Finasteride is a medication used mainly to treat an enlarged prostate or hair loss in men. It can also be used to treat excessive hair growth in women and as a part of hormone therapy for transgender women. Finasteride is in a class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Finasteride treats BPH (prostate enlargement) by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone that causes the prostate to enlarge. Finasteride treats male pattern hair loss by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone in the scalp that stops hair growth.
Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not use finasteride or handle the crushed or broken tablets. Finasteride can cause birth defects in male babies. For prostate cancer patients, this drug could increase the risk of a faster growing or irregular form of prostate cancer. Finasteride can cause a decrease in prostate specific antigen (PSA) level. An increased level of this antigen has been associated with prostate cancer. If PSA levels increase while on this medication, it may be a sign of prostate cancer.
- Treats enlarged prostate.
- Treats hair loss or thinning in men and women.
- Treats excessive hair growth in women undergoing HRT.
ADVERSE REACTIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS
While most do not experience side effects, some have said to suffer from:
- Impotence, loss of interest in sex, trouble having orgasm, abnormal ejaculation.
- Swelling in extremities, swelling and tenderness in breasts.
- Dizziness, feeling faint, weakness.
- Headache, runny nose, skin rash.