How Long Does it Take For Propecia To Work?

Fri 31 Aug 2007

When i start taking Propecia, how long until it takes effect?   Does it take a few weeks in your system before it starts blocking DHT or is it  immediate?   Thanks.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Finasteride (marketed as Propecia)  starts to work right away however, it might take up to 3 months to see less hair loss.    In order to see any visual effects such as the thickening and strengthening of miniaturized hairs, it takes up to 6-12 months.

Please understand that you may experience additional shedding over the first couple months.   This is actually normal and an indication that the hair loss medication is working.

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230 Comments so far:

  1. Matt says:

    I have also heard that Finasteride can take away the itch/inflammation because it blocks DHT from forming, thus stopping the immune response. Have you heard this as well?


  2. Matt says:

    (I meant to say David)

  3. John says:

    i am 25 yrs old and was using finastride 1mg along with minoxidil for about 6 months at the age of 18 and the result was empressive but unfortunately couldnt do so regularly and were delays like from time to time eventually i had to stop it at the age of 23 for one year , but again started using only finastride 1mg for 11 months now and i yet to see any visible changes. i have to say that my dad and my older brother were both bald at my age they were but i still have an eighty percent covered head with hair which gives me some hope not to stop .also, my hair is thinner than prior to the use time i really want to know what your suggestion is .tnx

  4. David (TakingThePlunge) says:


    Some men report itching and redness accompanying hair loss. However, there is no data to prove the correlation between the two.

    We can lose up to 50% of our hair before hair loss becomes detectable. Thus, visual inspection is not always the best measure of balding.

    If you have not yet done so, I highly recommend consulting with a dermatologist or hair restoration physician for a thorough examination.

    You may find that a quality dandruff shampoo like Nizoral will help with the itching and redness.

    Best of luck!

  5. Ashley says:

    Hi I am a 22 year old male and have been on Propecia for 8 weeks now. I have started to notice that my eyebrow and eyelash hairs are falling out as well as well as having noticed a small patch on my facial hair, I was wondering is this normal as I am absolutely terrified as I haven’t read anything about eyelash or eyebrow hairs falling out. Do I carry on with the propecia, I don’t know what to do Please help.

    I also wanted to know can you work out whilst on propecia as I really want to start working out but I have heard that protein shakes and regular exercise increases testosterone, will working out make my hair fall quicker or make it worse?

  6. Jack says:


    ever since I have been on propecia (9 weeks), nothings changed for me, my hair is still falling out at the same rate as before propecia, the shedding has not Increased or decreased, Is this normal as I`m worried it may not be working for me.

    I also have extremely greasy hair now as well as lots of dandruff which I have never had before, Currently I use head and shoulders shampoo, can you recommend a better to combat this please?

  7. Ashley says:


    I am a 21 year old male and have been on propecia for about 8 weeks now, I have noticed that my eyebrow and eyelash hairs are falling out rapidly, is this a side effect of propecia as I haven’t heard about it and am very worried, should I carry on taking it?

    Another thing is can I work out whilst on propecia as I’m thinking of starting to go to the gym but with protein shakes and regular exercise, this raises testosterone, I want to know if its safe as I don’t want to make more hair fall out or make it worse.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  8. Ashley says:

    Sorry for double post, first time I submitted, it disappeared

  9. Jack,

    You may want to consider an appointment with a dermatologist to discuss your scalp issues. Frankly, there are quite a few shampoos that may help, and an appointment with a physician who is well versed in these products would probably be useful!

    Blake (Future_HT_Doc)
    Editorial Assistant

  10. Hi Ashley,

    Thinning body hair can be a side effect of reduced dihydrotestosteorone (DHT) levels. However, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this occurring in the eyebrows. I think it may be good to schedule an appointment with the physician who prescribed the medication and evaluate the loss.

    Most experts agree that protein and exercise do not cause hair loss. What’s more, most men taking Propecia demonstrate normal testosterone levels.

    Good luck!

    Blake (Future_HT_Doc)
    Editorial Assistant

  11. Kalkan says:


    I am 26 and I have been on propecia for 1 month now. Since last week I have notice that I have very greasy hair, dandruffs and an itching scalp accompnied with abundant hair loss (which I had never had before taking propecia). I’m also experiencing painful testicles (the right one especially)

    Is this normal ? I’ve heard about the hyperandrogenic effect, does it concern me ?

