Finasteride

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Finasteride (Proscar) is employed either on its own or in conjunction with another medication like doxazosin (Cardura) to address benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), characterized by the enlargement of the prostate gland. It is instrumental in alleviating BPH symptoms such as frequent and difficult urination while potentially reducing the risk of acute urinary retention, which is the sudden inability to urinate. Furthermore, it may lower the likelihood of requiring prostate surgery.

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Description

Finasteride (Proscar) is employed either on its own or in conjunction with another medication like doxazosin (Cardura) to address benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), characterized by the enlargement of the prostate gland. It is instrumental in alleviating BPH symptoms such as frequent and difficult urination while potentially reducing the risk of acute urinary retention, which is the sudden inability to urinate. Furthermore, it may lower the likelihood of requiring prostate surgery.

In the case of Finasteride (Propecia), it serves as a treatment for male pattern hair loss, which entails the gradual thinning of hair on the scalp, leading to a Hairline receding or balding at the crown of the head in men. It’s worth noting that Finasteride (Propecia) has not demonstrated efficacy in treating hair thinning at the temples and is not intended for use in addressing hair loss in women or children.

Both Proscar and Propecia are classified under the category of medications known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. In the context of BPH, Finasteride mitigates symptoms by impeding the body’s production of a male hormone responsible for prostate enlargement. When it comes to male pattern hair loss, Finasteride works by blocking the body’s production of a male hormone in the scalp that inhibits hair growth.

Additional information

Usage

Usage
Finasteride is provided in tablet form for oral consumption. Typically, it is taken once daily, with or without food, and it's advisable to take it at the same time each day. To ensure proper usage, carefully follow the instructions on your prescription label, and don't hesitate to seek clarification from your doctor or pharmacist if any aspects are unclear.
Take finasteride exactly as prescribed by your doctor, avoiding any deviations in dosage or frequency.
If you are using finasteride to manage BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), it's important to understand that it may control your condition but will not cure it. Improvement in symptoms may take a minimum of 6 months. Even if you start feeling better, continue taking finasteride as directed, and do not discontinue without consulting your doctor.
For those using finasteride to address male pattern hair loss, it might take at least 3 months before noticeable improvements occur since hair loss and regrowth happen gradually. However, you should anticipate seeing progress within the initial 12 months of treatment. If you've been on finasteride for a year and haven't observed any improvement, further treatment may not be effective. Discuss your treatment continuation with your doctor.
It's crucial to understand that finasteride only slows down hair loss while you are actively taking the medication. Even if you notice hair regrowth, do not cease taking finasteride without consulting your doctor. Any hair that has regrown during the first 12 months after discontinuation will likely be lost. Feel free to request a copy of the manufacturer's patient information from your pharmacist or doctor for additional details.

Side Effects

Side Effects
Finasteride can potentially lead to side effects. Inform your doctor if any of the following symptoms become severe or do not subside:
• Challenges in achieving or keeping an erection.
• Decreased sexual desire
• Ejaculation issues, including reduced ejaculate volume
• Testicular pain
• Depression
Certain side effects can be serious. If you encounter any of these symptoms, promptly contact your doctor:
• Breast changes, such as increased size, lumps, pain, or nipple discharge
• Skin rash
• Itching
• Hives
• Swelling of the lips and face
• Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Finasteride may also induce other side effects. If you experience any unusual problems while taking this medication, consult your doctor. It's important to note that taking finasteride may heighten the risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer, which is a type of prostate cancer that spreads and proliferates more rapidly than other forms. Engage in a discussion with your doctor to fully comprehend the potential risks associated with finasteride.

Storage

Storage
Keep this medication in its original container, securely sealed, and away from children's reach. Store it at room temperature, avoiding excess heat and moisture, such as in the bathroom. It's crucial to safeguard all medications from children's access, as many containers, such as weekly pill organizers and those housing eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers, May not have child-resistant features and can be easily opened by young children. To prevent accidental ingestion, always fasten safety caps and promptly store the medication in a secure place that is out of children's sight and reach.
For disposal of unneeded medications, it's important to use special methods that prevent pets, children, and others from accidental consumption. Nonetheless, refrain from flushing this medication down the toilet. Instead, the recommended approach for disposal is through a medicine take-back program. You can consult your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to inquire about available take-back programs in your community.

Special Precautions

Special Precaution
Before starting finasteride treatment, it's important to:
• Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any allergies you may have, including allergies to finasteride, other medications, or any components present in finasteride tablets. You can consult your pharmacist or review the patient information for a list of these ingredients.
• Communicate to your doctor and pharmacist the full spectrum of prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products you are currently using or planning to use. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication dosages or closely monitor you for potential side effects.
• Notify your doctor if you have a history of liver disease or prostate cancer.
• Understand that finasteride is intended exclusively for use by men. Women, especially those who are pregnant or could become pregnant, should refrain from handling broken or crushed finasteride tablets. Contact with broken or crushed finasteride tablets could pose a risk to the fetus. If a pregnant woman or a woman at risk of pregnancy comes into contact with broken or crushed finasteride tablets, she should immediately wash the affected area with soap and water and promptly seek medical advice.

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