) inhibits the body's conversion of the hormone testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Males with lower levels of dihydrotestosterone have smaller prostates and rarely experience male pattern baldness.
The medication Proscar is prescribed to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), more commonly known as an enlarged prostate. Though the active ingredient is the same for treating an enlarged prostate and male pattern baldness, the dosage strength is different:
- To treat an enlarged prostate, the usual dose is 5 mg a day. Each Proscar tablet contains 5 mg of finasteride.
- For male pattern baldness, there is no evidence that more than 1 mg is beneficial. Products such as Propecia offer 1 mg tablets.
Proscar is an effective treatment for an enlarged prostate, but it is not a cure. What is an Enlarged Prostate?
The prostate is a gland surrounding the urethra, the tube which urine passes through when it exits the bladder. An enlarged prostate puts pressure on the urethra, causing a number of uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms:
- More frequent urination
- Feeling that urination is not complete
- Persistent bladder pressure
- Inability to fully empty the bladder
- Difficulty starting to urinate
- Painful urination
- Sudden urge to urinate, especially at night
Prostate enlargement is very common among men over 40. It is estimated that over 90% of men over 80 years have enlarged prostates. The exact cause is not known, and there may be several contributing factors. In severe cases or if left untreated, prostate removal may be necessary.
An enlarged prostate is not an indication of cancer, and there is no correlation with prostate enlargement and risk of developing cancer.Taking Proscar for Prostate Health:
Proscar reduces the size of the prostate gland, relieving pressure on the urethra and restoring its ability to function properly.
One tablet is taken daily, preferably around the same time each day, with or without food. A full glass of fluid will help with pill absorption.
It may take 6 to 12 months of treatment before effects are noticeable. If no improvement has occurred after 12 months of use, the medication is unlikely to work and alternative treatments should be investigated.
Other medications, such as Hytrin
, may be prescribed along with Proscar to further ease symptoms and aid urination.
In addition to medical treatment, some simple lifestyle changes can also reduce symptoms:
Proscar is Remarkably Safe -- for Men:
- Urinate as soon as the urge to do so is noticed
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially at night
- Don't drink any fluids for 2 hours prior to bed
- Avoid medications with antihistamines
- Avoid cold weather, as it may worsen symptoms
- If possible, avoid stress; tension increases the need to urinate.
There is no reason for women to use this medication. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not even handle Proscar.
Touching split, broken or crushed tablets may allow enough of the medication to be absorbed into the skin to damage unborn babies or nursing infants. Even trace amounts may cause physical deformities on male fetuses.
Other than pregnancy or allergy to the ingredients, there are no known contraindications for treatment with Proscar.
There are no known prescription or non-prescription drug interactions.
There are very few side effects associated with Proscar; however, those side effects that are associated with the medication are of a sexual nature:
- Decreased libido
- Reduced ejaculate volume
- Erectile dysfunction or impotence
- Male breast tenderness or enlargement
In clinical trials, only a very small percentage of men suffered side effects. The majority of those men continued taking the medication and eventually the side effects disappeared. A handful had to cease treatment to stop side effects.
Proscar is an inexpensive and safe treatment for enlarged prostates. In many cases it offers an alternative to surgical prostate removal -- not a difficult decision for most men.