9 Side Effects Of Finasteride That You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by G. Liakeas, MD FACT CHECKED

Hair loss is one common problem with no gender bars. However, if you have a look at the statistics, you will notice that men are more likely to encounter this problem.

With aging, not only hair fall but some hormone-related problems also tag along. One such problem is an enlarged prostate, medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.

To counter such problems, several medications have been found useful. An oral tablet named finasteride is also a potential treatment. Although, this 5-alpha reductase inhibitor grabs attention not just for its benefits but its side effects too.

If you are also wondering if finasteride has any side effects read the article to find out.

Following are the side effects of finasteride

  1. Poor Sexual Health

    Usage of finasteride could impact your sexual health, following are the sexual side effects of finasteride

    Loss Of Libido

    A study has shown that the use of finasteride shows numerous bad impacts on sex life. These are loss of libido, decreased arousal, and diminished orgasm.


    If the situation gets worse, it may even lead to impotence. It could last for a few weeks, months, or even years.

    Although enough evidence does not approve of permanent impotence due to finasteride, rare cases and anecdotal experience suggest that the change might be permanent.

    Erectile Dysfunction

    Sexual dysfunctions like erectile dysfunction may have many causes. The surprising part is that this 5-alpha reductase inhibitor could also cause erectile Dysfunction.

    A recent study has shown this observation with the persistence of erectile dysfunction for some days at least after ceasing the consumption of Finasteride.

    Luckily, this problem is not permanent and cures itself after ceasing the medication but it could still affect the regular life of a person.

  2. Depression

    A recent study has found an evident link between the anti-baldness tablet, Finasteride, and depression. It indicated that these tablets may promote bad mental health.

    It could be suggested to consume this drug to treat only androgenetic alopecia. With this, the consumer must keep his mood in check especially when one has had a past with depression.

  3.  Breast-Related Problems

    Breasts have been severely affected and targeted with the use of Finasteride in daily routine to treat baldness that otherwise might seem a big problem.

    While there are many over-the-counter tablets to treat the problem, Finasteride has been making its share as well.

    Surprisingly, one of the major side effects of this tablet affects the male breasts causing lumps and even cancer in them.

    According to a study, this tablet manipulates hormone levels which in turn causes breast cancer in men.

    On the other hand, it may also cause gynecomastia. While gynecomastia is treatable and common, male breast cancer may not be.

    These symptoms might be accompanied by inverted nipples, dimples in breast skin, scaling of nipples, and redness or swelling in the breast.

    Hence, it is highly recommended to keep your Finasteride consumption in check. Regulated consumption could be must for this drug.

    This is the better way for patients to stay healthy and away from any side effects that this tablet may cause.

    Enlargement of the breast, swelling, pain, lumps, or nipple discharge are what signify this problem and require immediate attention from a doctor.

  4. Swelling

    This may sound pretty normal and non-harmful but swellings on lips, throat, legs, feet, or anywhere could be a serious side effect from the consumption of Finasteride.

    While swelling of legs and feet might get resolved with few remedies but swellings on the throat and tongue could be very serious. These bloats may cause you difficulty in breathing or even death.

  5. Risk Of Prostate Cancer

    Intake of Finasteride might have a good effect on low-grade prostate cancer which helps eradicate the chances of this disease but there is a catch.

    A study found that on the other hand, it increases the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. This may slim the chances of survival of a person in such cases.

  6. Allergic Reactions

    Regular consumption of this 5-alpha reductase inhibitor has been observed to have allergic reactions as well.

    Though these reactions are highly rare, these allergic reactions include hives, difficulty in breathing, and throat and tongue swelling.

    All such reactions are highly fatal for life. This means that in case of such symptoms one must opt for immediate medical assistance.

  7. Risk For Pregnant Women

    Consumption of this medication could severely affect pregnant women. Finasteride could cause defective development of male fetuses in babies during pregnancy.

    Even contact through the skin may affect the baby and mother. The study suggests that such exposure to finasteride pills may lead to preterm delivery.

    One must also avoid it during breastfeeding as it may pass to the child through the mother’s milk causing discomfort and deformities.

  8. Liver Disease

    Finasteride is a medical tablet that interacts with one’s liver directly. People with liver problems may face problems processing this tablet in their liver. The slower processing of these tablets may severely affect your liver.

    That is why it is recommended to regulate the consumption of Finasteride according to prescription.

  9. Post Finasteride Syndrome

    One of the major drawbacks of this tablet is its long-term side effects. This is also known as post-finasteride syndrome which could last up to 3 months.

    Even after stopping the use of this medication, the side effects continue to exist for months or even years.

    Although it could not depict any permanent side effects, it may lead to permanent impotence.

    Not only it affects sexual health but may also lead to a permanent impact on physical, mental, and emotional well-being.


Finasteride is a tablet that is widely used for treating two major problems i.e enlarged prostate and baldness. This tablet is available under different brand names.

Despite its wide use, it couldn’t be overlooked that it may have adverse side effects. Certain health conditions may make these side effects even worse.

The problems may also last for a long span. Therefore, it is always recommended to avoid self-prescription and consult a medical specialist before starting its use.

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