Finasteride belongs to the class of drug 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and works by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone

Finasteride may be prescribed for: 

  • Male pattern hair loss
  • Treat enlarged prostate symptoms (benign prostate hyperplasia). It is usually prescribed in combination with other drugs.

Like all other medications, Finasteride may also have side effects. It could be possible that you may not experience any side effects or may experience minor side effects. 

Keep reading the article to understand more about the main side effects of Finasteride and some frequently asked questions. 

What are the main side effects of Finasteride?

Finasteride may cause some unwanted effects along with needed effects. Though not everyone will experience the side effects, all the below-mentioned side effects may occur. However, if the side effects are severe and do not go away, visit the doctor immediately: 

  • Pain in testicles 
  • Depression 
  • Decrease in sexual drive 
  • Decreased volume of ejaculation 
  • Inability to have or maintain an erection 

Less common side effects of Finasteride  include: 

  • Rapid weight gain 
  • Unusual weight gain or weight loss
  • Swelling of lips and face 
  • Bloating 
  • Swelling of arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  • Itching 
  • Redness of the skin 
  • Breast enlargement 

Serious Finasteride side effects are

Some of the side effects can be serious and may need urgent medication attention. Call your physician immediately if you experience any of the symptoms such as:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Blood in your semen 
  • Nipple discharge 
  • Breast changes 
  • Breast pain or lumps 
  • Pain in testicles 
  • Depression 
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Some of the side effects are less common such as: 

  • Sneezing 
  • Unusual drowsiness 
  • Runny or stuffy nose 

Some of the rare side effects include: 

  • Dizziness 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Headache 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Back pain 

This is not a complete list of side effects; Finasteride may cause other side effects. Call your doctor immediately if you experience unusual problems which are persistent while taking this medication. 

What are the most common side effects of Finasteride?

The most common side effects with the use of Finasteride include: 

  • Skin rash
  • Dizziness 
  • Chills
  • Trouble having an orgasm 
  • Decrease in sexual drive 
  • Increase in the tenderness of the breast 
  • Trouble getting erection 
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Abnormal ejaculation 

Usually, these side effects are mild and may disappear within a few days or a couple of weeks. However, if they are more severe and persistent, talk to your physician or pharmacist. 

Does Finasteride cause anxiety as a side effect?

In 2011, FDA added depression to the list of possible side effects after small research indicated a significant increase in depression for some patients. There have been numerous reported suicidal thoughts or suicide cases amongst people taking Finasteride. 

In 2015, another research indicated that people taking Finasteride experienced depression and anxiety; however, anxiety has not been added to the FDA’s list of possible side effects. 

Does Finasteride increase the risk of prostate cancer?

Finasteride may increase the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. Before starting the treatment, discuss the same with your treating doctor. 

Finasteride also affects the result of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). PSA is used to detect prostate cancer. You should inform your doctor before undergoing the test.

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