Propecia 1mg Tablets
|Type of medicine
|5-alpha reductase inhibitor
|Blocking the action of an androgenic hormone that causes hair follicles to die.
|6 - 9 months
|Common side effects
|Testicular Pain, Decreased Libido, Erectile Dysfunction, Decreased Volume of Ejaculate, Breast Tenderness and Enlargement, Rashes, Itching and Swelling of the Lips and Face, Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Skin Rash
|Use with alcohol
|No known issues
Propecia 1mg is a daily tablet used to reduce hair loss or male pattern baldness in adult males over the age of 18 years. The branded medicine Propecia contains the active ingredient finasteride, which blocks a hormone causing hair loss. This hormone, known as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can make hair follicles shrink and eventually stop producing hair. Propecia helps these follicles return to their natural size, allowing them to produce hair again. Propecia is manufactured by Merck. It's part of a group of drugs known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and has been on the market since 1997.
Propecia contains the active ingredient finasteride, which works by blocking the action of an androgenic hormone in the body called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can cause hair follicles to shrink and stop producing hair. When Propecia prevents the breakdown of testosterone to DHT, hair follicles can return to their natural size and continue to produce hair like before. Propecia works best for hair loss over the top of the scalp (also known as the vertex).
Men regularly taking Propecia 1mg tablets will usually see improved hair growth after three months of use. This gradual improvement will continue for two years. After five years of use, studies and reviews show that 90% of Propecia users will have the same amount, if not more, hair compared to when they started treatment. If you stop taking Propecia, the beneficial effects will begin to wear off after approximately six months. After nine to twelve months, the effects of Propecia will have completely worn off, resulting in the hair loss being the same as it was before treatment.
The patent on Propecia has now expired (it lapsed in 2014), and the treatment is now available as generic Finasteride 1mg at a cheaper price. This may be an option for anyone seeking low-cost hair loss treatment in the UK.
Experiencing a thinning scalp or going bald can be an emotionally taxing journey for many men. Even though all our hair follicles renew every few years, people often become emotionally attached to their hair and can't imagine living without it. We understand that losing hair can be distressing for a variety of reasons, including stress. Propecia is specifically designed to be most effective in treating male pattern baldness.
Although there is no significant clinical data, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that Propecia can be safely used in conjunction with Regaine (minoxidil) foam or solution for added benefit. An alternative hair loss treatment to consider would be Avodart.
There are also a number of hair loss shampoos, conditioners and supplements in our Male Hair Loss section that can be used safely alongside Propecia. (Note: alongside finasteride, minoxidil and dutasteride are the only other treatments with a proven clinical track record for tackling hair loss).
We know it's often more straightforward to maintain existing hair than to regrow it once the follicle has ceased functioning. You should ensure you are proactive in your approach to baldness and treat the areas that are starting to thin for maximum success. Drugs like Propecia can halt your balding and prevent any further hair loss, as well as encourage regrowth, but they won't magically give you a full head of hair in a week. You have to wait a few months until you start to see real results.
There are a few non-medicinal alternatives for hair loss. However, their success rates vary, and some can be quite costly. There is little evidence to suggest herbal remedies are effective. Research is recommended if you decide to proceed with any of these options.
When you buy Propecia to support your hair regrowth journey, you should take one Propecia 1mg tablet daily at the same time each day, morning or evening.
The treatment can take up to 3 – 6 months to achieve an effect, although it may be quicker in some men.
If you miss a dose of Propecia, skip the missed dose and continue as normal from the next day. Never take more than one tablet a day to make up for a missed dose.
To make sure that your treatment is effective, keep in mind that:
The hair regrowth journey can be taxing, but the final reward can be priceless if you persist.
It is important to continue taking Propecia regularly, the effects will reverse after 6 – 12 months of stopping.
Each Propecia tablet contains the active ingredient: finasteride 1mg.
Each Propecia tablet also contains: lactose, microcrystalline cellulose E460, pregelatinised maize starch, sodium starch glycollate, docusate sodium, magnesium stearate E572, hypromellose E464, hydroxypropyl cellulose E463, titanium dioxide, talc, yellow iron oxide E172, red iron oxide E172.
