Finasteride is used for thetreatment of an enlarged prostate gland called benign prostatic hyperplasia(BPH). BPH is a common condition as men get older. An enlarged prostate glandmay cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms like blocking the flow of urine out ofthe bladder. The prostate gland is a gland surrounding the neck of the bladderthat produces a fluid that becomes part of the semen. Prostate problems arecommon in men 50 and older. Most can be treated successfully without harmingsexual function. The severity of symptoms in people who have BPH varies butsymptoms tend to gradually get worse over time. Common signs and symptoms mayinclude:
- Increased frequency of urination at night
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and start
- Difficulty starting urination
- Inability to empty the bladder
- Dribbling at the end of urination
These are some less common signsand symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland:
- Inability to urinate
- Urinary tract infections
- Blood in the urine
This medication may also be used for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. About 85% of men will have major hair thinning by the time they are 50. This product blocks the body’s production of a male hormone in the scalp that stops the growth of the hair.
Finasteride is in the class ofmedications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. This decreases the amount ofthe hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body. DHT normally causes yourprostate to grow larger. The decrease in DHT helps prevent your prostate fromgrowing larger. This product comes as a tablet that contains Finasteride as anactive ingredient. Each tablet has the dosage forms of 1 mg and 5 mg for oraluse. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription.
Howdoes Finasteride work?
Finasteride works by blocking the action of an enzymein the body called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme is called DHT which is responsiblefor converting the male hormone testosterone into a more active form. Enlargement of the prostate gland is dependentupon testosterone being converted to DHT within the prostate gland. By blocking5-alpha reductase, this drug prevents the formation of DHT and this helpsshrink the prostate.
The prostate gland is only found in men. It is situated at the top ofthe urethra, just below the bladder. An enlargement of the prostate causes itto press on the urethra and bladder. It can also cause difficulty passing urineand an increased need to urinate mainly at night. By shrinking the prostate, Finasteriderelieves the pressure on the bladder and urethra. Therefore, this allows urineto flow freely through the urethra past the prostate.
Howto use Finasteride?
The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. This is to be taken by mouth usually once a day or as directed by your doctor. It may take 6 to 12 months to notice a benefit. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this medication. Doing so may lessen the risk of certain side effects. Your doctor may direct you to start at a lower dose and eventually increase it. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day.
Do not suddenly stop taking thismedication without the consent of your doctor. It may cause anothercomplication or may worsen your current condition. For the best benefit fromthis product, take it regularly.Ifyou missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time foryour next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule.Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know ifyour condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
Whatare the side effects of Finasteride?
Common side effects:
- Skin rash
- Runny nose
- Feeling like you might pass out
- Swelling or tenderness in your breasts
- Swelling in your hands or feet
- Loss of interest in sex
- Abnormal ejaculation
Call your doctor right away ifthese occur:
- Breast pain or tenderness
- Breast lumps
- Nipple discharge or any other breast changes
Get emergency medical help if youhave any signs of an allergic reaction such as:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling of throat, lips, tongue, or face
- Before using Finasteride, tell your doctor if you have any medical history especially of prostate cancer, liver disease, urinary problems, or infections.
- This should not be used in children and women especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to Finasteride. This product may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. Tell as well if you have any allergies.
- If you have any blood tests to measure the level of a prostate-specific antigen in your blood, make sure your doctor knows that you are taking this product.
- Do not donate blood while having this medication or for at least four weeks after you stop taking it.
- This can cause a severe allergic reaction, call your doctor right away if your symptoms such as hives, trouble breathing, or swelling of throat or tongue.
- If the tablet is crushed or broken, it should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or by a woman who may become pregnant.
- Do not share this medication with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
- You should not use this for the treatment of other conditions without the consent of your doctor.
- Call for medical help and stop taking the drug if there are any signs of an overdose.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.
- Dosage for people younger than 18 years old has not been established. Call your doctor for instructions before using this drug.
- Keep this medication at room temperature far from heat, moisture, and reach of children.