Finasteride Side Effects: Proscar Problems and the Risk to Women and Children

Is there any extra risk of finasteride side effects if you use Proscar instead of Propecia?

And is finasteride dangerous to women and children too?

This review answers those questions.

Same Drug, Different Dose

In case you didn’t already know, finasteride can be used to treat both hair loss and prostate problems in men. Proscar treats the prostate with a single 5 mg tablet per day, and Propecia treats hair loss with a single 1 mg tablet per day.

Proscar then, is not intended for use with hair loss!

But, since it contains a higher dose of finasteride than Propecia, this makes it more cost effective, and so some men do decide to use it instead.

Split the difference

Pill cutter

Obviously, those who do use the higher dose product will need to split each pill into five 1 mg portions, and then take one portion per day to get the correct dose.

In theory, this is very easy to do – you simply need to use a pill splitter or pill cutter as shown above. But, in practice, it’s not quite as straightforward as that.

You only have to take a look at the weird irregular hexagonal shape of these pills to see why. It’s almost as though it’s been deliberately designed that shape to make it difficult and off-putting for anyone to use the 5 mg version instead of Propecia.

Proscar pill illustration
Pill splitter mess

Anyway, the result is that pill splitting can be quite a fiddly, messy process. Even with a dedicated pill splitter. I bought a pill splitter just to show you what I mean – look at the mess I made! The photo above shows you how I managed to totally destroy an aspirin.* 

* I didn't use drugs for my own hair loss by the way (as explained in the next section).

Additional Proscar Side Effects

Before I even begin to explain the added risks of using Proscar, let me first state that…

I definitely do not recommend the use of any drug to treat hair loss.

This website is all about natural ideas to help your hair regrow - the only reason why drugs are mentioned here is simply because two of them (finasteride and minoxidil) have FDA approval to treat hair loss. So, for that reason alone, many men will try them.

And you need to know the risks!

I also believe you should know about my own natural approach for promoting hair regrowth - I firmly believe that my methods can succeed where drug treatment for hair loss often fails.

Read my story and you’ll learn about success without any of the finasteride side effects mentioned in this review.


I believe additional side effects from finasteride could be caused by those who use this pill splitting idea. That's for the following two reasons:

1. If Proscar does NOT help...

Finasteride hair regrowth failure

Some men might be very tempted to overdose – one trial showed that a 1 mg dose of finasteride was 23% more effective than a 0.2 mg dose, and a 5 mg dose was 51% more effective than the 0.2 mg dose.

Clearly then, it seems that the bigger the dose, the greater the effect and the higher the chances are that this drug will help. So, if after a few months of use, some men find that 1 mg is not having any beneficial effect, they might be tempted to increase the dose.

And given that each 1 mg dose is such a tiny fragment from the original Proscar tablet, this might also tempt them to put a lot more of the drug into their body!

2. If Proscar DOES help...

Finasteride might help hair regrow

Even if some small hair-related benefits are noticed, the fact that Proscar is much cheaper than Propecia might mean that some users could, once again, take the view that the more you put into your body, the greater the chances are that it will help.

But, overdosing will increase the chance of finasteride side effects. These are the reasons why:

  • Nearly three quarters of men who reported reproductive organ problems were only taking the 1 mg pill. So, be warned! Take any more than that and your chances of side effects are even greater.

  • If you have no prostate problems but still take a higher dose of finasteride to treat your hair loss, this drug will almost certainly affect your prostate gland in some way too because that's exactly what it's designed to do!

  • You might be at greater risk of developing an aggressive type of prostate cancer if you overdose and take 5 mg instead of 1 mg.

Can Women and Children Suffer Finasteride Side Effects?

One other concern about the potential side effects of finasteride is that there could be an added risk for women and children.

Given that finasteride can cause gynecomastia (male breast enlargement), impotence and other reproductive organ disorders, it sounds almost counter-intuitive that this drug is for men only!

Not so.

If a pregnant woman has skin contact with finasteride from the dust and powder created by a pill splitter (as you can see from the photos above), this can potentially cause abnormalities in the reproductive organs if her baby is a boy.

And since this drug could also interfere with proper male reproductive development after birth, children must avoid contact with it as well.

So, whilst popping Propecia pills is a quick and easy process, taking Proscar for hair loss can potentially have greater risks, not only for men, but for women and children too.

Obviously any finasteride side effects experienced by a man taking it, or if a pregnant woman or boy comes into contact with it, must be reported to a doctor.

This is page 2 of 3.

Read final page? How Does Avodart Compare With Propecia?

Read previous page? Finasteride Side Effects Using Propecia for Hair Loss.

Return to Hair Loss Product Reviews Index.


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