Proscar and Hair Loss
Many people may be curious about treating their hair loss with Proscar. While the active ingredient in Proscar is the same as the active component in Propecia (a medication that treats male pattern baldness), Proscar is not approved for treating baldness. Because the dosages for the two medications are different, the drugs are licensed to treat different conditions.
Proscar® (finasteride) is a prescription medication licensed to treat an enlarged prostate (also known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH). Propecia®, which has the same active ingredient as Proscar, is licensed to treat male pattern baldness.
Proscar comes in 5 mg tablets, while Propecia comes in 1 mg tablets. Proscar (5 mg) should be used for BPH symptoms, and Propecia (1 mg) should be used for male pattern baldness.
Because Propecia and Proscar have the same active ingredient, many people wonder, "Can I take Proscar for hair loss?" The answer is generally no. Proscar has not been approved for treating this condition.
In addition, because Proscar contains more finasteride, it has a higher risk of sexual side effects than Propecia. Only Propecia should be used for hair loss.
While this drug does contain the active ingredient that is approved to treat hair loss, it is not the right strength. Taking Proscar instead of Propecia is likely to cause more sexual side effects. While some healthcare providers may suggest cutting Proscar tablets into quarters to use in place of Propecia, this is not an approved use (see Propecia and Proscar for more information).