• Effective treatment for hair loss and male pattern baldness
  • Noticeable increase in hair growth in 3 - 6 Months
  • More than 80% of men experience renewed Hair Growth

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What is Propecia?

Propecia is the brand name for a medicine known as finasteride, which is a 5α-Reductase inhibitor. Finasteride 1mg is also the active ingredient contained in Propecia.

It comes in the form of a 1mg tablet. You can buy Propecia online when you have a prescription from a doctor. Order from Medicine Direct for next day delivery when you order before 2pm.

What is Propecia used to treat?

Propecia (finasteride) is a hair loss treatment which is used commonly by men to cure baldness (which usually occurs at the crown side or in the centre of the scalp) and prostate enlargement.

Finasteride works by stopping the male hormone testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone (5α-dihydrotestosterone), which causes the hair follicles to shrink and prevents hair to grow. It blocks an enzyme called type II 5 alpha-reductase, which regulates the production of testosterone.

Who is Propecia suitable for?

Propecia has proven to be an effective treatment for hair loss and male pattern baldness, but it is not suitable for everyone to use.

If any of the below apply to you, you should not use this prescription medication:

  • You are a woman
  • You are allergic to finasteride or any of the other ingredients contained in Propecia (refer to the Ingredients tab for full details)
  • You are already taking a finasteride tablet or dutasteride to treat a prostate problem called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

As a hair loss treatment, Propecia only works for men with male pattern baldness or hair loss. If you are a woman who is experiencing hair loss, you should speak to your doctor; there may be other treatments that are suitable for you to use.

It is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18 years old.

Speak to your doctor before using Propecia if you are going for a blood test for prostate cancer known as PSA (prostate-specific antigen). This medication can affect the results of the test.

Men who use Propecia (finasteride) for a long time may suffer from infertility, although improvement has been reported after they stop taking the medication.

Possible Side Effects

As with all prescription medication, using Propecia does come with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone gets them.

Some side effects of Propecia are temporary and disappear as the men get used to treatment, or subside after treatment has ended.

  • Stop using this prescription medication and contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:
  • You become depressed (if you have suicidal thoughts call 999 straight away)
  • You develop symptoms of an allergic reaction (refer to the Side Effects tab for full details)
  • You have any changes in your breast tissue (lumps, pain, nipple discharge or hardness) - these may be signs of breast cancer or another serious condition

Please note, this list is not exhaustive. For a list of less common adverse reactions, please refer to the Side Effects tab on this page. Always read the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of undesired effects associated with the prescription medication.

Propecia Dosage

All of our Doctors and Pharmacists follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Propecia.

The recommended prescription dose for Propecia (finasteride) is one 1mg tablet per day, which should be taken with a drink of water.

You can take Propecia with or without a meal.

Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you use any medicine. Always follow your doctors instructions when you take Propecia (finasteride). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure of anything.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take Propecia, take the tablet as soon as you remember, as long as it is not almost time for your next scheduled dose.

Never take a double dose of any medicine to make up for missing a dose.

What if I take more than I'm supposed to?

If you accidentally take too many Propecia (finasteride) tablets, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Taking extra doses of Propecia will not speed up hair growth or make the medication work any more effectively than if you took the prescribed one tablet a day.

What will happen if I stop taking it?

To effectively treat hair loss and male pattern baldness, it is very important that you keep taking the treatment as instructed by your doctor.

It may take between 3 and 6 months for men to notice an increase in hair growth, but if you stop taking Propecia, you are likely to experience hair loss once again within 9 to 12 months, as your hair follicles begin to shrink. For this reason, you should not stop taking this prescription medicine until your doctor says so.

Propecia FAQ's

How effective is Propecia?

Propecia is one of the most effective hair loss treatments available to purchase in the UK. Research has shown that more than 80% of men who use this prescription drug will notice an improvement, while 66% will have renewed hair growth.

How long will I need to take it?

Men who use Propecia for hair loss will normally start to see an improvement in their hair growth between 3 and 6 months after they start to take the medication. You should speak to your doctor about how long you will need to use Propecia, and do not stop using it until they have told you to do so.

Can women use Propecia?

No, this prescription medication is only suitable for men. It does not treat hair loss in women. If you are suffering from hair loss as a woman, you should speak to your doctor about an alternative treatment for your condition.

Can Propecia be used with other hair loss treatments?

You can use regaine (minoxidil) hair treatments for a boost to your hair loss. This form of treatment allows oxygen, blood and nutrients to reach the hair follicles.

What causes male pattern hair loss?

Male pattern baldness is caused by genes passed onto you from your parents. There is no cure for this condition, but you can reduce your chances of hair loss by lowering your stress levels and participating in relaxing activities like walking or listening to soothing music.

Can men over 45 years old benefit from Propecia?

Hair loss is one of the natural results of ageing, meaning that Propecia will be less effective in older people. That's not to say that men over the age of 45 will not experience any improvement while using this medicine. You should talk to your doctor about how effective Propecia may be for you.

What is the shelf life of Propecia?

Propecia's shelf life is 36 months.

How do I purchase Propecia (finasteride)?

This medication is only available to men who have been given a prescription by their doctor. When a doctor has given you a prescription for Propecia, you can order it from Medicine Direct's online pharmacy. If you order before 2pm, we are able to offer you next day delivery.

Propecia Side Effects

This medicine can affect your sex life and you may experience:

  • Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
  • A decreased sex drive
  • Problems ejaculating, such as a decreased amount of semen released during sex

Serious Side Effects

In rare cases, men may experience the following side effects while taking this medicine:

  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Blood in your semen
  • Persistent erectile dysfunction after finishing the treatment
  • Pain in your testicles
  • Persistent decrease in your sex drive after finishing the treatment
  • Infertility or poor quality semen
  • Anxiety
  • Changes to how your liver works (this will be shown in a blood test)
  • Persistent ejaculation problems after finishing the treatment

If you experience any of these side effects during or after using Propecia, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist. Try to keep a note of how long these symptoms lasted and when they started.

This list is not exhaustive; always read the patient information leaflet for the full list of side effects.

It is also possible to suffer a severe allergic reaction to Propecia. If you exhibit any of the following symptoms, you should either go to A&E or call 999 straight away; you may require immediate treatment in hospital:

  • You have swelling in the mouth, tongue, lips, face or throat
  • You have tightness in the chest of throat
  • You are finding it difficult to speak or breathe
  • You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, blistered, peeling or swollen
  • You are wheezing

Propecia Warnings and drug interactions

Propecia may interact with other medicines.

You should speak to your doctor before starting a course of Propecia tablets if you are already taking any of the following:

You should always inform your doctor or pharmacist of any other medicines you are already using; this includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.

If you have any doubts or concerns as to whether Propecia is suitable for you, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor.

Propecia should only be taken by men who are over the age of 18 years old.

Propecia Ingredients

Propecia contains the active ingredient, finasteride.

Other ingredients also contained in this medicine are: lactose, microcrystalline cellulose E460, pregelatinized maize starch, sodium starch glycolate, docusate sodium, magnesium stearate E572, hypromellose E464, hydroxypropyl cellulose E463, titanium dioxide, talc, yellow iron oxide E172, red iron oxide E172.

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This page has recently been medically reviewed by Hussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Updated on: 24/05/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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