Propecia Safety?

Been experiencing male pattern baldness for over 3 years. Now I am 22, and considering using propecia to slow down my hair loss. Would you recommend it based on your experience prescribing it to your patients? I am mainly worried about the side effects it causes. If you do not recommend propecia for safety concerns, are their any effective alternatives? Thanks!

Doctor Answers (2)

Starting treatment with Propecia


As with all medications, there are risks and side effects. Propecia safety has been established for those patients taking it to regrow hair.

Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Safety with Propecia Use


Merck does claim certain health risks with Propecia use, for legal reasons. There have been reported cases of impotence, lowered sex drive, depression, prostate cancer, and gynecomastia in relation to Propecia. However, these cases are marginal in comparison to users who do not experience these side effects. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how it will effect you until you use it; but you must be advised that you could fall within the small percentage of people who do experience these side effects. Only you can decide if the risk is worthwhile.

There is no FDA-approved alternative to Propecia. Rogaine is a topical treatment you could try, and some doctors recommend a holistic approach using saw palmetto, though it is not clinically proven to prevent hair loss. Good luck!

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.