medication as prescribed. Speak to a doctor if you experience these serious or persistent side effects. Your doctor may recommend reducing your dosage, which might help reduce the side effects.

Finasteride can be taken with or without food. You should only take one pill a day. If you are experiencing dizziness, headache or weakness, you may want to experiment with changing the time you take the medication during the day.

Another thing you want to consider is that the side effects may be temporary. The Finasteride side effects may reduce once your body gets used to the medication. If the side effects are not debilitating, your doctor may ask you to use the medication for 3 months to see if the side effects reduce over time. 

When Should You Not Use Finasteride?

You may consider not using Finasteride if the side effects are persistent and affect your daily life. You should also not use Finasteride if you have more serious Finasteride side effects.

Finasteride does not have negative interactions with other drugs, so you can take Finasteride and Minoxidil together. Remember Minoxidil will have separate side effects that you should understand. If you are taking other medication and the side effects are persistent, you may want to consider not using Finasteride.

You should not use Finasteride if you have pre-existing liver or bladder problems. This is because Finasteride is metabolized by the liver. Talk to your doctor to confirm before starting on Finasteride. 

You should also not use Finasteride if you are trying to have a baby. The medication can affect your unborn baby, so you should take extra care to stop using or even touching broken or crushed Finasteride during that time.

If you are generally sensitive or have allergies to other medications in the past, you may want to be extra careful. Try a smaller dosage. You should not use Finasteride if you have an allergic reaction to the medication.

Final Words

Finasteride has been used to combat hair loss for about 20 years, but you need to understand Finasteride's side effects. You may experience some common side effects like reduced sex drive and reduced sperm count. In rare cases, you might experience more serious side effects like persistent erectile dysfunction and infertility.

All medications have side effects. These cannot always be eliminated. You can, however, talk to your doctor and see if you can reduce the Finasteride side effects by managing the dosage and following the prescribed instructions. In some rare cases, you should consider not using Finasteride. 




Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.