Finasteride, a 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, was administered to normal male volunteers in a blinded placebo-controlled study at daily oral doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg for 11 days (part 1) and daily oral doses of 0.04, 0.12, 0.2, and 1.0 mg for 14 days (part 2). Results from part 1 showed a significant reduction in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) at all doses and a significant increase in both testosterone (T) and delta 4-androstenedione at the 50- and 100-mg doses. No change was seen in LH, FSH, cortisol, or estradiol levels. Serum lipids, including total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein, high density lipoprotein, and triglycerides were not affected by treatment. Results from part 2 again showed significant reduction in DHT at all doses. DHT levels returned to pretreatment values within 14 days of discontinuing treatment. Significant increases in T were observed only in the 1.0 mg group and only during the first 8 days of treatment. The T/DHT ratio increased with all doses and returned to baseline when drug was discontinued. The DHT metabolites and androstanediol glucuronide and androsterone glucuronide were significantly reduced at all doses. There were no significant adverse experiences reported during part 1 or 2. In conclusion, finasteride is well tolerated by normal volunteers and results in significant suppression of serum DHT at all doses tested.