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- Take the Enlarged Prostate Quiz!
- What is finasteride, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for finasteride?
- Is finasteride available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for finasteride?
- What are the side effects of finasteride?
- What is the dosage for finasteride?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with finasteride?
- Is finasteride safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about finasteride?
What is finasteride, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
The prostate gland is located around the tube which empties urine from the bladder (urethra). As the prostate gland enlarges, usually after 50 years of age, it can obstruct or partially block the urine flow. This leads to symptoms which include dribbling of urine, narrow stream, problems starting urine flow, interruption while urinating, and a feeling of incomplete emptying. Other symptoms include wetting and staining of clothes, urinary burning, and urgency.
Prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), is directly dependent on DHT (a hormone converted from the male hormone testosterone). Finasteride inhibits the enzyme necessary for the conversion of testosterone to DHT in the prostate. Therefore, administration of finasteride lowers blood and tissue DHT levels and helps reduce the size of the prostate gland.
Although reductions in the size of the prostate gland can occur in virtually all the patients who take finasteride, only 50% will experience improvement in the symptoms of BPH. Patients generally respond to finasteride in several weeks, but it often takes 6 months for the patient to receive the full effect of the drug.
What are the side effects of finasteride?
Side effects are rare but can include impotence and decreased sex drive. Finasteride should not be used by women, children, or male partners of women trying to become pregnant. Finasteride should not be used until a thorough prostate examination has been done to exclude cancer, stricture, or infection in the gland. Rarely, cases of male breast cancer have been reported.
What is the dosage for finasteride?
Finasteride is metabolized mainly by the liver, and caution should be used in patients with liver dysfunction. Finasteride may be taken with or without food.
Is finasteride safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Finasteride causes abnormal development of the sexual organs of the male fetus. Therefore, women who are pregnant or are likely to be pregnant should not handle crushed or broken finasteride tablets in order to prevent absorption through the skin.
Finasteride is not prescribed for women.
What else should I know about finasteride?
What preparations of finasteride are available?
How should I keep finasteride stored?
Finasteride should be stored at room temperature in a tight, light resistant container.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Finasteride (Proscar) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of prostate gland enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy information, dosing, and patient information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate) Quiz
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Enlarged Prostate (BPH, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
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Treatment & Diagnosis
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Top finasteride Related ArticlesComplete List
Alfuzosin (Uroxatral) is a drug that belongs to the alpha-blocker class of drugs, and is prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy. The most common side are
- fainting, and
Drug interactions and dosage should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH or enlarged prostate) is very common in men over 50 years of age. Half of all men over the age of 50 develop symptoms of BPH, but few need medical treatment. This noncancerous enlargement of the prostate can impede urine flow, slow the flow of urine, create the urge to urinate frequently and cause other symptoms like complete blockage of urine and urinary tract infections. More serious symptoms are urinary tract infections (UTIs) and complete blockage of the urethra, which may be a medical emergency.
BPH is not cancer. Not all men with the condition need treatment, and usually is closely monitored if no symptoms are present. Treatment measures usually are reserved for men with significant symptoms, and can include medications, surgery, microwave therapy, and laser procedures. Men can prevent prostate problems by having regular medical checkups that include a prostate exam. Contact your doctor or other medical professional if you have these symptoms:
- Painful urination
- Blood in the urine
- Difficult urinating
- A frequent urge to urinate
- Dribbling of urine
Cancer PreventionCertain behavioral, lifestyle, and environmental factors contribute to cancer. Cancer prevention involves modifying these factors to decrease cancer risk. Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, and obesity increase the risk of certain cancers. Vaccines, genetic testing, and cancer screening also play a role in cancer prevention.
doxazosin mesylateDoxazosin mesylate (Cardura, Cardura XL) is a medication prescribed for the treatment of high blood pressure and the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, enlarged prostate gland). Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and patient safety information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Drug InteractionsDrug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: What You Should Know About Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Dutasteride vs. Finasteride
Dutasteride (brand name Avodart) and finasteride (brand name Procar) are medications prescribed for the treatment of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH). Both dutasteride and finasteride delay the progression of an enlarged prostate gland, which improves symptoms of BPH.
The side effects of both drugs are mostly sexual problems like breast enlargement, impotence (erectile dysfunction, ED). However, dutasteride may cause allergic reactions, and increases the risk of high-grade prostate cancer. In rare cases, finasteride has caused male breast cancer.
The recommended dose for dutasteride is 0.5 mg once daily. finasteride should be used with caution if you have liver dysfunction. Neither drug should be used in females or pediatric patients.
Take the BPH QuizTake the Enlarge Prostate Quiz and challenge your knowledge of prostate problems. Learn causes, symptoms, treatments, and diagnosis as well as little-known facts about the prostate, and what happens to men when the prostate is enlarged.
Male Breast CancerMale breast cancer accounts for 1% of all breast cancers, and most cases are found in men between the ages of 60 and 70. A man's risk of developing breast cancer is one in 1,000. Signs and symptoms include a firm mass located below the nipple and skin changes around the nipple, including puckering, redness or scaling, retraction and ulceration of the nipple. Treatment depends upon staging and the health of the patient.
Mens HealthMen's health is an important component to a happy lifestyle and healthy relationships. Eating healthy, exercise, managing stress, and knowing when to have medical tests for a particular age is key to disease prevention in men.
Prostate CancerProstate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer. Risk factors include age, family history, ethnicity, and diet. Prostate cancer is diagnosed by digital rectal exam, prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, and prostate biopsy. Symptoms may include frequent need to urinate, incontinence, pain, blood in the urine, fatigue, and more. Prognosis and treatment depend on cancer staging. Watchful waiting, surgery, radiation, cryotherapy, and other management strategies are available. Research and clinical trials strive to find new and better treatments for prostate cancer.
Prostate Gland PictureA gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the bladder. See a picture of Prostate Gland and learn more about the health topic.
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Causes of prostatitis include
- bacteria from urinary tract infections, or
- e. Coli.
- painful or difficulty urinating;
- body aches;
- blood in the urine;
- pain in the rectum;
- groin, abdomen, or low back;
- and painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction.
Sex-Drive KillersNoticing a lack of intimacy with your partner? Here we explore how stress, lack of sleep, weight gain, depression and low T can cause low sex drive in men and women.
tamsulosinFlomax (tamsulosin) is a drug prescribed for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, enlarged prostate). Side effects may include:
- Low blood pressure
- Increased triglycerides
- Abnormal ejaculation
- Upper respiratory tract infections
Drug interactions, warnings and precautions, and pregnancy and breastfeeding information should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Urinary IncontinenceThere are many types of urinary incontinence (UI), which is the accidental leakage of urine. These types include stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and overflow incontinence. Urinary incontinence in men may be caused by prostate or nerve problems. Treatment depends upon the type and severity of the UI and the patient's lifestyle.
Urinary RetentionUrinary retention (inability to urinate) may be caused by nerve disease, spinal cord injury, prostate enlargement, infection, surgery, medication, bladder stone, constipation, cystocele, rectocele, or urethral stricture. Symptoms include discomfort and pain. Treatment depends upon the cause of urinary retention.