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Finasteride (Proscar)  

Finasteride (Proscar) is a drug used to treat signs and symptoms of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) in men. It works by reducing the amount of a body hormone (DHT) which causes the growth of the prostate gland. This medication is meant only for men, in rare cases prescribed for certain medical conditions in women. Finasteride is a white crystalline powder and is insoluble in water.  


Indications: as mentioned above, this drug is indicated in the treatment of BPH which is a disorder of the prostate gland. The prostate gland which is present in front of the rectum may be enlarged in size. The abnormal enlargement causes many problems such as difficulty in urination, urine retention, frequent night time urination, and others. There are many tests available for the detection of BPH. After the detection of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is confirmed by a screening test called Digital Rectum Examination, Finasteride is prescribed by the doctors.  


Dosage: Proscar may be taken orally with or without food, preferably around the same time every day. The general prescription of the drug is usually is a 5 mg tablet a day. These tablets are blue in colour, apple shaped and film coated. They are to be stored at room temperature only. Crushed or broken tablets should not be handled by pregnant women as there are possibilities of absorption by the skin.  


Contraindications: below are some conditions that can require the contraindication of Finasteride:  

  • The drug may face contraindications in the following cases
  • When a male patient is yet to father a child lest baby will be born with congenital defects 
  • By pregnant or lactating women 
  • If the patient is hypersensitive to any components of the drug as the drug may have some inactive allergic components 
  • If the patient is pregnant or breast feeding 
  • If the patient is having any medical history of liver or kidney disease. 

The complete medical history of the patient should be discussed with the doctor before the usage of this medicine. Men must also get tested for prostate cancer before taking this drug.


Mechanism of Action (MOA): the prostate enlargement is directly dependant on the DHT which is a hormone converted from the Testosterone (the male hormone). The enzyme which converts the male hormone Testosterone to DHT in the prostate is inhibited by Finasteride. This drug works in lowering the blood and DHT levels consequently reducing the size of the prostate gland. It takes, however, at least 6 months for the patient to receive the optimum benefit of this drug. 

Finasteride also interferes with androgens (male hormones) that are notorious for enlargement of prostate. This drug also relieves patient of urination problems associated with prostate.  


Drug Interactions: Finasteride can be used in combination with other drugs as clinically no meaningful interactions of the drugs with Finasteride are found. The compounds tested in men include antipyrine, digoxin, propranolol, theophylline, and warfarin. 


Side Effects: Here some common adverse reactions of Proscar include: