Above, Dr. Jerry Shapiro explains how finasteride works to block DHT and prevent hair loss.


Finasteride is an FDA-approved prescription tablet used to treat male pattern baldness in men only. This medicine is not for use by women.

Though rare, in clinical trials, 3.8% of male patients noticed some form of sexual side effects (versus 2.1% of patients using the placebo), including less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen released during sex. This may continue after stopping treatment.

Contact your doctor if you have additional questions about side effects. You may also report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Learn more: Finasteride vs. Minoxidil: What’s Right for Me?


The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Finasteride is an oral medication used to treat male pattern baldness in men only. It is not for use by women. When used by men, finasteride is generally safe but it can also cause serious side effects, including but not limited to allergic reactions, sexual dysfunction, and high-grade prostate cancer. Most patients find that problems with sexual function resolve when they stop taking the medicine. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information.