Finasteride appears on Prescrire’s latest ‘Drugs to Avoid’ list

Prescrire, an independent patient safety organization based in France, has updated its Drugs to Avoid guide. Finasteride appears in the 2024 edition, and has also been included in past editions.

The guide notes:

Finasteride 1 mg, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, has very modest efficacy in androgenic alopecia in men: it increases hair density on the crown of the head only slightly (by around 10%), and only for the duration of treatment. It can also lead to sexual problems (erectile and ejaculatory disorders, reduced libido), depression, suicidal ideation and breast cancer. When medication is sought, topical minoxidil used with caution is less dangerous.

Translation from French with brand names omitted. View on • Download PDF

Prescrire’s mission is “to work independently for quality care, in the primary interest of patients. To this end, the Association may take any initiative and undertake any action with a view to training healthcare professionals, raising awareness, providing information and improving practices.”