Drug safety advisories


UK Digital Clinical Excellence Forum (DiCE)

Best Practice Guidelines For Online Prescribing of 5-alpha-reductase Inhibitors for Androgenic Alopecia – 1 May 2024. PDF outside UK • within UK

Prescrire (France)

Since 1981, the French organization Prescrire International has published recommendations on drug safety and efficacy. In 2021, Prescrire added finasteride for hair loss to its Drugs to Avoid – 2021 update. Drugs in this list are “identified as more dangerous than beneficial” for their indications. The paragraph on finasteride states, in part:

Finasteride 1 mg, a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, has very modest efficacy against male-pattern baldness in men, slightly increasing hair density on the crown of the head (by about 10%), but only while treatment continues. Notable adverse effects include sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory disorders, decreased libido), depression, suicidal ideation and breast cancer.

Prescrire International. Drugs to Avoid 2021.
Harvard Health Publishing
National Center for Health Research (US)
Worst Pills, Best Pills – a project of Public Citizen (US)
  • Finasteride Drug Profile: “Do Not Use.” 2021. Last reviewed November 30, 2023. (Subscription required for full article)