As men age, testosterone starts to convert into dihydrotestosterone at an accelerated rate. This can cause all sorts of unwanted effects, including male pattern baldness. Propecia is used to halt this process and help treat and even reverse the effects of male pattern baldness.
This drug is not intended for women or children and as such, has the potential to cause serious harm if used by this particular demographic. Even handling this drug can cause it to be absorbed through the skin, so it needs to be kept away from anyone but men.
There is a risk that using Propecia will increase the risk of testicular cancer. The way it works with testosterone can play a direct role in how testicular cancer develops, and there are certain risk factors that increase your chances of experiencing this form of cancer. If you are already at risk, your doctor may prescribe you something other than Propecia for male pattern baldness treatments.
The most common side effects are:
While you may want to seek treatment for these side effects, they are considered acceptable risks for using this drug, and you should let your doctor know if you think you are at increased risk of suffering from severe forms of these effects due to conditions you already have.
These milder side effects have been shown to alleviate over time. The longer you take the drug, the less effect it has on your sexual libido and the less likely it is to cause impotence. If your condition worsens over time instead, then you need to contact your doctor and see about possibly changing your medication.
More severe side effects, but far less common, include:
You may also experience allergic reactions to the drug, and these will often come in the form of hives, rashes, difficulty breathing or itchiness. If any of these side effects appear, you should get medical help right away. They usually indicate a larger problem that needs medical care immediately.
In some rare cases, you may experience:
These mild effects can be treated with over-the-counter medication and are not considered severe enough to warrant professional medical care.
Since testosterone affects the entirety of the male body, the potential side effects for Propecia are wide-ranging. They can affect just about any system in the body, including the endocrine and gastrointestinal systems. There is a possibility that you will experience side effects not listed here or anywhere. It is unknown how the drug will interact with some medical conditions, so you do need to monitor yourself for side effects. If anything unusual starts to occur, and you start to experience side effects that are not already known to be caused by this drug, then you need to let your doctor know immediately.