Men Home > Propecia Warnings and Precautions
Before starting Propecia, warnings and precautions for the medicine should be fully understood to help ensure a safe treatment process. For example, prior to taking Propecia, you should let your healthcare provider know if you have liver disease or liver failure; have any allergies; or are breastfeeding. You should not take the medicine if you are allergic to any components of Propecia or are pregnant or may be pregnant.
- Liver disease or liver failure, including cirrhosis
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
It's important to also tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some precautions and warnings with Propecia to be aware of include:
- Propecia is considered a pregnancy Category X medication. This means that Propecia is very dangerous for use during pregnancy. Pregnant women (and women who may be pregnant) should not take Propecia and should not come into contact with broken or crushed Propecia tablets (see Propecia and Pregnancy for more information).
- Sometimes, a blood test called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is used to check for prostate cancer (see Prostate Cancer Screening). Propecia can lower your PSA levels in the blood. Your healthcare provider will adjust your PSA test result if you are taking Propecia, or he or she may use a slightly different test called the percent-free PSA. Any increase in PSA while taking Propecia (even if still within the normal range) should be further evaluated, as this may be a possible sign of prostate cancer.
- Studies have shown that finasteride (the active ingredient in Propecia) may increase the risk of a serious type of prostate cancer. You should discuss this risk with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Interestingly, finasteride appears to decrease the risk of less serious prostate cancers.
- It is not known whether Propecia passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to consult your healthcare provider.
- People with liver problems, including liver failure (hepatic failure), should talk to their healthcare provider before taking Propecia. The liver helps to clear Propecia from the body, and Propecia could build up in people with liver problems.
- Report any breast changes to your healthcare provider right away. Propecia has been reported to cause breast changes (such as breast enlargement, breast tenderness, or tumors).