Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Breast cancer: Male breast cancer has been reported in a small number of people taking finasteride. It is not known with certainty whether finasteride can cause breast cancer, but this possibility cannot be ruled out at this time. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as breast enlargement, pain, tenderness, lumps, or nipple discharge, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Prostate cancer: Finasteride may be linked with an increased risk of developing a rare type of cancer called high-grade prostate cancer. The risk of this cancer while taking this medication is still considered very small. Note that finasteride (for male pattern baldness) is not approved to treat prostate cancer. If you have any concerns about your medication, talk to your health care provider.
Liver function: Finasteride is broken down by the liver. This medication should be used with caution by people with impaired liver function. If you have liver disease or reduced liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pregnancy and birth defects: When absorbed into the system of a pregnant woman, finasteride may cause abnormalities of the genitals in a male baby. Crushed or broken finasteride tablets should not be handled by women who are or may become pregnant because finasteride may be absorbed into the system through the skin.
Children: Finasteride should not be used by children.
Seniors: The use of finasteride has not been studied in men over the age of 65 years with male pattern hair loss.