- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
What is Proscar, and what is it used for?
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.
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 Proscar?
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 Proscar?
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 interact with Proscar?
Drug interactions are generally not a problem.
Pregnancy and 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 Proscar?
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 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.
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Related Disease Conditions
How Does Prostate Cancer Kill You in the End?
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate gland in men. Death from prostate cancer most often happens when cancer has spread (metastasized) to other organs in the body.
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis include painful or difficulty urinating; fever; chills; body aches; blood in the urine; pain in the rectum, groin, abdomen, or low back; and painful ejaculation or sexual dysfunction. Causes of prostatitis include STDs, bacteria from urinary tract infections, or E. coli. Treatment for prostatitis depends on if it is a bacterial infection or chronic inflammation of the prostate gland.
What Are the First Signs of Prostate Problems?
The first signs and symptoms of prostate disorder usually include problems with urination. Please consult your doctor if you experience any of the signs and symptoms to avoid the worsening of the prostate problems.
Prostatitis vs. BPH (Enlarged Prostate): What Is the Difference?
Prostatitis and BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, enlarged prostate gland) are both conditions of the prostate gland. Check out the center below for more medical references on prostate gland conditions, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related disease conditions, treatment and diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
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 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.
Does an Enlarged Prostate Affect a Man Sexually?
An enlarged prostate can cause sexual problems in men. Sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction or ejaculation problems, may occur in men with noncancerous enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH).
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 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.
Prostate 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 a 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.
What Are the 5 Warning Signs of Prostate Cancer?
Prostate cancer rarely produces symptoms in the early stage; however, few signs can help in detecting prostate cancer.
Prostate Cancer Facts
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer and cancer death in males; in some men, identifying it early may prevent or delay metastasis and death from prostate cancer. The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that is a part of the male reproductive system that wraps around the male urethra at it exits the bladder. Prostate cancer is common in men over 50 years of age, with the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with aging.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa)
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS or acne inversa) is a chronic skin condition that causes painful red abscesses in the groin and armpits that may drain foul-smelling pus. Treatment options include weight loss, smoking cessation, topical antibiotics, and avoidance of tight-fitting underwear. Finasteride and adalimumab may be helpful for those with resistant cases of HS.
Men'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.
How Is Prostate Cancer Diagnosed?
Prostate cancer is largely a disease of men over 40, so it’s around this age doctors recommend the first prostate screening. The first exam is a blood test to determine if there are abnormal prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in your blood – PSA is produced by the prostate. If the PSA is high, your doctor will perform a digital rectal exam, during which the doctor feels your prostate from inside your rectum with a gloved finger. Other diagnostic tests include an endoscopic biopsy of tumor tissue for analysis in a lab.
Can Prostate Cancer Kill You?
Yes. Like any other cancer, prostate cancer is a potential killer. However, this is true of the metastasized prostate cancer that has remained undiagnosed for a long time. The disease is vastly curable when diagnosed early.
Can Prostate Cancer Be Detected by a Blood Test?
Prostate cancer develops in the prostate gland of men. It is one of the most common types of cancer. It is usually seen in men older than 50 years of age. The prostate is a small walnut-shaped gland that produces seminal fluid required to nourish and transports sperm. Prostate cancer develops slowly. More often, it is confined to the prostate gland, requiring minimal or no treatment.
Prostate Cancer Early Signs and Symptoms
Difficulty with urination – frequency, weak stream, trouble getting started, etc. – is usually the first sign of prostate cancer. But these and other early symptoms of prostatic cancer can also come from benign prostate conditions, so diagnostic testing is important, including PSA tests and digital rectal exam.
What Is the Most Accurate Test for Prostate Cancer?
The most accurate test for detecting prostate cancer is a prostate biopsy, which involves taking a tissue sample from the prostate and examining it under a microscope.
Prostate Cancer: Radiation, Brachytherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals
Radiation treatment for prostate cancer is a powerful tool at doctors’ disposal. Using radiation vs. surgery or other invasive treatments to kill cancer cells may still cause side effects, but ideally they are less severe. Radiation therapy can be performed via external beam therapy (EBRT) or the placement of radioactive seeds into the prostate (prostate brachytherapy) or using radioactive drugs (radiopharmaceuticals).
Prostate Infection: Causes, Symptoms, and Remedies
If the prostate gland becomes swollen and tender, it is called prostatitis or prostate infection. The prostate gland is a walnut-shaped organ that lies just below a man's urinary bladder.
Where Is the Prostate?
The prostate gland, commonly known as the prostate, is one of the male reproductive organs located just below the bladder, above the penis, and in front of the rectum. It is connected to the penis by a tube (urethra) that empties urine from the bladder. The size and shape of the prostate are similar to a walnut.
Prostate Cancer Treatment: Chemotherapy, Bone-Targeted and Immune Therapy
Doctors may introduce chemotherapy and immune therapy if other measures fail to cure a case of prostate cancer. However, unlike with other forms of cancer, chemotherapy isn’t the first choice for early prostate cancer. Immune therapy uses the body's own immune system to attack the prostate tumor, while bone-targeted therapy aims to preserve bone and prevent metastasis.
Prostate Cancer Treatment: Hormonal Therapy
Prostate cancer is highly sensitive to, and dependent on, the level of the male hormone testosterone, which drives the growth of prostate cancer cells. Testosterone belongs to a family of hormones called androgens, and today front-line hormonal therapy for advanced and metastatic prostate cancer is called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT).
How Is Prostate Cancer Screening Done?
There are no standard or routine screening tests for prostate cancer. Studies are being done to find ways to make prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing more accurate for early cancer detection.
Treatment & Diagnosis
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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.
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