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Common Brand Name(s): Proscar
This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
Finasteride is used to shrink an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) in adult men. It may be used alone or taken in combination with other medications to reduce symptoms of BPH and may also reduce the need for surgery.
Finasteride may improve symptoms of BPH and provide benefits such as decreased urge to urinate, better urine flow with less straining, less of a feeling that the bladder is not completely emptied, and decreased nighttime urination. This medication works by decreasing the amount of a natural body hormone (DHT) that causes growth of the prostate.
Finasteride is not approved for prevention of prostate cancer. It may slightly increase the risk of developing a very serious form of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.
Women and children should not use this medication.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking finasteride and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once a day.
Since this drug can be absorbed through the skin and lungs and may harm an unborn baby, women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should not handle this medication or breathe the dust from the tablets. It may cause abnormal sex organ development in an unborn male infant.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. It may take 6 to 12 months to notice a benefit.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
Decreased sexual ability/desire may occur. In some men, this medication can decrease the amount of semen released during sex. This is harmless, but has continued in some men even after stopping treatment. Finasteride may also increase hair growth. If any of these effects last or get worse, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including:
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including:
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking finasteride, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Finasteride should not be used in women, especially during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It may harm an unborn or breast-feeding baby. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about this medication.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
This medication can affect the results of the blood test used to detect prostate cancer (prostatic-specific antigen or PSA levels). Make sure laboratory personnel and your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Alberta residents can call PADIS (Poison and Drug Information Service) 24 hours a day at 1-800-332-1414. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lab and/or medical tests (such as prostate exams, PSA levels) should be done while you are taking this medication. Keep all medical and lab appointments. Follow your doctor's instructions for examining your breasts and testicles, and report any lumps right away. Consult your doctor for more details.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
If you have questions about missing a dose or you don't have more medication, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised January 2023.
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