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Finasteride is the generic form of the brand Propecia®
Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which blocks the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
Common side effects include a decrease in sex drive, trouble getting or keeping an erection, and a decrease in the amount of semen.
There may also be an increased risk of high grade prostate cancer. These and other side effects have been reported in those taking the 5mg dose rather than the 1mg dose. Contact your doctor if you experience serious side effects.
More on finasteride
How effective is finasteride?
Finasteride has been shown to be effective at preventing hair loss and even regrowing hair in some men. One paper summarized the findings of 3 studies that included a total of 1879 men and evaluated the effects of finasteride 1 mg on male pattern hair loss. Two of the studies were performed on men with hair loss primarily at the crown of the head and one study was performed on men with hair loss primarily at the hairline.
Based on the studies:
of men balding at the crown of the head had further hair loss prevented
of men with hairline recession had further hair loss prevented
Important safety information
What you should know before taking finasteride.