) 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
- 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
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
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
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
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
There are very few side effects associated with Proscar; however,
those side effects that are associated with the medication are of a
- 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