Generic Name(s): Finasteride
Drug Class: 5-alpha reductase inhibitors
Treats: Benign prostatic hyperplasia, male pattern baldness
Proscar is prescribed to treat enlargement of the prostate gland and male pattern baldness. It is a type of 5-reductase inhibitor and an enzyme that prevents the development of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The latter, also called DHT, is involved with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Proscar decreases the amount of DHT, a natural body hormone which causes prostate growth. Proscar is not for the prevention of prostate cancer but increases slightly the risk of developing a serious prostate cancer form.
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Proscar is used to treat symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men with an enlarged prostate. Proscar uses are for the improvement of BPH-related symptoms such as difficulty in urinating, decreased urine flow, hesitation to urinate and urination during the night. Proscar uses also include the treatment of androgenetic alopecia, or hair loss in men.
Taking Proscar can provide about 30 percent hair loss improvement after six months. Effectiveness of the medication persists while taking the drug. Finasteride, the ingredient in Proscar with anti androgen properties, is at times used with estrogen in hormone replacement therapy for male-to-female transitions.
This type of Proscar use is still limited and need further clinical research. Other Proscar uses can be determined by the doctor. Proscar is not to be used for children and women.
- benign prostatic hyperplasia
- male pattern baldness
Like any medication, patients should take Proscar dosage according to the doctor's prescription, not in smaller or larger amounts, or longer than recommended. The doctor may examine the patient for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) for prostate cancer. It is important for the patient to schedule a regular visit to the doctor. Proscar is to be taken with a glass of water, with or without food. It is advised that Proscar is taken at the same time each day.
- The FDA-approved Proscar dosage is 5 mg a day.
- Treatment may require six months or more to determine its therapeutic results.
- When stopped, the therapeutic benefits reverse in about 6 to 8 months.
Proscar Side Effects
Finasteride and Proscar has rare adverse effects. However, the FDA warned that 5-reductase inhibitors can increase the risk of high-grade prostate cancer since BPH treatment lowers PSA, something that can conceal prostate cancer development. The patient should note that the doctor prescribes Proscar for its therapeutic benefits. While some patients do not experience Proscar side effects like in the list below, others have mild side effects and others need medical attention.
- Decrease sexual desire or ability
- Abnormal ejaculation, impotence, or trouble with orgasm
- Lump in breast or nipple discharge
- Breast pain, enlargement or tenderness
- Inability to urinate Pain in testicles
- Serious allergic reactions like swelling and itching
- Severe dizziness or weakness
- Difficulty in breathing
- Hives Headache
- Runny nose
The healthcare professional may already be aware of Proscar interactions and is monitoring for them. The patient should discuss with the doctor regarding the medications, herbal products and supplements he is taking; as well as his health background. Patients should tell their doctor beforehand if they have the following:
- Prostate cancer
- Liver disease
- Disorder in the bladder muscle
- Urethral stricture
- Cannot urinate
- Allergy to dutasteride or Avodart
Proscar is not to be taken by women, especially those pregnant, as it poses birth defect risks in the fetus. The following drugs can cause Proscar interactions, as they may increase finasteride effects or the blood levels: