Finasteride dos and don’ts
First of all, thank you for choosing Numan. Your answers to the consultation questions have been reviewed by one of our prescribers, who has approved a prescription for finasteride 1mg.
Whilst you wait for your finasteride to wing its way to you, we’d like to give you an introduction to your new treatment, to help you learn how to use it to its best effect, and give you some important information before you start taking it.
Do understand how it works:
Finaseride works by reducing the production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the hormone thought to be responsible for male-pattern hair thinning and hair loss. By doing so, finasteride can help to reverse the balding process and prevent further hair loss.
Do know the facts:
- The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority) has received reports of depression and, in rare cases, suicidal thoughts in men taking finasteride. If you develop symptoms of depression, you should immediately stop taking finasteride and inform a healthcare professional.
- Cases of male breast cancer have been reported. If you notice any changes in breast tissue such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge, you should promptly report this to your doctor.
- Finasteride can affect the results of a blood test called PSA (prostate-specific antigen). If you have a PSA test done, you should inform your healthcare professional that you are taking finasteride.
Don’t take it if...
- You are a woman. Finasteride 1mg is only licensed for male-pattern hair thinning and hair loss, and has been shown to be ineffective for hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in women.
- You are under the age of 18.
- You are already taking finasteride or any other 5ɑ-reductase inhibitor.
- You have had an allergic reaction to finasteride in the past.
Finasteride may not be suitable for you if you:
- You are trying to conceive (have a baby) as finasteride may affect male fertility and foetal development. If your partner is already pregnant, use of a condom is recommended.
- You have an intolerance to lactose or other sugars, as finasteride film-coated tablets contain lactose.
Finasteride 1mg should only be used by men over the age of 18 who have male-pattern hair thinning or hair loss. If you have any questions or aren’t sure whether you have any of the conditions listed above, please consult your doctor.
Do take it correctly:
Take one tablet each day. Daily use for three to six months may be necessary before you notice any increase in hair density or reduction in hair loss. If the treatment is stopped, you are likely to lose the hair you have gained within 9-12 months.
Finasteride will not work faster or better if you take it more than once a day.
If you forget to take your tablet on a given day, do not take a double dose the next day.
Finasteride tablets can be taken with or without food.
Do be aware of the possible side effects:
If you experience any of the following serious (but uncommon) side effects, you should stop taking finasteride and seek urgent medical attention:
- an allergic reaction - symptoms include swelling of the lips, throat and eyelids, sudden difficulty in breathing or wheezing, dizziness, collapse, hives.
- depression - feelings of severe sadness, hopelessness and unworthiness
If you notice any changes in breast tissue such as lumps, pain or nipple discharge, you should promptly report this to your doctor as these may be symptoms of a serious condition such as male breast cancer.
Some uncommon side-effects of finasteride (experienced by up to 1 in 100 people) are:
- less desire to have sex
- erectile dysfunction (problems obtaining or maintaining an erection)
- problems with ejaculation, for example a decrease in the amount of semen released
If you experience these side effects to a significant extent, or if you notice any side effects not listed in your patient information leaflet (which will arrive with your medication), you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.
When your finasteride does arrive (which should be within the next 48 hours), please make sure to read the patient information leaflet enclosed. It contains other important safety information as well as a complete list of possible side effects.