Propecia (finasteride) in Women

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by Women's Hair Loss Project, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Women's Hair Loss Project

    Women's Hair Loss Project Administrator Staff Member

    Although finasteride has not been approved for the treatment of female pattern hair loss, it is only approved for men, many doctors do prescribe it to women. I myself took it when I was 21 or 22 I believe. I didn't see any results from it, and it made my skin very oily and greasy and for the first time ever I started breaking out with pimple. That was my experience with it, it *may* work for some women, but it didn't for me.
  2. ShinyObjects

    ShinyObjects New Member

    Your doctor prescribed you a drug known to cause birth defects in women? :eek:

    Sorry but I couldn't possibly suggest that any woman takes Finasteride, the effects on women have been well reported in scientific journals, and the manufacturers say in big letters that women shouldn't even touch the stuff let alone take it!

    If you really want an established prescription drug for hair loss, Minoxidil is the only option, sadly it didn't work for me but it does for many people. It's either that or the Natural Alternative, which I've been playign around with for years, and still haven't got right! Have managed to slow the hair loss right down though, so not all bad news! :D
  3. Women's Hair Loss Project

    Women's Hair Loss Project Administrator Staff Member

    You are incorrect. The warning states "women should not handle crushed or broken Propecia tablets when they are pregnant or may potentially be pregnant because the possibility of absorption of finasteride and the subsequent potential risk to a male fetus. PROPECIA tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets have not been broken or crushed"

    The warning really is for pregnant women. The Propecia website does state:
    Propecia is for the treatment of male pattern hair loss in men only and should not be taken by women (See A warning about Propecia and Pregnancy)

    A warning about PROPECIA and pregnancy.

    Women who are or may potentially be pregnant:
    – must not use PROPECIA
    – should not handle crushed or broken tablets of PROPECIA.
    If a woman who is pregnant with a male baby absorbs the active ingredient in PROPECIA, either by swallowing or through the skin, it may cause abnormalities of a male baby’s sex organs. If a woman who is pregnant comes into contact with the active ingredient in PROPECIA, a doctor should be consulted. PROPECIA tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets are not broken or crushed.

    What articles did you find that state ALL women should not handle tablets? I'm pretty sure they make reference to pregnant women or women who may be trying to get pregnant. I would be interested to see the reports in the Scientific Journals.

    It is true that Minoxidil is the only FDA approved treatment for a women, but it is quite common for women's hair loss to be also treated with the mild antiandrogen Aldactone (Spironolactone) as well, and yes there are MORE THAN A FEW doctors who do use Propecia to treat women's hair loss also. They do usually ask that the woman get on a birth control as well. It didn't work for me, which is why I shared that information and my experience with it. But you are incorrect in saying that all women are not suppose to handle it, in fact the makers of Propecia, Merck, carried out a study to evaluate the efficacy of finasteride in post-menopausal women. Having said that, this drug is definitely NOT approved for the use in women by the FDA.
  4. ShinyObjects

    ShinyObjects New Member

    You didn't mention Propecia originally which worried me.
    Finasteride, the generic/active ingredient, is often sold uncoated, it's very good that Propecia coat them in this way (something I hadn't realised) to make them safer.

    Yes it is all to do with pregnancy so I suppose for post-menopausal women or those who will never ever want to get pregnant it would be fine, however I can't find anything saying how quickly traces are removed from your body so surely it can't be reccomended for people looking to get pregnant even in the not-so-near future?