Not everyone will experience side effects when using Propecia. Even though the Propecia side effects are uncommon, you still need to know that they may include:
Uncommon frequency (affects between 1 and 10 people of every 1000):
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your medicines for a full list of side effects.
The frequency of side effects that are listed under unknown frequency is not currently known because there aren't enough data from clinical studies and trials.
We understand that even considering these side effects can be upsetting, but you should be aware of them nonetheless.
If you experience any concerning side effects while taking your prescribed medication, we strongly encourage you to consult a healthcare professional for immediate guidance. In a medical emergency you should contact the emergency services or go straight to your local Accident & Emergency.
Do not take Propecia if any of the following apply to you:
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Propecia if:
We acknowledge that infertility has been reported among men who have taken finasteride for extended periods and have other risk factors affecting fertility. Normalisation or improvement of the quality of semen has been reported after discontinuing the use of finasteride. Long-term clinical studies about the effects of finasteride on fertility in men have not been conducted.
At The Independent Pharmacy, we understand that emotional well-being is crucial; mood changes, including feelings of depression and, less commonly, suicidal thoughts, have been reported among individuals taking Propecia. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking Propecia and contact your doctor for further medical advice.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines.
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet before using this medication.
Propecia 1mg Tablets FAQs
Propecia is a branded medicine that contains the active ingredient Finasteride. These tablets are available in 1mg and 5mg strengths. The stronger 5mg tablets are used for a different condition known as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) or an enlarged prostate.
Propecia treats male androgenic alopecia, commonly known as male pattern baldness or male hair loss.
Several factors control hair loss in men, including genetic factors and a hormone called DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). Increased levels of DHT can cause the shrinking of hair follicles in the scalp, eventually leading to hair loss.
Propecia lowers the levels of DHT in the body and, thus reducing hair loss and helping to reverse the hair loss process. It helps to produce thick hair and not fluffy, thin hair.
It is important to tell your doctor you are taking Propecia tablets if you are going for a prostate test. Propecia can lower PSA levels, the unit of measurement for prostate tests, and give a false reading.
Take one tablet daily, at the same time each day. Swallow the tablets whole. It can be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
The tablet formulation is easy, quick and convenient to take. Unlike shampoos or applications to the scalp, which can be messy or time-consuming. Propecia can also be taken after a hair transplant to aid established hair growth further.
It is best to start as soon as possible when you notice hair loss; results are seen sooner if treatment is started within the first year of noticeable hair loss.
Only take one tablet a day. Propecia does not work faster if you take more than the recommended dose.
This varies from one man to another. The reduction in DHT levels happens very quickly, but the hair regeneration and reduction in hair loss can take months before you see a noticeable difference. It is important to start as soon as possible and continue treatment every day for at least 6-9 months before assessing to continue further.
We recommend you take photos of the area to compare in the following months to ensure you can accurately decide if the medication has the desired effect.
It is also not uncommon to shed hair in the initial stages; this is normal and to be expected. As the finer hair is shed, thicker hair replaces it.
You need to take the tablets continuously to see an effect. This usually happens within 3-6 months of taking Propecia tablets. Discontinuation of the treatment would mean the DHT levels would rise to their previous levels, and you would lose the hair you gained over the next 9 to 12 months.
As with all medication, there is a chance of side effects, however, there is no guarantee you will experience any of the following (they usually only affect around 1 in 100 men):
For a full list of side effects, view our Finasteride Side Effects blog.
When a medicine is produced, the manufacturers are granted a licence so only they can produce it for a set number of years. This is usually to recoup research and development costs, as some medications may take years and hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce.
When the licence expires, other manufacturers can produce it too, and the price falls as the supply increases. They are often called generic or unbranded medicines.
The active ingredients in these and the branded versions are the same, and they undergo the same testing and quality control as branded medicines, and there is little to separate them other than the price.
When the patent on the branded Propecia tablets expired, other drug companies were free to make their own unbranded Finasteride 1mg tablets.