    Thank you !

  12. Leo says:

    am a 58 year male. I have been suffering from mild to severe scalp irritation along with hair loss for over 30 years. I have a family history of hair loss on male side of my family. The irritation has been progressively worse over past 6 months with increased hair loss. I saw doctors including dermatologists several times over past year. They indicated that I seborrehea dermatitus, lichen planopilarius and burning scalp syndrome etc. In other words, they were not sure what was causing the scalp irritation (burning/itching).

    Finally out of frustration, I went to doctor and requested that I be prescribed Propecia (1 mg/day) for the scalp irritation. I have been on propecia for 3 weeks now and irrigation has been dramatically REDUCED.

    My research indicated that the irritation was due to the DHT in my system attaching to the hair follicles on my scalp and my body’s antimmune system was interpreting that my hair follicles was a foreign body, hence the irritation. The propecia reduced the DHT on my scalp which reduced the irritation. It will also have the additional benefit of regrowing hair.

    L from Ottawa, Canada

  13. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:

    Kalkan ,

    Greasy hair, dandruff and itchy scalp are not known side effects of Propecia (finasteride). However, testicle pain and shedding are both common within the first few weeks of starting the drug.

    Typically, this pain subsides in time and the shed hairs will regrow. But, as with any prescription drug, it is important that you discuss any side effects or health concerns with your prescribing physician.


  14. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:


    Thank you for sharing your experience!

    Best of luck!


  15. Kalkan says:


    Thank you for your answer. The pain in my testicles has disappeared which is good news.

    However, the excess of sebum on my scalp has gotten worse. I have talked to my doctor about it and he says it is normal and prescribed a shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis but nothing improved so far. This is really difficult to live with.

    Don’t you think I might be experiencing a bad reaction to the drug ?

    Thank you very much for your help


  16. David aka - TakingthePlunge says:


    I’m not a physician but to my knowledge Propecia is not known to increase sebum production. But, if you feel that finasteride is causing the problem, you may wish to reduce your dosage to .5mg daily and see if there is any positive change.

    Continuing to follow up with your physician and following his advice is the best thing you can do at this point.

    I’m glad to hear that the testicle pain has subsided.

    Best of luck!

  17. Naveen yadav says:

    i have been taking finpecia for almost 8 months now,after 1 month hair fall was stopped.but over the last couple of weeks I have noticed that my hair is shedding/thinning a lot more almost 50 hairs a day.
    why is it happening ? have finpecia stop responding? will i get my hair back ?because now my scalp is totally visible.

    Thanks in advance

  18. Jason says:

    To those of you who are answering our questions on this page, I just want to say thank you. I don’t have any questions about Finasteride – have been using it for 6 months – because of your clear answers to other questions here. Thanks so much for addressing any concerns we have. Take care this year.


  19. adam says:

    I have a full head of hair at the moment, and recently made a terrible error by using a substance that can speed up mpb.
    I have noticed hairs coming out more regularly than what I would consider normal. my hair line is slightly receding and so I have started to take Finasteride I haven’t even been taking it for a week yet and so nothing to report. however after reading the many entries on this site regarding shedding 3-4 months in can some one actually tell me what this means? does it meant the hair and the back and around crown (which are fine) may also shed or just the thinning ones at the front where my hair is starting to recede? thanks for your responses in advance.

  20. James says:

    Hi i am currently taking propecia and have been on it for a year and am wanting to start nizoral shampoo but am scared as i have heard hair shedds alot although i didnt notice any hair shedding when starting propecia (is this normal).

    Any way how long do i use nizoral shampoo as on the box it states for 3 months, so if i use it twice a week forever its not going to have a negative effect is it?

  21. tony says:

    i use fernistride and minoxidile together for almost 3 weeks and my hair turns grey and also i noticed a lot hair shedding 70 a day should i worry about it and can a shampoo also help along with these medicine to stop hair shedding if you can tell me little bit about shampoo and my worries

  22. Jay says:

    Hi David,
    I’ve been using generic finasteride for about three months now, I’m a week into my fourth. At this stage, the shedding phase should have stopped I presume but I’m still shedding a lot of hair daily (about 100-150). Does this mean that the medication isn’t working and that I should stop taking it?

