Many of the side effects of finasteride concern all men who are beginning the battle against hair loss. If you’ve heard of this medication from a friend, a work colleague, or even while doing your research on the internet, you probably know that finasteride has become widely used due to excellent results in the treatment of male pattern baldness.
Finasteride is an antiandrogen agent frequently prescribed to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and male pattern baldness (MPB). An antiandrogen is any drug that blocks the effects of male hormones on the male body.
In this case, finasteride is a medication that works by inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase type 2 enzyme which prevents the conversion of testosterone to its more active form, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and hence decreasing the levels of this hair follicle killing hormone. This FDA-approved medication is available on prescription only and can be found in drugstores as the brand names Proscar or Propecia, also in a generic version.
Common side effects of finasteride
- Trouble getting or keeping an erection (impotence/erectile dysfunction)
- Low sperm count
- Ejaculation disorder
- Testicular pain
- Decreased volume of ejaculate
Uncommon side effects of finasteride
- Skin reactions
- Muscle weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Fluid retention (legs, feet, arms, or hands)
- Dizziness or faintness
- Unusual heartbeat
- Rapid weight gain
If you are concerned about finasteride side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this drug with your doctor. A healthcare professional is the only one who can advise you on what to do if any of the mentioned side effects occur.