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Propecia is a medication that is prescribed for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Although it is not a cure for hair loss, the medicine can help temporarily stop hair loss and regrow hair. Propecia comes in a tablet form and is available in a 1 mg strength. Potential side effects may include decreased libido, impotence, or decreased ejaculate amount.

What Is Propecia?

Propecia® (finasteride) is a prescription medicine that has been licensed for the treatment of male pattern baldness (known medically as androgenetic alopecia).
(Click Propecia Uses for more information on what it is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes Propecia?

Propecia is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc.

How Does It Work?

Propecia works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which decreases the amount of DHT in the body. Since DHT is important for male pattern baldness, using Propecia to decrease DHT levels can help to stop hair loss and regrow hair.
The medicine works for male pattern baldness with hair loss on the top and front of the head. It has not been shown to be effective for a receding hairline near the temples. It is also not licensed to treat hair loss in women or children.
It is not a hair loss cure. Hair loss typically returns within a year of stopping the medication.


There have been several studies looking at how well Propecia treats male pattern baldness.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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