  23. Karim says:

    Hi there everyone. I am only 16 years old. My hair is quite thin and most of my family has male baldness pattern. I want to start using propecia as I see it is better to start early than late. The only thing that worries me is the possibility that it causes more hair loss in addition to that is the 3 month shedding at the beginning. I am not worried about the side effects. I finished my puberty too I still don’t have a beard yet but I won’t mind not having one lol. Do you guys think it is sensible to start using it?

  24. Rob says:

    Hi I took Propecia for four months and in this time a lot of shedding occurred. I had to stop because I was experiencing strange side effects but a year had passed since since then and the hair I lost from the original shed never came back. Does shed hair come back if you stop taking propecia?

  25. Ali says:

    I’m using finasteride 1mg for about 6 months, still nothing is happened. I have visited a doctor, she told me that after every 3 months of usage, I have to stop using the pills for one month and again start using it for next three months. so every three months there should be a month resting and not eating the pills. Is it correct? or I have to use the pills regularly, every day?


  26. Chris says:

    I am 26 years old and have inherited an androgenic hair loss from my father. I have lost too much hair and I am a NW5 now. It has been four and a half month since I’ve started my treatment (Biotin+prp+finasteride 1mg+minoxidil solution 5%+Nizrol+Alpecin C1). At the beginning, I completely shaved my head and noticed afterwards that some hair follicles are growing at a much slower pace, resulting in some hair being shorter in length than the others. Like others, I also experienced an initial fast shedding which almost stopped after 2 and 1/2 month.
    After 4 month of treatment, I noticed my hair thickening as well as some new hair regrowth. I also received some compliments from my family and friends on my hairs being improved.
    What makes me very much concerned is that during the past few weeks, my hair has started shedding AGAIN!!! (especially the short (not fully grown after shaving) and thin hair follicles). Do you think that it’s normal at this stage?
    I am also experiencing some hair loss at the sides and back of my head. I am really worried about my hair loss problem. Should I still continue the medication?

  27. Brian says:

    I also take propecia. I have taken it for at least a year.

    I still have shedding phases but depending on how active I am and how actively I am taking care of my hair affects my hair.

    Currently it is thinning and fragile, and I am using Nioxin on top of Rogaine + Finasteride. I just started though, working out more, taking lots of vitamins, drinking lots of water, taking enough proteins and vitamin D, Saw Palmetto…

    Point is, I have the MPB (Male Pattern Baldness), or baldness for short, gene in my genetics. My dad is bald. He started going bald at 27. I noticed my hairline receding by the time I was 22. Then again I was in college and drinking a lot so that might have accelerated the hair loss.

    Got on propecia / finasteride at the age of 24-25. Seem some results, but for it to work at full capacity and achieve maximum fullness, thickness, and regrow of hair you have to take it for about five years.

    I like having hair on my head. I think it’s a good feature. If all else fails I will get an FUE hair transplant

  28. Brian says:


    Propecia / finasteride involves multiple shedding instances, it is throwing out the weak follicles, strengthening the strong follicles, making them thicker, slowing overall hair loss, and ability to foster regrowth if taken daily with other regimen

    Seek Saw Palmetto out. It’s a DHT blocker. Take it with Propecia/finasteride, rogaine, red pimento oil, multivitamin, b complex, 4000iu D, fish oil, and anti-breaking conditioner (made for women but it’s the best conditioner I’ve ever tried so I’m using it).

    Nioxin 1 treatment, sans the conditioner, which I am using a different one of.

    I apply the Red Pimento oil once or twice a week, put on a cap, or use a hair dryer to heat it up, stimulating follicle growth.

    I have places where I had completely dead-looking follicle sites, and after red pimento oil I grew the hair back.

  29. Raj says:

    I hv been on finpecia(finasteride? For three months and 10 days now… the hairloss has reduced a bit… when i try to style my hair now i shed hair at tyms… though earlier i used to shed 3-4 hairs after running my hand through my hair single time. Now i dont lose that much hair. Bt still now also suddenly and rarely i lose abt 3-4 hairs while styling. Does it mean dat finasteride is not working? And if i dont shampoo for 2-3 days can it cause more hairs to fall? And finally… can Frequent masterbutation reduce the influence of finasteride?

  30. German says:

    I have taken Finasteride for 18 months and still haven’t seen any improvements. I also use Minoxidil 5%. I’m beginning to feel like I’m wasting my time and money.

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