The levels and effects of Propecia are increased with Diltiazem, Fluconazole and Itraconazole.
There is a small chance that other medications may also interact, and we advise you to tell us all your medication history so we may accurately advise you on the best course of treatment.
You should not take Propecia to treat male hair loss if you already take Finasteride or Dutasteride for your prostate.
If your medication changes or you want to take over-the-counter remedies, please check with your doctor or pharmacist first.
Alcohol has no effect on Propecia.
No, Propecia doesn’t make you drowsy and it will not affect your ability to drive.
You can combine Propecia tablets with Regaine (minoxidil) hair treatments to boost your hair loss. They work in different ways and can be used together successfully. Regaine does not affect DHT, but it is thought that it widens blood vessels, allowing more oxygen, blood and nutrients to the follicle. The best results are seen in younger men with hair loss in the centre of the head with hair loss of less than 5 years.
Propecia is for hair loss in men only.
Women of childbearing age or who are already pregnant should not come in contact with broken or crushed tablets, and contact is best avoided completely. If contact or ingestion occurs, speak to a doctor without delay. The active ingredient in Propecia can interfere with the normal development of a baby's sexual organs. You should use a condom or another form of contraception while taking this medication, as it may have an adverse effect on the unborn child.
If you want to donate blood, then you need to ensure you have waited at least 1 month after you have stopped the treatment.
Conclusive long-term studies into men taking Propecia over a long period of time have not been conducted. Some men who have had low fertility risk factors and have been taking Propecia for a long time have reported infertility. However, men have been taking Propecia for a long time without affecting their ability to have children.
One of the potential side effects that may affect 1 in 100 men is a lowering of the volume of seminal fluid ejaculated during sexual intercourse. The seminal quality and volume increase when the medication is discontinued.
No, the effects of Propecia are limited to the head only. It does not cause hair growth on other parts of the body.
Almost every type of hair loss treatment out there can cause some initial shedding – and Propecia is no exception. This initial shedding phase is very normal in the first few months of taking Propecia tablets. It doesn't mean your body isn't responding to treatment or that it's making the hair loss worse – this phase simply makes way for new hair to be produced by the follicles. Usually, the shedding phase clears up within a few months, and you will start seeing results.
Propecia sometimes receives negative reviews due to its side effects, including dizziness, nausea, headaches and insomnia. Of course, side effects can differ from person to person. It takes some time to work before seeing significant improvement, so if you start experiencing serious side effects, you may want to weigh whether the results are worth it. Others experience no side effects whatsoever and achieve much thicker, fuller hair after taking Propecia.
Proscar and Propecia contain the same drug at different strengths, which can sometimes cause confusion about the best pill for hair loss. Both contain the same active ingredient (Finasteride) and are made by the same company. But while Propecia is designed primarily to treat hair loss, Proscar contains a higher dose of the active ingredient and is usually given to men with enlarged prostates. However, there's no evidence to suggest that a higher dose is more effective at preventing hair loss. Therefore, Propecia is likely to be just as effective as Proscar for hair loss, and the lower dose means it has fewer side effects.
Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor – not an anabolic steroid. It is sometimes taken by anabolic steroid users to combat some of their unpleasant side effects.
Propecia is proven to be effective at regrowing lost hair over time, but localising its growth to the crown and hairline area is not always possible. Because it also thickens the existing hairs, you may find the appearance of your hairline improves, but it is not guaranteed.
Propecia costs about £51.99 a month, but you can save by buying multiple months of treatment at once.
It can be up to 70% cheaper to buy generic Propecia tablets. You can buy generic Finasteride 1mg tablets for less than £15 per month.
It's available on prescription from your doctor or regulated UK online pharmacies, but there are some over-the-counter hair loss remedies like Regaine you may also want to explore.
Propecia is one of the most effective hair loss treatments out there and one of the only ones with a clinical track record to prove that it works.
Propecia can treat overall hair thinning and hair loss, including addressing specific areas such as a receding hairline or thinning crown.