Can Finasteride Cause Insomnia?'

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Name: Martin

Question: Can finasteride cause insomnia? I've been taking it for two months and have started having real trouble sleeping for the past six weeks so wondered if it's related. I don't have any other sides and am a 23 year old male using fin 1mg once per day.

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Answer: Hi, Martin. We recommend you check with your treatment provider for product-specific advice but, as far as the brands prescribed at Belgravia are concerned, insomnia is not a known side effect associated with taking finasteride 1mg.

The timing of the insomnia you say you are experiencing may be coincidental; consider what else is going on in your life, particularly anything that may be causing you unusual levels of anxiety or stress.

Do not rule out any worrying or anxiety you may feel about your hair loss or starting to treat it, as this is absolutely capable of causing the racing thoughts associated with insomnia, which can prevent you getting to sleep.

Besides stress, common causes of insomnia include sub-optimal sleeping arrangements, for instance the room is noisy, too hot or too cold, or the bed is uncomfortable.

It is also worth considering your diet. Consuming alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine either singularly or in any combination can also make it difficult to fall asleep, as can taking recreational drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy.

Other lifestyle issues which can mess with your circadian rhythms and, therefore, your sleep patterns, include jet lag and shift work. If it is jet lag, this should only be temporary, however.

Depression is another issue known to cause insomnia and one which does have links to finasteride, as it is considered an 'uncommon side effect' of the oral hair loss treatment, likely to affect between 1 and 10 users out of every 1,000. As you mention you are not experiencing any other adverse events, this seems unlikely to be the reason behind your insomnia.

As before, we recommend speaking to your treatment supplier, as well as examining your current circumstances to see if you can identify the likely trigger for your sleep issues.

Hopefully you will be able to find out what is causing it but if, after doing so, you believe the insomnia is a potential side effect of your medication, you can report it to the MHRA - the UK's medical regulatory board - via their Yellow Card scheme.

You should also cease taking these tablets under the supervision of a medical professional. We are not aware of any complaints regarding insomnia and finasteride 1mg but would generally recommend Belgravia patients stop taking finasteride 1mg for two weeks then see if your sleep patterns return to normal during this time or not.

If you would like, a consultation with a dedicated hair loss specialist may be helpful in finding the right treatment route for you, and getting to the bottom of any queries you may have. There is often a great sense of relief which comes from having at least just discussed matters with a professional who understands your concerns.

You can also investigate good sleep hygiene practices - including putting your phone down in the evening to give your brain a break before bedtime - to help you overcome your current troubles and get a good night's rest.

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