Propecia (finasteride) is a prescription drug intended for the treatment of two conditions - benign prostatic hyperplasia and male pattern baldness. To treat male pattern baldness you will have to take this drug regularly for as long as you want to re-grow your hair. It's very important to take this medicine regularly for the first benefits to become obvious. It may take you three months to see the first benefits of the treatment. If you stop taking Propecia, you will lose all the progress achieved and the hair you have managed to re-grow will be lost within a 12 month period. There may be certain restrictions on lifestyle you will receive from your doctor. Make sure you observe those, as this way you will make your treatment more effective and avoid side effects. Before you start the treatment, make sure your health care provider is aware of any health conditions you have or used to have, as well as any medicines you are taking. This is necessary for your doctor to evaluate your general health condition and prescribed the minimum dose you will benefit from. You need to think very carefully whether you will be able and are willing to carry on with the treatment for a long time - as otherwise the treatment makes no sense. Although some mild side effects are possible when you first start taking this medicine, they are most likely to go away on their own once the treatment is stopped. The following side effects are considered to mild enough to simply watch them and make sure they do not get worse: weakness, impotence or decrease sex drive, dizziness, headache, abnormal ejaculation, tenderness in your breasts, skin rash, runny nose, and pain in the testicles. In some cases these mild side effects may persist or change in intensity - and this is when you will need to report them to your doctor.
You also need to be aware of the possibility to develop certain signs of male breast cancer. This is a very serious yet rare reaction of your body to taking Propecia and it needs to be reported to your health care provider as soon as you can. The following symptoms may indicate male breast cancer: breast pain, breast lumps, breast changes, nipple discharge, and a number of other ones. Never share this drug with other people to whom it was not prescribed, and remember that Propecia is not intended for women and is not supposed to be used by them. A woman that is pregnant or can get pregnant in the nearest future is not supposed to come into contact with crushed tablets of Propecia - touch them, inhale the powder etc, as the active ingredient - finasteride - may easily get absorbed through the skin and then affect the health of an unborn baby. To prevent this from happening, never let a pregnant woman handle your medicine. A missed dose of Propecia is supposed to be taken as soon as you remember, unless it's almost time for another dose. In that case you will need to skip the dose missed, as taking two doses too close together is not going to make your treatment more efficient and can only intensify your side effects.