    The caution never ever to touch Finasteride for any women was from my family doctor who I also go to for my hair loss, he studied as a not dermatologist but something similar? So I generally trust his opinion. The journals were all about pregnant women, and women who became pregnant after stopping finasteride, sorry if that was confused in the last message.
  5. ChrisJack

    ChrisJack New Member

    Hello, I'm new here but wanted to add to this thread as I've been taking Propecia for about 3 weeks now. It is true that women who are pregnant or may become pregnant shouldn't handle any crushed or broken pills because finasterides are known to cause birth defects, however it CAN be taken by women who know that pregnancy is not an issue for them. (if I recall correctly, Spiro has the same warning) I have PCOS and have been noticing a gradual hairloss over the past 7 years, but mostly in the last year or two. I clogged the drain 4 times in the last 10 months and knew I needed to do SOMETHING. I can't take Spiro as it made my heart race, so with some research my doctor and I decided to try Propecia. While it's a slow-acting medication, I have noticed that the hair on my chin and upper lip are taking longer to grow in - I had to pluck twice a day before. As far as my hair goes - there's a shedding period you go through before you can see if the medication is actually working and you'll usually see that taper off around the 3rd month. I have a ways to go before I get there, but am anxious to see what happens. They say that it can take up to a full year to see how well it's working for you, which is fine by me as long as I'm not losing more in the mean time. Sorry to ramble on..........
  6. gale

    gale New Member

    I am so happy to have read your post. I have PCOS as well and was told the only thing that will help in hair loss is Minoxidil, which has not worked for me. I am currently taking propecia because my doctor had told me that it had worked well for females who have PCOS. I have been losing my hair slowly for over 10 years, but right after starting propecia I went through an enormous shedding period in which I believed the propecia was not working and that all hope was lost for me, but have to tell you that in literally one day I noticed that my hair had considerably stopped shedding. I can’t even remember how many times I have clogged my shower drain in the past and when I read that you went through the same thing I wanted to write and let you know that it does become a lot better all of a sudden and it is all due to the propecia. The shedding has continued to be much less than before and now I am actually seeing a lot of little hairs sprout up where I was noticeably balding the most. I have taken propecia for almost 6 months now and noticed the BIG positive change about a month and a half ago. Hang in there, it is just around the corner.
  7. hoosier

    hoosier New Member

    Hi, I, too, am new to this site.....However, I am really angry that this is happening and I intend to do whatever to try to stop the thinning. I am not going to stop until I try everything available to me. I am in my mid 60's and have really thinned on top the last year or so. I am currently using 5% minoxidil foam at night, 5 % liquid during the day. I also started Propecia 2.5 in mid september. My shedding has stopped. I also use over the counter Nizoral three times a week.
    I will share what I can with you.....I have seen a female derm who is willing to work not only with me, but work for me. I have seen some positive results....nothing earth shaking but positive.....

  8. hoosier

    hoosier New Member

    update on propecia

    positive results on propecia

    I posted earlier and stated that I had been using propecia for several months (started in mid September)along with rogaine (started last April). I can honestly say my hair loss has dramatically slowed. I think it might be a bit early to say it is regrowing much hair but I am throwing everything at this problem including the kitchen sink. My hair looks better, even when wet, and with the cosmetic products I use, I can tell a difference. I also am older so the propecia is not an issue with childbirth. However I just wanted to let individuals know that two different dermatologist have said that if you take this you need to use a higher dosage...2.5....because that tends to work better....also was told it might take a year to see results but I am definitely pleased with my plan. Also was told it is used more frequently in European counties than here, Hope this might be helpful to someone.
  9. kench

    kench New Member

    Hi hoosier.i am 49 .i am on aldactone 150 mg and propecia 1 mg propecia has been added recently.i was on aldactone for the past 3 years.3 months ago i wnt into severe shedding .so my dr added propecia i mg after reading your message i am wondering whether i have to increase it to 2.5 mg.
    is it safe to use nizoral 3 times aweek .please reply
  10. hoosier

    hoosier New Member

    I am sorry you are having hair loss. It is bad enough in your mid sixties, but any younger has to be beyond frustrating. I was looking better until a couple of weeks ago....don't know what happened but it seems to have thinned more in front. No shedding just looks lighter.....and thinner....Adding higher does of propecia may help but you have to trust your dr...Perhaps on the other medication it would not be a wise idea. I do not believe nizoral 1% will hurt three times a week. It is an over the counter shampoo.

