- Enlarged Prostate (BPH) Pictures Slideshow
- Prostate Cancer Slideshow Pictures
- Take the Enlarged Prostate Quiz!
- What is finasteride (Proscar)? How does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses 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 (Proscar)? 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 uses for finasteride?
Finasteride is prescribed for the treatment of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH) under the brand name "Proscar." Finasteride also is prescribed to treat male pattern baldness in androgenetic alopecia in males only, under the brand name Propecia.
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with finasteride?
Drug interactions are generally not a problem.
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.
Finasteride is available in generic form, but you must have a prescription from your doctor or other health-care professional to obtain the drug.
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
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Enlarged Prostate) Quiz
Take the Enlarge Prostate Quiz and challenge your knowledge of prostate problems. Learn causes, symptoms, treatments, and...
Picture of Prostate Gland
A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the bladder. See a picture of Prostate Gland and learn...
Picture of Fixed Drug Eruption
A large red-violet plaque on the arm of a child. See a picture of Fixed Drug Eruption and learn more about the health topic....
Sex-Drive Killers: The Causes of Low Libido
Noticing a lack of intimacy with your partner? Here we explore how stress, lack of sleep, weight gain, depression and low T can...
Related Disease Conditions
Urinary retention (inability to urinate) may be caused by nerve disease, spinal cord injury, prostate enlargement, infection,...
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis include painful or difficulty urinating,...
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer. Risk factors include age, family history, ethnicity, and...
Enlarged Prostate (BPH, 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...
There are many types of urinary incontinence (UI), which is the accidental leakage of urine. These types include stress...
Men's health is an important component to a happy lifestyle and healthy relationships. Eating healthy, exercise, managing stress,...
Male Breast Cancer
Male 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...
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic skin condition that causes painful red abscesses in the groin and armpits that may...
Certain behavioral, lifestyle, and environmental factors contribute to cancer. Cancer prevention involves modifying these factors...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Enlarged Prostate BPH FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Hair Loss in Men
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- A Bone Drug That Treats Baldness?
- Trump Takes Hair Growth Drug: Doctor
- Hair Loss Treatments in the Pipeline
- 18-Year Study Finds Drug Cut Prostate Cancer Risk
- Baldness Drug Propecia May Put Some Men Off Alcohol: Study
- Drug Used to Prevent Prostate Cancer Won't Lower Quality of Life
- Baldness Drug May Cause Sexual Side Effects: FDA
- FDA OKs Impotence Drug Cialis to Treat Enlarged Prostate
- FDA: Prostate Cancer Risk From BPH, Hair Drugs
- Recall of Generic Citalopram, Finasteride
- Sexual Side Effects From Propecia, Avodart May Be Irreversible
- Avodart May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.