Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Finasteride and its Side Effects
Hair loss prevention treatment using finasteride: There has been some publicity about persistent sexual side effects from the use of finasteride (e.g. Propecia, Proscar, Finasta, Finnicar) tablets. The reports correctly state that a small number of patients can get sexual side effects. What is most controversial about the reports is a suggestion that the side effects persist for long periods of time after stopping taking the medication.
In my 14 year experience of prescribing the medication, finasteride, I have never had a case of persistent side effects after stopping taking the tablet. Nor have any of my colleagues around the world who prescribe it frequently. Side effects always resolve soon after stopping the tablet and the chance of side effects is dramatically reduced if the medication is prescribed 2-3 times per week instead of every day. This intermittent use of the finasteride is just as effective and removes almost all possibility of a patient having side effects.
Long term use of finasteride is the cornerstone of therapy designed to prevent or dramatically reduce more hair loss. It also greatly reduces the need for future hair transplant surgery/surgeries by stabilizing the loss. Most patients get great benefits from the finasteride medication and I have over 4000 patients in my clinics successfully taking the drug without any side-effects.