Can you take saw palmetto and finasteride together?

Millions of men worldwide suffer from male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. Male pattern baldness is a requirement of the genes, and it cannot be prevented entirely, but slowing down the process is possible with certain medications. Two such medicines that are commonly prescribed to treat hair loss are saw palmetto and finasteride.

Many of you might wonder whether you can take saw palmetto and finasteride together as they address the same issue. In this article, we will discuss the details of these medicines and whether they can be used together or not.

Understanding Male Pattern Baldness

Firstly, let us understand how hair loss occurs. Androgenetic alopecia is a form of hair loss that occurs due to the sensitivity of hair follicles to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is derived from testosterone, and it is responsible for sending signals to hair follicles that cause them to shrink gradually. This results in miniaturization of hair follicles and eventually leads to hair loss.

What is Finasteride?

Finasteride is an FDA-approved medicine that is regarded as the most effective medication for treating male pattern baldness. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT. This, in turn, reduces the levels of DHT in the scalp, thereby preventing its harmful effects on hair follicles. Finasteride’s primary function is to stop hair loss and promote hair regrowth. It is available in the form of oral tablets and is usually taken daily.

What is Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto is a natural herb that is believed to block the conversion of testosterone to DHT. It is commonly used to slow down the progression of hair loss and improve hair density. Unlike Finasteride, Saw Palmetto is not FDA-approved, and there is not much scientific evidence to suggest that it is effective for treating hair loss. Saw palmetto is available in the form of herbal supplements and is taken orally.

Can You Take Saw Palmetto and Finasteride Together?

Many people use saw palmetto and Finasteride together to combat male pattern baldness. However, it is recommended to avoid using both of these medicines together.

Both medicines work in a similar manner, and combining the two can lead to an overdose of DHT blockers, leading to undesirable side effects. Using Saw Palmetto along with Finasteride increases the risk of facing side effects like impotence, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Benefits and Side Effects of Finasteride

Benefits of Finasteride

  • Reduces hair loss and promotes hair regrowth in men with male pattern baldness.
  • Helpful in treating an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
  • Low chances of side effects.

Side Effects of Finasteride

Most people who take Finasteride do not experience any significant side effects. However, some people may experience the following:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Diminished volume of semen

Benefits and Side Effects of Saw Palmetto

Benefits of Saw Palmetto

  • May help slow down hair loss when used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments.
  • May help in decreasing prostate inflammation
  • May improve urinary flow

Side Effects of Saw Palmetto

Saw Palmetto is generally safe when consumed in recommended doses. However, some rare side effects include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation


Finasteride and Saw palmetto are both useful in treating male pattern baldness. Both methods attack DHT production differently, and some users may see better results using one over the other. However, taking both medicines simultaneously is not recommended. Combining both medications has harmful effects on your body and can lead to severe side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How long does it take for Finasteride to show results?

    A: It can take up to six months to see noticeable results from using Finasteride. The rate of hair regrowth varies from person to person.
  • Q: Can women use Saw Palmetto?

    A: While Saw Palmetto is sometimes used in women with hair loss or female pattern baldness, it is not FDA-approved for this use.
  • Q: How long can I take Finasteride for hair loss?

    A: It is safe to take Finasteride for as long as your doctor prescribes it for hair loss. Long-term use of the medication does not cause any harm.


1. Cho YH, Lee SY, Jeong DW, et al. Effect of finasteride on serum levels of androgen in men with androgenetic alopecia. Int J Dermatol. 2018;57(11):1304-1308.

2. RĂ­os JL, Recio MC, Villar A. Is the pharmacological activity of Saw Palmetto due to a single component or the totality of its constituents?. Phytomedicine. 2019;62:152931.