Compare Propecia vs. spironolactone

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Propecia (finasteride)

Prescription only
Helps your hair grow back.

Propecia (finasteride) helps men with hair growth, but needs to be used for at least 3 months or more to see full benefits.

Removes extra water from your body.

Aldactone (spironolactone) should be used with other medicines to get rid of excess fluid in your body, especially if you have heart failure.

Upsides
  • Significant increases in hair count were seen at 6 and 12 months in men taking Propecia (finasteride). At 12 months there was a 107-hair difference from those men not taking Propecia (finasteride).
  • Available in a generic form.
  • Is useful as a supplemental treatment to hair transplant surgery.
  • Most side effects go away after your body gets used to Propecia (finasteride).
  • Has a low risk of causing muscle problems from low potassium levels in your blood.
  • More useful when taken with another diuretic that'll also help your body get rid of extra fluids.
  • Can lower blood pressure.
  • Reduces the risk of death in people with heart failure.
Downsides
  • Only good for the crown of the head. If you have a receding hairline, Propecia (finasteride) may not work.
  • If you stop taking it, you will lose the hair you grew while on it.
  • Can take 3 months or longer to see full benefits.
  • Sexual side effects can continue after you stop taking Propecia (finasteride).
  • You need to have your blood tested regularly for signs of prostate cancer while taking Propecia (finasteride).
  • Should never be used by women or children.
  • Aldactone (spironolactone) doesn't work well on its own. It should be used with another drug to help get rid of excess fluids.
  • Has many possible side effects, especially when higher doses are used.
  • Can increase the risk of tumor growth.
  • You'll need to have blood tests done regularly since Aldactone (spironolactone) can affect your potassium levels and kidneys.
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Reviews
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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Decreased libido
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Aldactone (spironolactone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Risk during pregnancy
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels
  • Prostate cancer
    • Men aged 55 years or older
    • Taking 5 mg/day
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Tumor development
  • Low blood pressure
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that lower your blood pressure
  • Heart problems from high potassium
    • Current kidney problems
    • Taking other medicines that increase potassium
    • Use of salt substitutes
  • Breast pain or swelling
See more detailed risks and warnings