I'm considering taking Finasteride to halt hair loss. What should I do to monitor side effects?
Doctor Answers 2
In general, we don't measure hormone levels in men starting finasteride (Propecia). It's true that the drug lowers Dihydrotestosterone levels by 50-60% but most physicians don't typically get a baseline DHT.
Routine blood work is not necessary for most men with typical genetic hair loss. However, if some piece of information is discovered while a physician meets with the patient, some blood tests might be considered.
Side effects of finasteride need to be carefully reviewed with patients. So you will want to make sure you sit down with your physician to go over all "potential" side effects, review how common (or uncommon) they are and decide together if you want to start
Once you know all the side effects you can simply monitor how you feel. Side effects (for men) include;
- Decreased libido (sex drive)
- Mood changes (depression)
- Testicular pain
- Lower sperm count
- Enlargement of breast tissue