    Good luck to you. I am thinking about giving this a few more months try then if nothing turns around, I'll buy hair. If I can answer anything else let me know.
  11. kench

    kench New Member

    thanks hoosier
  12. Annie2012

    Annie2012 Member

    I take 2.5mcg of Proscar (same as Propecia) once a day for the last 8 months. I recently stopped it for a few weeks because I read something in the news about it causing long-term sexual side effects in men. WELL, that was a BIG MISTAKE! My hair started shedding a lot in the last 2 weeks (about a week or so after I stopped taking it). That scared me, so I started taking it again. Sigh...I don't know what to do anymore. This is all so confusing!
  13. hoosier

    hoosier New Member


    I am sorry you are having such difficulties...I seem to have stablizied...but I am fighting this as though it were a major war. I have thinning on top....use rogaine 5%, propecia, and laser therapy.....Just completed one year of 52 treatments with LLLT. My hair is in excellent condition...and I have enough with Joan Rivers' on my part and thinning areas that no one sees my loss as totally obvious. I color and highlight with a pattern that gives the illusion of hair volume....otherwise I am grey....I hate this...but try to keep it in is difficult...If I were not closer to 70 than 60 I do believe I would be in the dumps totally. I do not recommend anything for anyone other than myself because we each are unique and different.....However, I do recommend you try everything you want to stop/arrest this loss. You must please yourself....not others. I learned that llesson early on.
  14. Annie2012

    Annie2012 Member


    Thanks, Hoosier, for your reply and advice. I agree. We must do what works for us. I've been using Rogaine 5% for about 15 months. It helps, but I lose hair all over my head (and badly also at the base of my is really thin there too). I have thyroid issues, auto-immune issues and basically my dr. said I have chronic TE with AGA. So, I think my case is a little harder to stabilize. I have done all that I can so far. I get exhuasted by this. What does the laser do? I don't really know much about that. I've heard a bit but don't really know. My brother has a laser comb he was going to give me but I don't really have time sit there for 20 mins. a day using it. I am only 43. This all started when I was 41! TOO young to be bald for the rest of my life and it looks like that is where I am headed. Thanks again for your perspective. It helps.:)
  15. August

    August New Member

    OMG! Why did you take Finasteride?

    Unless if you have hirsutism then this can be used as a treatment. I
  16. iloveeshoes

    iloveeshoes Member

    I just got a prescription for Propecia, but I'm afraid to use it yet because I heard that it causes wrinkles and pre-mature aging. Has anybody been on Propecia for at least 8 to 12 months or the generic version that has noticed this side effect that is not using Rogaine at the same time?

    I already know Rogaine causes skin problems and I was hoping that those who reported skin issues were using Rogaine and Propecia in combination, so they might have mistaken that as a side effect of Propecia. Thanks.
  17. Annie2012

    Annie2012 Member

    I haven't heard that about Propecia. I've been on it for over a year. I have not noticed this but maybe it is a cruel joke and I just haven't noticed?! :)

    Anyway, I use both Rogaine and Proscar (not Propecia, so I use the generic form). I have not noticed skin issues or more wrinkles than normal.
  18. iloveeshoes

    iloveeshoes Member

    Have you had success with Proscar on it's own. Without using Rogaine?
  19. Belle

    Belle New Member

    Hi Hoosier,

    How is the propecia treatment working for you? I started it about 1 month ago, am taking 1.25 mg a day. I am also using Rogaine 5% foam once a day (have been for about 6 months). My success with the Rogaine was limited and I am still shedding more than I did before this all began (I am 49 - it started about 1.5 years ago) -- but am hopeful the Propecia will work.

    Very curious to hear what your experience has been!

  20. Rjade829

    Rjade829 New Member

    I took finasteride for a few years and recently decided to just quit. It didn't really help with the hair on my head, but it DID help reduce overall body hair (especially leg hair). In the end, I decided I could put up with increased body hair if I could reduce the amount of meds I take. I was prescribed finasteride by a dermatologist.