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What are the side effects and efficacy of finasteride?

Q: What are the side effects of finasteride used for hair fall and its efficacy? I am 30 years old and have hair fall due to genetic reasons.

A:Finasteride is used to treat male pattern hair loss and is to be used only by adult men. It is taken as one 1 mg tablet daily or as directed by your doctor. This drug may be taken with or without meals. This drug usually must be taken regularly for 3 months for the benefits to be noticeable. Once treatment is stopped, any gain in hair quantity will be lost. Side effects are unlikely to occur but the possible side effects include impotence, decreased sex drive or decrease in amount of ejaculate. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. Before using this drug, tell your doctor your medical history, especially of: liver disease, prostate cancer, urinary tract disease, or drug allergies. The drug can be absorbed through the skin. If the film coating of the tablet has been broken or the tablet crushed, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or plans to become pregnant. Any contact with finasteride by a developing male fetus could result in abnormalities of the external sex organs. Finasteride should not be used in women or children. Finasteride must not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. It is not known if finasteride is excreted into breast milk. However, this drug is not indicated for use in women. Also, tell your doctor of all over-the-counter and prescription medication you may use. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor’s approval.

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